We have been sharing some learning from Procter & Gamble based on my 23 years building brands and businesses with them. The most recent articles have focused on brands, branding and product positioning. This article provides an outline of how P&G creates their positioning strategies for their brands. You may also know this as the Copy Strategy or the Advertising Strategy or the Branding Strategy, in addition to the Positioning Strategy. This is important since in many cases the support of the brand goes beyond just the advertising.
A Brand Positioning Strategy identifies the basis upon which we expect our brand to be purchased in preference to competition. The content emerges directly from the product or service and the basic consumer need that it is intended to fill. It should state clearly the basic benefit which the brand promises and which constitutes the principal basis for purchase. It should also include a statement of the product characteristics that make this benefit possible and the tone or character that is desired to be built for the brand.
This will provide direction for the basic message of the brand which should remain consistent across all communication vehicles, although the execution of the message may change. It is inherently competitive since it is the basis for preference vs. competition.
Developing the Strategy through use of the Creative Work Plan
Start at the top and work down through the rest of the elements.
1 Key Fact
A single piece of known information relating to the brand which is agreed to be the leading factor influencing or describing the brand performance. It may be information about the brand itself, the competition, the customer, innovation etc. but it must be a single fact.
2 Problem the advertising must solve
This is a consumer problem. It describes the awareness, perception or behavior of the prospective user which has resulted in the Key Fact and which we wish to change.
3 Advertising Objective
Usually, simply the counterpart to the problem, although there are a great many distinct options. Eg “Persuade consumers to try my brand” Or “use more of my brand.” Or “use my brand in a different way.” Persuade them that my brand is a viable alternative to brand x”.
a) Prospect Definition
Both demographics and psychographics.
b) Principal Competition.
Not just a list of competitors but a description of the segment from which we wish to obtain business
The single most persuasive agreement one can advance for the brand framed with the customer and the competition in mind.
d) Reason Why
The strongest piece of support for the promise. Occasionally there may be more than one piece of support but never a list
The tone that messages should convey to provide personality to the message and bring it alive. This is not executional.
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. That is what makes the tool so effective.
If you would like to have the benefits of this simple tool support your brand or your business and contact us. We would be happy to assist you.