Lessons from a Tide Brand Manager – The Brand Positioning Strategy Worksheet

We learned quite a bit from Procter & Gamble based on my 23 years of building brands and businesses with them. Recent articles have focused on brands, branding and product positioning. This article provides an overview of how P&G creates its positioning strategies for its brands. In addition to the positioning strategy, you may also know this as a copy strategy or advertising strategy or brand strategy. This is important because in many cases, brand support goes beyond just advertising.

A brand positioning strategy identifies the basis on which we expect our brand to be purchased in preference to the competition. The content is a direct result of the product or service and the basic consumer need it is intended to fulfill. It should make clear the basic benefit that the brand promises and which represents the main basis for purchase. It should also include a statement of the product attributes that enable this benefit and the tone or character that the brand seeks to build.

This will set the direction for the brand’s core message, which should remain consistent across all communication media, although the execution of the message may change. It is inherently competitive as it is the basis for preferences over competition.

Development of the strategy by using the creative work plan
Start at the top and work your way through the rest of the elements.

1 key fact
A single piece of known information related to the brand that is agreed to be the primary factor influencing or describing brand performance. This can be information about the brand itself, the competition, the customer, innovation, etc., but it has to be a single fact.

2 problem that advertising must solve
This is a consumer problem. It describes the awareness, perception or behavior of the potential user that led to the key fact that we want to change.

3 advertising objective
Usually simply the opposite of the problem, although there are many different possibilities. For example, “Convince consumers to try my brand” or “Use more of my brand.” Or “use my trademark differently”. Convince them that my brand is a viable alternative to brand x.”

4 strategy

a) Prospectus definition
Both demographics and psychographics.

b) main competition.
Not just a list of competitors, but a description of the segment we want to do business with

c) promise
The most compelling single agreement that can be made for the brand, designed with the customer and the competition in mind.

d) reason why
The strongest support for the promise. Occasionally there may be more than one support, but never a list

e) tone/character
The tone that messages should convey, to give personality to the message and make it come alive. This is not an execution.

As you can see, the format is very simple. However, like everything at Procter & Gamble, the use of the simple tool is handled by experts in the field. This is what makes the tool so effective.

If you want to take advantage of this simple tool, support your brand or business and contact us. We’re here to help.

Many Thanks.

John