Content Strategy Part 1: What is brand positioning? (With examples!)

Have you ever run into a brand whose content is so aligned with their values (*cough* Patagonia) that every part of the experience reminds you what they’re all about?

This is the power of creating value-aligned content through great brand positioning. In this three-part series, we’ll walk you through how to position yourself and create content from a solid foundation that will make your (or your client’s!) brand stand out. Don’t forget to check out Part Two: Branding is More Than Just a Logo and Part Three: Creating Content That Sparks!

Now, imagine an iceberg when you first start out on the brand positioning journey.

Your audience may only see a small portion of your brand, but everything below the surface keeps your content afloat. 

Brand Positioning Basics

You can have the best product or service in the world, but if you’re not reaching the people you’re aiming to help, it doesn’t matter. That’s where brand positioning comes in. You want to anchor yourself in the market and show your ideal customer why they should choose to buy from you over anyone else.

It all starts with your audience. That core group of people who not only love what you’re laying down, but are telling all their friends about your brand. 

The same holds true for when you’re doing client work. Think about their brand positioning and their specific audience before making any decisions on design, media placement, copy, etc.

Creating A Customer Persona

So, who exactly is your target audience? Whether you’re sure or not, it’s a useful exercise to create a customer persona (aka avatar).

This persona is a super detailed representation of certain segments within your target audience. (It’s best to start out with one hero persona and branch out as you expand your offerings.)

Think about both demographics—quantifiable parts of your customer, like location and ethnicity—as well as psychographics—the fluffier parts of what makes humans buy, like tastes and opinions. 

Depending on your product or service, the demographics or psychographics might be more relevant. 

For example, if you make clothes for tween girls, demographics like age, gender, and income are super important. 

If you sell coaching packages to help creatives get unstuck, the psychographics of their goals and personality transcend any physical characteristics.

When you create a persona, it’s all about putting a name and a face to your ideal customer so that it’s easier to keep that singular person at the center of all your decisions. Thinking as your personas avoids the pitfall of designing or marketing for your own personal biases.

Brand positioning example of customer persona activity. Presentation slide of the customer persona, "Bonnie Sanchez" The Volunteer.

This process is not about stereotyping, but about creating an imaginary representation of your living, breathing core audience.

Framing a Mission Statement

Once you know who you’re trying to serve, decide how you want to serve them. Enter: your mission statement (aka elevator pitch).

What inspires you to show up daily? The answer should be your mission. 

Your mission statement can be as simple as “I help [TARGET AUDIENCE] do [RESULT].” Or you can dive deeper and think about the specific problem you address and what sets you apart from competitors.

Regardless, you can’t convince others of something you’re not clear about yourself, so defining your mission makes everything easier. 

About the authors:

Ashlee Sang

Content Strategist & Copywriter

Ashlee Sang shares messages that matter with purpose-driven brands. Ashlee works with conscious companies to increase their impact through brand messaging strategy and copywriting. Founders come to Ashlee Sang Consulting LLC to organize their thoughts and ideas so that the words they use and the actions they take are aligned to make progress toward their company’s mission, vision, and values.

Emma Parker

Freelance Video Creator

Emma Parker of Chickadee Films is a freelance video creator that works with purpose-driven brands to holistically develop their videos and motion graphics from concept to color grade. She is also the lady behind the courses How to Look Better on Video (free) and Video Creation for Small Businesses: Create With Your Phone (paid).