A Website Realignment: Day 12: Branding Berchman

The next step in branding Berchman.com is to develop a positioning statement.

From the brandeo website:

“Also referred to as a brand strategypositioning strategy, or brand positioning statement, a positioning statement is a succinct description of the core target audience to whom a brand is directed, and a compelling picture of how the marketer wants them to view the brand.”

I would adjust this for my purposes because I am developing a personal brand statement, not a corporate brand statement:

A positioning statement is a succinct description of the core audience to whom a your personal brand is directed, and a compelling picture of how you want them to view your brand.

What are the elements?

The brandeo website goes on to say that there are 4 elements to the brand statement:

  1. Target Audience – the attitudinal and demographic description of the core prospect to whom the brand is intended to appeal; the group of customers that most closely represents the brand’s most fervent users.
  2. Frame of Reference – the category in which the brand competes; the context that gives the brand relevance to the customer.
  3. Benefit/Point of Difference – the most compelling and motivating benefit that the brand can own in the hearts and minds of its target audience relative to the competition.
  4. Reason to Believe – the most convincing proof that the brand delivers what it promises.

Then we get to a  Standard Template for a Positioning Statement:

For (target audience)(brand name) is the (frame of reference) that delivers (benefit/point of difference) because only (brand name) is reason to believe).

There is no way that this canned, dry approach is going to work for me. It feels way too formulaic. I am not selling OxiClean or Shamwows.

So how else can I approach this?

I looked for other approaches to get this mental process going. One I came across was from Ralph Caplan and to me speaks more the the development of personal branding:

  1. Who are you?
    Are you a manufacturer? A service provider? A retailer?
  2. What do you do?
    Do you make cars? Do you fix cars? Do you sell cars?
  3. Why does it matter?
    Are you the best? Are you the fastest? Are you the cheapest?

These questions help get to the core of the issue for this personal branding exercise. They frame the question(s) at a person not an inanimate object. Who are you? What do you do? Why does it matter? Pretty simple. The key is that this is personal branding not just branding and that brings something else into play that my friend Thomson Dawson put perfectly as a comment on my previous post. He said,

Brands make promises. When the promises are kept, the value of the brand grows. The key to “branding” (defined as the act of building equity into your value proposition) is to separate your value proposition from the slush pile. The key to separating your value proposition from the slush pile is to engage in what matters to you (authenticity is more powerful than originality) and have what matters to you matter (serve) to others.

This comment stood out because of his mention of authenticity. This is very important to me as it’s something that I both appreciate and put out in the world. So lets answer those questions:

  1. Who am I?
    I am Berchman. I am a service provider. I am a WordPress expert, certified Thesis designer, and consultant. I am creative, intelligent, kind
  2. What do I do?
    I design and program websites. I offer advice on best-practices for communicating using the Internet. I read about and research new technology as it pertains to what I do.
  3. Why does it matter?
    My experience, skills, and expertise with the Internet are valuable to me and other people.

Here it is.

From answering the questions above honestly I can draft a first try at a personal brand positioning statement.

Berchman provides intelligent WordPress programming and creative Thesis design to make websites that are smartly engineered, simple to navigate, and easy to maintain.

If I were to frame this in the ‘classic’ model presented above it might read like this:

For WordPress and Thesis solutions, Berchman is the creative and intelligent expert that delivers smartly engineered, simple to navigate, and easy to maintain websites.

Conclusion.

This is not a bad start. The key to this is I am making the statement, being honest and authentic, and I getting it out there. I have gone through this process once before and I stewed over the statement for over a month before releasing it to the public. I learned a lesson from that experience and now publish.

Some good resources I found when researching this:

Next up: Visual identity of the brand.

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Do you need a WordPress consultant? Someone with experience?

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If you need help with a specific WordPress issue, I offer consultation, complete web design, and web development services.

Get in touch and we can talk about your needs and start the process.