There is signal and there is noise.
A signal is clear. Noise isn't.
As a brand, you want to send a clear signal.
What Brands Can Learn from Radio Stations
How does radio work?
You turn on the radio and search for a channel.
The channel is somewhere between 87.5 and 108.0 MHz.
When you are looking for a channel that you like there are 2 things at play:
- Signal: What type of radio station is it? Do they play classic or rock? Are they discussing politics or can you call in?
- Position: What is the radio station's frequency? Where is it relative to other stations (92.3 vs. 101.5)?
Brands work in similar ways:
- Brand Promise: What is the brand about?
- Positioning: What is the brand's position relative to other brands?
Positioning: Difference from the Perspective of the Customer
Always remember: A brand is the most valuable piece of real estate in the world; a corner of someone's mind. - Sir John Hagarty
You can strategize, plan, execute as much as you want.
At the end of the day it counts what the customer thinks.
- Do they remember your brand?
- How do they think about your brand?
Bottomline: Positioning Is About Differentiation
Here are some associations that stem from clear positioning:
- Values: Patagonia - "Save the Planet"
- Limitation: Clubhouse - "Audio-only social network"
- Contrast: SpaceX - "Spacefaring civilization vs. Earth-bound civilization"
- Category Creation: Tesla - "Electric cars at scale"
- Personality: Oprah - "You get a car. And you get a car."
Make it easy for the customer: Clear signal + clear position.
This post is an excerpt from my online course Fundamentals of Brand Strategy where you learn how to build successful brands.
The self-paced online course contains 5 hours of video material and teaches you how to use the Brand Pyramid.Learn the Fundamentals of Brand Strategy 🧰
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- A Complete Guide to Brand Positioning (HubSpot)
- Signal-to-noise ratio (Wikipedia)
- Competition is for Losers (Peter Thiel // Stanford University)
- The Process of Building a Personal Monopoly (David Perell)
- 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing (Al Ries; Jack Trout)
Short Excerpts from the Course
These posts are short snippets of the course curriculum 👇
- A Pragmatic Look at Branding: What Is a Brand?
- Touchpoints and Brand Strategy: How do We Build Associations?
- Positioning and Differentiation: How to Stand Out as a Brand?
- Brand Vision: What Is the World That Could Be?
- Brand Purpose: Why Bother?
- Brand Promise: How to Communicate in One Statement?
- Mission Statement: How Do You Do It?
- Brand Attributes: How Does the Brand Present Itself?
- Frame of Reference: Where Is the Brand Placed?
- Target Customer: Who Is Your Audience?
- Customer Need: What Is Their Real Job-to-be-Done?
- Value Proposition: What Are You Offering?
- Reasons-to-Believe: What Are Your Proof Points?