Find Your Brand's Proof Points

Identify the very unique attributes of a product or service that make it special. Then solidify the positioning.

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By Jim Joseph

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What makes your company unique? What makes your brand so special that it stands apart from the others?

In discussing brand positioning (a topic of our ongoing series), flesh out a product's or service's attributes -- the features or functions that make it all work.

Some marketers call this the unique selling proposition or USP. Other brand gurus refer to it as the reason to believe or RTB. I call it the "because." This is the proof needed to substantiate the claims made for a brand.

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What are the one, two or three proof points that allow the brand to function? Make these proof points as unique and differentiated from the competition's as possible.

For example, perhaps you have a claim that no one else can make such as the fact that your product helps lower cholesterol 10 percent. Maybe your product's brand has be the subject of more clinical studies or has been on the market longer than any other.

A proof point can also relate to a unique ingredient or methodology like "¼ moisturizing cream" from Dove.

Some brands even trademark a proprietary process or claim like No More Tears® sold by Johnson's Baby Products.

Whatever it is you want to hang your brand hat on be sure you own it.

Related: The 8 Must-Follow Rules for Rebranding Your Company (Infographic)

In any given category, products tend to have very similar functional features and benefits, making it very hard to position and differentiate them on facts alone. This is why an effective positioning statement appeals to the emotional side as well.

Be creative. That's what the entire positioning exercise is about.

Don't just say your product is made from all natural ingredients, for example. That's not going to help you position and differentiate the brand. Explain the process by which you search and curate the product's natural ingredients and how you've uniquely blended them together. Now you're on your way to setting your brand apart from all the other natural product brands in its category.

It's not enough to say you have studies to prove your claims. Elaborate on how the studies were uniquely conducted to shed light on the product's proprietary formula so that it works more effectively.

Stay factual and accurate to what's true and ethical. But at the same time highlight the features that make your product unique and that only you can claim.

Use these factual statements as proof points for the brand positioning statement that you are creating. They will become the very special "because" that makes your brand so unique.

Related: The 'i' Goes Silent: Why Apple Didn't Name Its Smartwatch 'iWatch'

Jim Joseph

Marketing Master - Author - Blogger - Dad

Jim Joseph is a commentator on the marketing industry. He is Global President of the marketing communications agency BCW, author of The Experience Effect series and an adjunct instructor at New York University.

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