THE BRAND POSITION
With an identity in place and a value proposition specified implementation. begins. Communication objectives need to be established, and execution planned and implemented. The place to start is with a brand position statement-the cornerstone of the communications program. A brand position is defined as follows:
Brand position is the part of the brand identity and value proposition that is to be actively communicated to the target audience and that demonstrates an advantage over competing brands.
The four salient characteristics of a brand position as reflected by the phrases “part,” ‘target audience,” “actively communicated,” and demonstrates advantage.”
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A PART OF THE IDENTITY/VALUE PROPOSITION
When a brand position exists, the brand identity and value proposition can be developed fully, with texture and depth. They do not have to be concise statements of what is to be communicated, because tie brand position takes on that role. For some brands, the brand identity and value proposition do combine, into a compact statement that can serve (perhaps with minor adjustments as the brand position. In most oases, however, the former are significantly broader than the latter.
To illustrate, elements that are extremely important to the identity may not play a role in the active communication strategy. For McDonald’s, cleanliness is certainly one of the important parts of the culture and identity It would be unlikely to be a part of the brand position, however, because it would not differentiate McDonald’s from its major competitors.
Brand position can he changed without changing the identity or value proposition of which it is a subset. Saturn, for example, positioned itself during the first year as a world-class car. In subsequent years the position focused on a different subset of the brand identity: the customer relationship based on friendship and respect. The identity or value proposition did not change-just the focus of die position, and thus the communications program.
But how does one choose which elements of the identity to include in the brand position? Three places to look are at the core identity at points of 1everage within the identity structure, and at the value proposition.
Look o the Core Identity
Tie core identity by definition represents the central, timeless essence of the brand. Thus the most unique and valuable aspects of the brand are often represented in the core identity Further, there should be a cluster of brand elements surrounding each core identity component that (in addition to giving it richness and texture) opens up multiple execution alternatives. Finally, the brand position often should include the core identity just so communication elements do not stray from the brand’s essence.
Identify Points of Leverage
A brand position can be hosed on a point of leverage that is not necessarily iii the core identity The Ronald McDonald character can, for example, provide a point of leverage for McDonald’s. He is central to the focus on fun and kids, and he is also the basis for Ronald McDonald House, which provides an interesting message that engenders respect and...
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