Get your brand up, happening, and away, with this quick, easy and awesome branding tool.
Image Credit Dan Dickinson
*If you click on the link above the document should appear in your downloads folder.
Use this document as a reference point for creating content for all of your marketing campaigns, from website development to newsletter generation, and more….
Download an example Brand Positioning Table
A quick and easy way of understanding something is to see a model. I have completed a BPT for a sample business; a hotel that sounds so good I want to go there!
Click here to download the completed BPT example.
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With your BPT Template and the completed example table, in front of you, scroll down for a step by step how-to on filling out this short, sharp and invaluable document for your business.
Fill out your branding table – a step by step guide
Section 01 -02
Functional & emotional benefits of your brand.
This is a great place to start. We all love kicking off with some bullet points, and hopefully you should be well versed in the benefits you can give to your client or customer.
Be sure to include the obvious and the less obvious. Include what you do, but also how you do it. Fast? On time? Excellent or fit-for-purpose? High quality or low cost, perhaps both?
It is a useful process to filter through which benefits are functional (tangible) and which are emotional (not so tangible).
Be sure not to skip this section just because it looks easy. The point is not to see if you have benefits, the point is to have them listed as a snapshot.
Target Audience (TA) – identify and prioritise
Divide your target audience into 3 or more groups.
Give a snap shot of where they are coming from, and what they are looking for from you.
Are they local, or overseas, remote or visitors to your region?
Are they young or old? Looking for quality, or for a bargain?
If you have more than one product range, or service offering, then you might need to filter your target audience accordingly.
Are your target audience looking for top shelf or bargain basement? Do they want a one off service or ongoing? Package deal or bespoke?
Another way to divide up your target audience is into ‘existing customer’ or ‘prospective’.
Group your TA in a way that has some bearing on how you pitch to them, and what their needs are.
Try to find at least 2 or 3 groupings. More, if you feel that could be useful.
Next you need to number them in order of priority.
List them 1-3 in terms of their desirability and/or importance to the profitability and viability of your ideal business.
TA1 – Your ideal customer – who you are hoping to attract with your upcoming marketing campaign. Perhaps your most profitable customer.
TA2 – This may not be your ideal customer, but perhaps this group makes up a large proportion of your existing client or customer base. Better not ignore them completely.
TA3 – this is not your best-fit or most desirable customer, but lets not say anything to make them feel too left out. We may need their support if plan TA1 fails!
This is the aha moment that you really want your target audience to have.
This is where you hope to change their hearts, minds or behavior.
Typical Insights fall into one of these groups:
- You don’t need to pay more!
- It is worth paying more!
- It is hard but it is worth it!
- The paradox
*A note on paradox…
You know you have a great Insight for your audience, if you have a paradox for them. A paradox is two things that seem mutually exclusive. So if you have a ‘have you cake AND eat it message for your TA, you are definitely onto a winner.
Example: ‘We are cheap, fast and inexpensive’ – awesome!! As long as you can prove it is true.
So what do you do? That can’t be too hard to answer. I mean you get asked at parties often enough don’t you?
Or perhaps you’ve stopped going to parties for that very reason! If you find this easy, congratulations, you are one 5th on your way to complete success.
If you find it hard, don’t worry, you are absolutely not alone. For the majority of businesses this is a real stumbling point. It is actually very possible to function without a decent pitch, but a good pitch is worth wrestling with because in terms of marketing it is a supreme tool and will probably get outdated – NEVER.
Your brand is an identity all of its own. The two of you may possibly be twins, but you are not one in the same. It is good for your sanity to remember that.
Every brand has a personality, by default. So if you don’t work at fashioning it as you would like to see it, then you may be putting out vibes that…well…aren’t doing you any favours. Knowing your brand personality is really important for communicating with collaborators, and for making decisions.
You have to make a lot of decisions in marketing. Have you noticed that? Yes. That’s sometimes called creativity. But as a business person when the creativity juices aren’t flowing you may still need to make ‘creative decisions’.
There are so many guidelines out there for what gets good engagement, and that’s all worth listening to, but don’t do something just because the book says so. And definitely don’t do it if it doesn’t suit your personality.
Crazy /Fun Personality – that’s great – do crazy and fun.
Conservative Personality – play it safe.
Your core values and beliefs make up a big part of your personality (see upcoming section). If your brand identity is environmentally friendly then be very careful not to do anything to undermine that. A person can be complex. A brand needs to be easy to understand.
*Possibly your whole marketing strategy is aimed at changing your Brand Personality? That’s great, as long as that is the aim. Otherwise, please tow the party line.
Here we are.
The ‘Value Proposition’ is often heralded as the single most powerful marketing tool.
Like the ‘Insight’ factor described above – and like the latest youth speak craze – it is totes unlikely to go out of fashion anytime soon.
Your ‘Value Proposition’ is your offer presented to your target audience in way that immediately conveys to them why they must say immediately ‘yes, I’ll take it’.
Needless to say that is not easy. It is a bit like the holy grail. May not exist, but worth going on the journey to find it.
The ‘Proposition’ part is the put-it-out-there offer such as Come up to my place. The ‘Value’ part is the why. So continuing with the song lyrics from Mental as Anything ‘…and live it up’. Live it up is the Why.
So a cliched Value Proposition for a business might be something like ‘Call us today and say goodbye to ….’ Just add the bad thing that the customer wants rid of. ‘Dry rot’ perhaps. Or ‘say hello to …’ Perhaps, better service, a warmer house or lower prices?
I would advise avoiding clichés. Not because we are too proud to use a nice juicy cliché, but just because people are really good at ignoring clichés. We don’t want to be ignored. The importance of Value Propositions cannot be over stated, so please click here if you feel you need to know more about them.
Section 7 -8
Core Values and/or Brand Philosophy
If you want to cut a corner, you could probably get away with choosing to explore just one or other of these. But definitely give one or other some attention.
All previous sections are highly relevant to your Home Page and your services/products pages, where you would be hoping to turn visitors to customers.
This section may or may not be vital to your sales pitch, but could well effect the angle that you approach it from. Your brand values and philosophy are good to display to show not just ‘what’ you do but ‘why’ you do it. You should make space to express this on your Home Page, but certainly an About Page should focus on this.
Your values and philosophy should also be strongly reflected in your social media strategy. All your Facebook posts, Tweets, or posts on other platforms such as Snapchat, Pinterest, Linkedin, Google Plus, etc, should reflect the values and philosophy of your brand.
If you have a blog segment, that too should reflect your values, and the change you would like to see in the world. Your Brand Values are distinct from a person’s values. A brand’s values need to relate somehow to the benefit that the brand brings to the world via the market place. It can be ‘what’ your brand does, or it can be ‘how’ your brand does it.
Are you eco-friendly, or family-friendly?
Are you all about saving money?
Are you all about self improvement?
Whatever you are About, you can publish stories and tips about the related topics and you can join online conversations about those topics.
Reasons to believe
This has always been an important part of marketing. You can say you are awesome and you can make all sorts of promises. But how do you prove that its all true?
Getting a glitzy looking profile has never been cheaper or easier than in the digital age, with a website, or glossy brochure. As the technology makes it increasingly easy to put up a professional looking portfolio, or even an online shop, it is exponentially more important to win trust and prove authenticity.
At this blueprinting stage your brand should be looking at ways to foster trust. You need to first of all be authentic, because if you are fraudulent then the watchdogs on social media will undoubtedly get you in the end.
Then you need to display that authenticity.
One strategy is to use Social Proofing, ie. linking to or displaying an embedded window on your webpage that shows your social networking activity.
Photos are a great way to foster trust. Show the prospective customer the product. Show the product being used. Showing people in photos always fosters trust. After all – “People like to buy from people’.
It is best to use your own photos but I would suggest that they would ideally be of at least a reasonable quality. Stock photos are fine if used to show a concept or the vibe or vision of your business, but not if it looks like you are trying pass off the subject of the photo as you, or your own staff, building, project etc. Sorry but the photo on your About Page does need to be at least someone from your team.
Key search words & terms
Your key search words (or keywords) are the words that you hope your potential customers will be able to find you through, via Google Search.
It is good to be aware of what these are and make sure that they appear somewhere in your web content. It is important not to squeeze them into your web content (copy) in a way that reads unnaturally. Google can detect this and potentially penalise you for it.
Google just want you to write good relevant content for their users. Your keywords should emerge naturally, but it is still a good idea to keep an eye on whether or not they are represented.
You should be able to imagine what the likely keywords are for your business. However, Keyword Planner is a great tool to help you decipher which keywords would be beneficial to use on your web pages.
Your Conversation Partners are businesses, groups, associations or individual influencers, whom you may want to connect with and interact with online through social media.
You may have heard the adage – ‘Online, Content is King’. This has certainly held true for the 16 plus years that I have been working in digital media.
A core belief at Open Copy is that a committed Content Marketing Strategy is the most effective way to approach an effective online investment.
Publishing or aggregating content is the key to finding traction online.
The most effective strategy for keeping your content relevant and welcome is to link in with existing conversations taking place online.
What are your core beliefs, values, interests? And when I say your…I mean Your brand.
See Core Values and Brand Philosophy above.
Find conversations online where those values and beliefs are being discussed. Comment, post and publish blog content on and around those conversation streams.
That is how to get traction, connect with audiences and foster engagement online.
Online engagement, if managed correctly in terms of using it to generate traffic to your website, will get you the sales leads that you are….after all is said and done …doing this for.
If you have not had much experience of driving traffic to your website through social media, then you may not have much of an idea right now who you want to put in this section. Now might be a good time to do some research online.
You can find potential Conversation Partners online by –
- Typing your target keywords into Google and visiting the websites of similar providers in your industry, either in your region or much further afield.
- Sign up for Google Alerts. It is a free service, Type in words that target the topics you are interested in and Google will put newly published articles on that topic in your inbox.
- Use a Twitter Account to search for, follow people and find hashtags for topics and trends you are interested in.