In my last post I discussed the positioning statement, which describes how you want your market to think about your product or service. Typically, each product or service has one positioning statement, which can spawn multiple messages.
Those messages should include at least one of the following elements:
- A key differentiating feature (e.g., online collaboration)
- The benefit of that feature (e.g., faster, more efficient communication)
- A description of how you solve a problem (the “pain”) or enhance life (the “gain”).
Your messages should only express positive attributes, and should be designed to build on the positioning statement, get the attention of the people you’re trying to reach, and tell them why they need (or want) your product or service.
Take the fictional company, GrowFast, GrowTall, which has developed an orange tree that can be grown indoors. Apartment dwellers are a major target market. Here is the proposed positioning statement:
GrowFast, GrowTall’s orange tree lets apartment dwellers enjoy the satisfaction of growing their own oranges indoors. Our orange trees can be grown inside because they require little sunlight, grow to only about five feet tall, and thrive in containers, both clay and plastic.
Possible messages that build on that statement include:
- GrowFast, GrowTall’s orange tree brings the joy of indoor gardening to apartment dwellers.
- With GrowFast, GrowTall’s orange tree, apartment dwellers can cost-effectively get the health benefits of fresh oranges.
- GrowFast, GrowTall enables apartment dwellers to get the taste and convenience of fresh oranges grown in their own homes.
Test your draft messages out on people inside and outside your company. You’ll probably refine or clarify some elements.
It’s definitely worthwhile to invest the time and energy into developing a good positioning statement and messages, because they guide all communication, marketing and publicity.