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The anatomy of your brand position statement

Clear articulation of what your brand stands for and how this translates for your customers is an essential management tool. It informs many business decisions ranging from the colour of your logo to the materials that your products are made from.

As you grow, this will help team members to easily understand the constituent parts of your brand and will become a way to ensure that your brand comes to life across all areas of the business. To really ensure that your brand is authentic and powerful, your brand values must become a constituent part of your company culture.

The anatomy of a brand is pretty similar to the anatomy of a personality – it’s based on a set of beliefs and values that directly affect how you behave, how you present yourself and your aspirations in life.

The three legs of a brand anatomy

The three ‘legs’ of brand anatomy are:

1. Brand positioning statement

The brand positioning statement is a description of the function and practice of the business. It has three ingredients:

  • Brand vision - the strategic goal, or big idea, for both the business and the customer. For example, Amazon: “Our vision is to be earth’s most customer centric company; to build a place where people can come to find and discover anything they might want to buy online.”

  • Market positioning - a statement of the brand’s positioning in its market, and who it is aimed at - eg economy/luxury/mass/niche/family/teens/professionals. For example, Amazon: “A mass market, multi category brand offering a vast range of products that are always competitively priced for their marketplace and sold in volume”.

  • Brand proposition - what the brand actually does, its functional proposition and story. For example, Amazon: “The world’s biggest online marketplace selling millions of products to millions of people; 24/7 access, superior search and browse technology, user reviews and many other sources of in-depth product information, Amazon.com offers a superior purchase experience.”

The brand positioning statement brings together these ingredients to produce a statement that concisely articulates your brand. We use Amazon as its example – use it to help you to write your own brand statement.


For (target customer) customers the world over

Amazon is the (product type) online marketplace

That (benefit) helps you to find everything you need at a price you can afford

We can do this because (reason to believe) we have 24/7 access, superior search and browse technology, user reviews and many other sources of in-depth product information


2. Brand values

The values of a brand determine its direction, behaviours and communications, and ultimately the customer’s experience of and relationship with your brand. Values are described in two ways:

  • Brand values - the values set on which the brand is based. For example, Amazon: Simplicity, Value, Convenience, Helpfulness.

  • Brand meaning - the customer interpretation of the values. For example, Amazon: easy to find what I want, affordable for me, quick, friendly and personal, it makes my life easier.

Written as a sentence, and using Amazon as the example:

We believe that by enabling our customers to quickly find exactly what they need at a price they can afford, Amazon will be liked and trusted, and an indispensable part of everyone’s daily life.

3. Brand personality

Brand personality is important to define and understand as this will inform all customer communications. It provides clearcut guidelines for design and is an essential part of any design or communications brief. It helps to ensure that even when different people are working on different projects, the output is consistent with your brand. The brand personality in an expression of the brand values and determines the style and tone of brand experience.

  • Brand logo and identity - Design of your logo, and overall design style of your brand environment (website, shop, catalogue, etc) must be consistent with brand values and styled to appeal to your customer tribe. For example, if one of your values is ‘energy’ you might use bright colours as part of your brand colour palette.

  • Brand voice - Defining your brand’s tone of voice will help to ensure that copywriting is always in a consistent style that is congruent with brand values. For example, for a brand that has ‘community’ as a core value, the copywriting style might be very friendly and inclusive and in first person voice. For a brand that has ‘exclusivity’ as a core value the style might be more formal and in a third person voice.

  • Brand character - This is an overall description of the way the brand behaves, its defining characteristics for customers. It is an expression of the brand’s values and a way to define the overall approach to everything that you do.

The same values can be expressed in many different ways. For example, a value of ‘economy’ could be expressed in a humorous way, or it could be approached in a very direct ‘no-nonsense’ way. In both instances the value is ‘economy’ but the experience for the customer – and hence their relationship with the brand - is very different.

Written as a sentence, and using Amazon as the example:

Amazon is (personality) a no-nonsense bundle of energy that wastes no time in getting to the point. It’s immensely knowledgeable and comes up with answers fast. It’s helpful and personal, but always retains an efficient, polite and professional persona, and can be depended upon to do what it says it will do.

Developing your brand statement can be challenging because it is a subjective and emotive exercise. To help make the process more objective, always refer back to you customer tribe – the answers will be found by considering what will be most compelling to them. It is their response to the brand that matters – not yours. Continuous reference to your brand values will also provide helpful direction and guidelines along your business journey.

A clearly articulated brand statement will help to ensure that your business remains focused and consistent as it grows, ensuring you never lose sight of your customer and your long term goals and direction. Use it to inform decision making on a daily basis. Here’s the Amazon example in full:

Brand Positioning Statement for Amazon:

For customers the world over Amazon is the online marketplace that helps you to find everything you need at a price you can afford. We can do this because we have 24/7 access, superior search and browse technology, user reviews and many other sources of in-depth product information.

We believe that by enabling our customers to quickly find exactly what they need at a price they can afford, Amazon will be liked and trusted, and an indispensable part of everyone’s daily life.

Amazon is a no-nonsense bundle of energy that wastes no time in getting to the point. It’s immensely knowledgeable and comes up with answers fast. It’s helpful and personal, but always retains an efficient, polite and professional persona, and can be depended upon to do what it says it will do.

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