David Milliken's Brand Marketing Blog

Why should I buy [your brand]? AKA, Brand Positioning.

Posted in Brand Positioning by dlmilli on November 19, 2009

Positioning, according to Merriam-Webster.com, is not a word (unless within “Global Positioning System”). But positioning is central to the lives of brand marketers. If used optimally, it underscores every activity, marketing or otherwise, a brand undertakes.

Forget definitions, here is an example …

= “15 minutes could save you 15% or more”.

(Says the sole message of billions in ad spend.)

Lots of experts (and blogs) can espouse about positioning. But the positioning of David Milliken’s Brand Marketing Blog is for you to live the life of a brand marketer. So let’s walk through the steps I recently undertook building a brand positioning.

Step 1: Hiring an agency that specializes in brand strategy. I developed a small list of potential agencies based on prior experiences and recommendations. (brandchannel.com is a good resource.) I gave each agency the same objectives and criteria. The agencies positioned themselves in their pitches – one for example, as the ultimate wine agency, and another as the ultimate wine outsider. After evaluating their proposals for methodology, experience, and cost, we selected the ultimate wine outsider.

Step 2: Conducting a communications audit of the messages our brand and our competitors were conveying to consumers and retailers. Along with the agency, I took winery tours (I get paid for this?!), reviewed websites, analyzed point-of-sales materials, visited wine shops, and viewed advertising.

… Come back soon for more experiences building a positioning …


2 Responses

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  1. Cindy said, on November 19, 2009 at 4:03 pm

    Hi –
    Nice to see you and your experiences in cyberspace! Looking forward to learninig more about the grit behind the sexy image of brand marketing. Curious, can you tell us more about the agency pitches and how come Outsider won out?


    • dlmilli said, on November 20, 2009 at 8:54 pm

      Great question. Cost and methodology factors aside, we sought a positioning truly differentiated from category competitors. More directly, while traditional wine attributes remain a core of our marketing communications, we aspire to become a lifestyle brand. The agency we selected has experience in several lifestyle categories, including beer and spirits. Therefore, we were comfortable they understood what our positioning needed to deliver to our trade stakeholders, but could allow us to be more relevant to a broad consumer base.

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