Brand positioning

What is brand positioning?

Your brand positioning is the unique, relevant, credible and sustainable position you own in the market. It ensures your clients and prospects can clearly tell your brand apart from your competitors. It specifies and expresses how your brand is unique and compelling, providing a reason to choose your brand over others. It also encapsulates your organisation's purpose, or reason for being, that goes beyond just making money. Brand positioning is also sometimes called brand essence, because it's the essential nature of your brand - its reason for being.

Your brand positioning is the heart and soul of your business - part of your DNA. It's the high-level idea that unites and guides all organisational activities, actions and behaviours, from organisational strategy, to the products you launch, the businesses you acquire, the way you communicate, how customers experience your brand and how your employees behave - it is the compass for the organisation. A refined brand positioning is generally no more than four words long.

Our brand strategists apply their creativity and intuition to your brand insights to define your brand's unique essence. They tap into our proven thinking, tools and techniques, and facilitate workshops with you to refine their ideas. Your brand positioning and pyramid is then documented and presented to you. We can also create and document your supporting brand strategy.

A strong, clear, compelling brand positioning:

  • Ensures your brand stands out and cuts-through in its category.
  • Gives customers a reason to choose your brand over competitors.
  • Enables your brand to charge and sustain a price premium.
  • Enables your brand to build trust with its key stakeholders - customers, employees, shareholders, distributors, partners, intermediaries etc.
  • Attracts and retains the best employee talent.

People are often surprised to learn that their brand positioning and their tagline are not the same thing. But they are different. They play different roles and achieve different outcomes.

A brand's positioning is the internal expression of its purpose. It is the guiding light of the brand but is rarely publicised externally. A tagline is a marketing tool. It is externally facing and is traditionally accompanied by an awareness campaign. Where a brand's positioning statement is its reason for being, and therefore unlikely to ever change, the tagline can evolve to support new campaigns, product lines, customer segments and so on. Because a tagline is externally facing, more attention is paid to the craftsmanship around the copy.

The following table summarises the difference between brand positioning and tagline.


Positioning statementTagline
Internal External
Expresses business purpose Expresses customer benefit
Grounded and truthful Catchy and copy-written
Permanent Changeable
Known and lived by employees Known and remembered by customers
Guides all business decisions Influences buyer behaviour

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