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Managing Brand YOU: Seven Steps to Creating Your Most Successful Self by Ira Blumenthal, Jerry S. Wilson

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CHAPTER 4
I CAN GET THERE FROM HERE!
STEP FOUR: POSITION YOUR NEW BRAND YOU
“Trust yourself. You know more than you think you do.
—BENJAMIN SPOCK, 1946
WHAT IS BRAND POSITIONING? How do companies suc-
cessfully position brands with consumers? And—what’s important
here—how can you position your new Brand YOU? Brand posi-
tioning could very well be a topic for an entire book itself.
Consumer goods companies like General Mills, Hanes, and Kraft
General Foods give tremendous time and resources to this aspect of
marketing. By the time a company gets to the pinpoint work of po-
sitioning its brand, much has already been done. The work of brand
positioning always begins and ends with the consumer. What do the
prospective consumers (end users) expect? And are there any unmet
needs in the minds of these customers? To answer these questions,
companies conduct exhaustive consumer segmentation analyses.
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Managing Brand YOU
This type of analysis splits buyers into groups by their ethnic-
ity, user habits, geography, socioeconomic level, per capita spend-
ing patterns, and so on. Words like demographics, psychographics,
and sociographics are bantered about in marketing discussions be-
cause positioning is more science than art today. The effort is
made to identify a precise group of customers that the brand will
“go after” or “target,” and then to map the programs that will
reach these targets. These people become known to the mar-
keters as the target consumers.
AN OVERVIEW OF THE
POSITIONING PROCESS
The insights gained and decisions made as a result of these analy-
ses begin the positioning work, which starts with a vivid descrip-
tion of the brand objectives and strategies. Carrying out these
strategies constitutes the marketplace execution, which is then fol-
lowed by constant monitoring and adjustments based on what is
learned from consumer buying habits. In fact, the brand’s posi-
tioning could very well be changed many times until the exact
right—successful—program is in place. Think of it as a wheel that
keeps revolving until the right position is found; this is the strat-
egy that comprises the 7 Steps to Creating Your Most Successful
Self, as shown in Figure 4.1.
Just as a corporate brand is a collection of perceptions in the
mind of consumers, your personal brand relies on a similar collec-
tion of perceptions. “What do they think, what do they believe
about me?” Great brands understand the end user very well and
provide a unique benefit that meets or exceeds their needs. So,
110
I Can Get There from Here!
companies try to “position” their brands within a specific area in
the minds of consumers. Brand positioning is a mixture of art and
science that results in a competitive advantage when compared
with other options.
It is important to recognize that brand positioning happens
whether companies choose to be proactive or not. In other
111
2. Consumer
Segmentation
Great
Positioning
Creates
Brand
Insistence
3. Target
Consumers
4. Competitive
Analysis and
Reality
SWOT
5. Brand
Positioning
Statement
6. Objectives,
Strategies
7. Marketplace
Execution
8. Monitor and
Adjust based
on Consumer
Learning
1. Consumer
Insights
Figure 4.1. The cycle of brand positioning.
Managing Brand YOU
words, if a company pays no real attention to the space its
brands occupy, then it will have abdicated the positioning job
and relegated its space in the marketplace to chance (or the con-
sumer) and possibly worse, to its competitors. In summary, po-
sitioning results in a credible and unique image of the product
in the minds of customers. It communicates a promise that is de-
livered through actual experience. So, doesn’t it make sense to use
this same technique to establish a new personal brand identity
that will capture and captivate its target as well?
Brands that follow this process are committed to occupying a
unique, differentiated position, or space, in the marketplace. Those
targeted spaces are a result of fact-based decisions and pragmatic
approach, similar to the way you must define the space you want
your personal brand to occupy. If you are successful, you will be a
well-positioned brand in the eyes of your target audience, and you
will command higher price points and enjoy “brand insistence.”
Yes, you, too, can achieve higher levels of recognition, responsi-
bility, and respect by building a well-positioned Brand YOU. Suc-
cessful brands establish an emotional bond with the consumer that
is stronger than merely the practical, that offers more than the on-
the-surface benefits. Successful brands touch people’s emotions
and tap into their deepest values. Likewise, your personal brand can
establish emotional bonds that will serve you well into the future.
Successful brands establish an emotional bond
that is stronger than merely the practical.
Successful brands touch people’s emotions
and tap into their deepest values.
112

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