Brand positioning strategist, 2-time TEDX Speaker with over 3 million views, and founder of two 7-figure companies including LeapZone Strategies, Isabelle Mercier-Turcotte knows what sets successful brands apart from the rest; brand positioning. Experiencing crippling economic downturns as an entrepreneur has given her the skills to re-invent and re-elevate her brand to continually position it as the first, best, or only. Her ability to spot, position, and catapult talent forward has awarded her the nickname “the Simon Cowell of branding” (only much more fashionable and friendlier).
Mercier-Turcotte has finessed TEN vital brand positioning ingredients to situate your brand as the first, the best, or the only, and she has graciously shared three of these juicy elements with us today. Read below to hear Isabelle Mercier-Turcotte’s game-changing insight into:
- What is brand positioning?
- How to position a brand
- Brand positioning examples
- What is a brand promise?
- What is a brand mission?
- What is a brand X factor?
ISABELLE MERCIER-TURCOTTE ON HOW TO POSITION A BRAND
WHAT DOES BRANDING MEAN?
Let’s take a quick look.
Branding is NOT:
- A logo
- A website
- A product
- Defined by companies or markets
- What YOU say it is
- What people say about you when you are not in the room
- How people feel when they buy or experience your product or service
- Defined by people and emotions
- What THEY say it is. Perception is reality in branding
WHAT IS BRAND POSITIONING?
Whether you’re a solopreneur, small business owner, or head of a fortune 500 company, brand positioning is as important to the health of a business as a heartbeat is to the human body.
Critical to brand building, brand positioning is the place you want to win in your target audience’s mind. It’s about exploring, identifying and refining what makes your brand the best choice for your ideal clients, all the while getting them to say, “I would be a fool for doing business with anyone else but you, regardless of price.”
Having your customers say this takes more than talent, a good idea, or a good website.
Without strong brand positioning, the only option you have is to compete on price which is a guaranteed race to the bottom. Your brand absolutely must make life better for your customers and be positioned as the #1 choice in their eyes, or you will eventually be eliminated.
THREE KEY INGREDIENTS FOR SUCCESSFUL BRAND POSITIONING
BRAND POSITIONING INGREDIENT #1: YOUR INTERNAL MISSION
Far from a lengthy mission statement that lives in a dusty place on the website, your brand’s internal mission is a couple of words that encapsulate how you want to leave people (your customers, your team members, your suppliers) feeling. People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it. They buy a feeling and a sense of belonging.
Once you have determined this feeling and align everyone in your business in delivering on it, magic happens.
For example, there’s an insurance company in the UK that does a fantastic job of positioning their brand with their mission. In an industry notorious for receiving skeptical backlash, this company set an internal mission to leave their clients feeling “wowed and delighted.” How did they deliver on this? By sending customers on vacation while they managed the insurance disaster.
Here at LeapZone Strategies, our mission is to leave our team and clients feeling on fire and unstoppable.
BRAND POSITIONING INGREDIENT #2: YOUR PROMISE
What do you delivery without fail, rain or shine? What makes your brand the best? What bridges your genius and the needs & desires of your ideal clients?
Measuring your accountability as a brand, your brand promise solves top-of-mind problems for your ideal clients. This, then, is what allows you to charge a premium for what you do. Trust me—money loves clarity and focus.
You want this promise to make your customers say: “where have you been all my life?!”
Let’s look at a brand promise example. After seeing their security system competitors offer 1 hour plus response times, Provident Security made a robust decision to promise their customers a 5-minute response time. It wasn’t easy—they had to invent technology to deliver on this promise—but because they positioned themselves as the first and only in this category, they are now the fastest growing security company in North America.
BRAND POSITIONING INGREDIENT #3: YOUR X-FACTOR
What separates you from the pack? Why do people choose you instead of anyone else, regardless of price?
Very few brands know what makes them truly stand out or, even worse, how to communicate their uniqueness in a way that resonates and influences. When you can’t communicate your X Factor properly, you lose confidence in your products, services, client acquisition skills and your ability make sales. You then waste potent opportunities for growth and leave money on the table.
For example, Novex is the only delivery company in Vancouver/Lower Mainland that is carbon neutral and B-Corp Certified. They have more hybrids than any other same-day courier company, meaning their emissions are 180 tonnes lower every year than their competitors. Originally, their tagline read: “Changing the Way We Deliver.” In the eyes of their ideal clients, this didn’t effectively communicate their X Factor. Begging how, why, and what questions, it failed to clearly set them apart from their competitors. LeapZone Strategies helped them better communicate their X Factor by changing the tagline to: “Safest, greenest, kindest, same-day courier driver” to clearly position them as the first, best, and only.
Claim your spot, scream it everywhere, and communicate clearly.
Innovations don’t come from great ideas, they come from fixing problems or dismantling the status quo.