Best brand position
Tom Dougherty, CEO – Stealing Share
17 June 2019
The best brand position is never about being the best
I can give you the most significant reason why so many brands fail. Because so many promote a best brand position, meaning some variation of “we’re the best.”
It’s everywhere. Hardee’s, once owning an emotional brand position of “Eat it like you meant it,” is now “Because it tastes better.” Pick any car commercial and it’s some form of a best brand position. Best steering. Best mileage. Or owning the most of those inane JD Power awards.
Pick any bank and it’s “we have the best people.” Hell, all those car insurance commercials spend untold amounts of money to say they have the best price. Phone carriers talk about having the best coverage, like any of us really care.
And that’s the point. A best brand position is essentially meaningless.
“The next ad you see, just listen carefully to see if it’s some form of a best brand position. I’ll bet you’re either surprised how many co-opt that position. And I bet you’ll be surprised how many you have been ignoring all along.”
The reasons why a best brand position fails
It’s not believable. For you to present a true choice to target audiences you must be positioned against something. That’s the only way audience can choose. If the rest of the market is, let’s say, blue. Then saying you’re also blue doesn’t present a true choice.
Think about two of the best brands out there: Apple and Nike. Apple’s “Think Different” stance positions the brand against the status quo. (Even though Apple’s become the status quo.) Nike’s “Just Do It” is positioned against the clutter of features other shoe companies constantly promote.
Therefore, a best brand position isn’t believable because no one is claiming that they’re the worst. The only way “we have the best employees” works is if someone else says, “We have the worst employees.”
It’s ignored. Because so many use a best brand position, we filter it out. It’s not emotional and carries no meaning.
It doesn’t make anyone switch. Basically, if you say you are the best in an attempt to prompt prospects to switch, you’re saying they are not currently using the best. That they are wrong.
To steal market share, you must align your brand messages with beliefs that already exist for target audiences. To convince them otherwise is to row against the tide, instead of riding with it.
The next ad you see, just listen carefully to see if it’s some form of a best brand position. I’ll bet you’re either surprised how many co-opt that position. And I bet you’ll be surprised how many you have been ignoring all along.
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