Brand Foundation • How to write your position statement in 4 steps
1/ Start with why
Why did you start your business? What is your purpose?
Being able to answer these questions with something different than “well I need to make money to buy food” will help you to have strong foundations for your business. Having clearly stated what you believe in will help others believe in you. If you only tell people what you do and how you do it, that’s helpful, but it doesn’t create connections.
If I tell you that I design brand identities through a thoughtful and collaborative process, it sounds good, but it’s kind of flat and on surface level.
However, if I tell you: I believe that design has a direct impact on individuals, communities and ultimately the planet. Everything we create pulls energy from Earth. With this in mind and thanks to a thoughtful and collaborative process, I design intentional brand identities.
Now what do you think? With which pitch will I create more connections?
I went from telling you
1/ what I do and 2/ how
to 1/ why, 2/ how and 3 /what.
A simple way to find your why is to do like kids: keep repeating “But why?” until you get to a satisfactory answer. You can change the question a little with “why does it matter?” or “why do I think that?”.
Now your turn!
He is pretty famous now, but if you want to deepen the subject and go through a real introspection, read Simon Sinek’s book Start With Why and try his methodology. It’s very helpful and not only on a professional stand-point.
So, what is your why?
2/ Define your audience
Spending some time defining your ideal client early will be very helpful in the long run. Because it is easier to talk to one person rather than a whole audience and because we adapt our language to whom we talk, knowing who you’d like to attract will help with your positioning and your marketing efforts.
So let’s dive in!
I devise the description of the persona into 3 sections: quantitative, qualitative and only then can we talk about their relationship to your service or product .
In the quantitative part, we are defining hard metrics:
Roxanne Baker, 39, California.
She went to college to study art and design and has at least a Bachelor’s degree.
She used to work for a big fashion company as a creative director but decided a couple years ago to create her own business as she felt uncomfortable being part of one of the most wasteful industries. She now owns her own zero-waste fashion brand and although she often feels overwhelmed it is growing.
She has a partner and their household income is between 80k to 120k.
Then in the qualitative section, we are diving into the personality and personal life of your ideal client. Try and answer these questions:
What do they like doing?
What are they passionate about?
How do they define success?
What are their goals?
What are their dreams?
What are their challenges?
What are their personality like?
Do they read? What kind of books?
Are they outdoorsy?
What kind of brands are they attracted to?
Do they travel?
Where do they get their news?
What social media platforms do they use?
You can continue the list!
What Rozanne’s personal life looks like:
She traveled quite a bit when she was younger but with work and her business, she hasn’t made it her priority in a while, although she’d love to do it more.
She loves outdoor activities such as camping, hiking or kayaking but will be happy to just go to a yoga class too.
She likes reading, being informed and cultivated.
She pays attention to where she spends her money and will choose to spend more if it means she will get a more ethical products. She spends time figuring out how she can make small changes to her everyday life to have more ethical and sustainable lifestyle.
Through her business, she wants to offer timeless and comfortable clothes to men and women in which they will feel confident and find themselves beautiful.
Ultimately, she’d love to have more time for herself and to travel more so she’d like to automate things as much as possible.
She has an eye for graphic design but she doesn’t want to spend time on it. She prefers to dedicate her time to researching sustainable systems and resources to make her brand as wasteless as possible.
I could continue for a while but let’s get to the most important part!
What is their problem?
Why do they have this problem?
How do they go around it (before they know or can afford your service or product)?
How will their life be improved if they use your product or service?
The best way to answer these questions is to ask your clients directly and listen carefully.
If you answer these questions on your own, you might be wrong and waste time on something that is not useful to them. If you ask them, you’ll know exactly!
As Tom Ross puts it, this is by no means an exact science. It is about direction.
Answering these questions will help you:
Have a more efficient marketing strategy
Create deeper connections with your audience
Have a better content creation strategy
So tell me! Who is your ideal client?
3/ Explore your competitors’ landscape
I am saying competitors to get the idea across quickly but I don’t actually like this term much. I prefer to think about fellow designers who hold sustainability in their heart as co-workers. We form a community, share similar values and skills. They are not people with whom I am going to fight over clients.
Exploring your community of like minded professionals give you an idea of the landscape in which your ideal client might find themselves. It will help you:
find inspiration for content,
think about how to differentiate yourself,
figure out what similarities you share with whom.
You can even start conversations about tools, practices and create a support group.
Things you want to make note of:
Is there similar visual elements across your industry? Do you see similar colors or ways to use a font? Even a logo style?
What do their website looks like? How is it organized?
In their blog or other content, what do they talk about?
Which social media platforms are they on? How do they use them?
What is their voice and tones?
What is their price range? Do they offer packages or bundles? What’s included?
If they sell products, what is the quality like? What do they show about how it’s made or where it comes from?
How do they work out their promotions? Do they pay for ads on Instagram or facebook?
Can you decipher who is their ideal client?
In which location do they operate?
Analyzing your industry’s landscape is useful to figure out how to position yourself and understand what works. Plus creating or being part of a community is very helpful when you run a business, you need that support!
4/ Position yourself
Now that you know your why, your ideal client and what others do, let’s talk about what makes you unique.
Why do a potential client choose you over someone offering a similar product or service?
What do you do well?
Do you have a different approach?
What do you put the accent on?
Knowing these answers will help clarify your message.
You positioning defines the space you occupy in your industry’s landscape. It’s nice to have a position statement to which you can refer yourself, or that you can use as a pitch.
You positioning doesn’t only come from your differentiating factor that we just reviewed above. It is a mix of your why, your how, your what and with whom.
So let’s work on your position statement. Here’s how you can structure it:
I believe that ... (insert your why)
Thanks to … (insert your how)
I offer … (insert your differentiating factor)
… (insert your what)
To/for … (insert your audience).
For Spark & Bloom, it goes like this:
I believe that design has a direct impact on individuals, communities and ultimately the planet. Everything we create pulls energy from Earth.
With this in mind and thanks to a thoughtful and collaborative process,
I design intentional
for ethical entrepreneurs
What’s yours? Post it on your social media feed and tag @sparkandbloomstudio so I can see it!