Effective advertising doesn’t simply boil down to writing funny taglines or making an eye-catching billboard. The foundation of a campaign is robust positioning communicated through clear, consumer-minded messaging.
A business positions itself in relation to its competitors by finding the niche in a market where it best fits. This process includes identifying the target market and how best to reach them. To accomplish this, a business must have a solid understanding of the competitive advantages that differentiate its brand from others in the market.
From there, the art of messaging is figuring out how to best communicate the positioning to consumers. Effective messaging will find a way to connect with the target audience and convey a benefit. If done well, the consumer will perceive common ground with the brand and will identify the brand as something that can fix a problem or fulfill a need.
Positioning and messaging are constantly changing. As the market evolves and competitors improve, a brand must adapt so that its positioning and messaging remain relevant and cohesive.
According to AdWeek’s Mike Mikho, as social media grows, there is an emerging trend where brands create entertaining social content that attracts followers, but indiscriminately strays from the brand’s positioning. This strategy does little to advance a brand because “there’s nothing relevant for the consumer to latch on to,” says Mikho. Instead, social media content is more effective if it is consistently an expression of the brand’s positioning.
Screamer Co. had the opportunity to develop the positioning for Dell Children’s Hospital. At the time, Dell Children’s was the only hospital in Central Texas devoted completely to children. This unique factor, wherein every inch of the hospital was tailored to children, was what Screamer Co. used to competitively position Dell Children’s. From there, Screamer Co. developed “We know how to treat kids” as the positioning line, demonstrating both the medical expertise necessary to treat children, as well as the bedside demeanor to reduce the fear of the healthcare environment. Dell Children’s understands that comforts like teddy bears are just as important as state-of-the-art technology when it comes to caring for young patients.
Whether for a hospital like Dell Children’s or a company like yours, positioning and messaging are the tools that enable a brand to carve out a niche in the market.