A really important part of crafting your brand's positioning is to understand the functional benefits that you offer as a product or service. What do you “do” for your customers?
It’s the “that” in the classic positioning statement that we’ve been exploring in this series.
While it sounds rather easy, the hard part is to focus and to make a tough decision about which functional aspect of your business you want to hang your hat on. I’m quite sure you do many things, but which is the most important to your brand positioning?
When you’re assembling your positioning, you have to pick the elements that are the most crucial to your brand, including your functional benefit. That’s no easy choice.
Having to focus means picking just one rational, functional benefit that defines your brand. If you’re going have clearly articulated positioning, then you can’t outline several functional benefits, even if they’re all true. It would be too confusing and disjointed for your customers to truly understand.
You have to pick just one function, so pick the one that most closely and most accurately defines who you are as a brand.
What is it exactly “that” you do?
There’s a reason why this isn’t so easy. In most industries and product categories, all of the functional benefits are pretty similar. It’s hard to differentiate between businesses that all compete in a given category just based on the functional benefit. They all typically “do” the same thing, more or less. So you have to pick the one that at least helps to separate your brand from the rest of the pack.
What do you “do” best?
Picking just one functional benefit means you have to straddle the fence of picking one that is most important to your customers and has the broadest appeal, without being so broad that it sounds it could apply to any given brand.
I told you that brand positioning is hard stuff!
For example, when you look at over-the-counter pain relievers, it’s very hard to differentiate a product’s functional benefits. Relieving pain and reducing fever are claims and benefits that any brand in the category can tout. How could your brand be any different functionally?
Similarly, if you’re a lawyer trying to build brand positioning for your practice, how can you articulate the functional benefits of legal advice and regulatory counsel when your competitors all do the same things?
It’s nearly impossible.
But what you can do is to pick the one functional benefit that you do the best, that no one else can do better than you even if they can do it too. Your brand positioning won’t rest just on this functional claim, but it is a key ingredient in the entire story.
What do you “do” better than anyone else? What is it “that” people come to you for, before they consider anyone else?
Choose your best functional benefit wisely and you’ll be working toward a truly unique brand positioning for your business.