There was a TV show named “The Dating Game” where a bachelorette would ask questions to three bachelors, hidden from her view, and then choose one to go out for a date at the end of the show. Each male contestant would try to stand out from the others by showing swagger, being witty, and sometimes have put-downs of their rivals. “Bachelor No. 2 – How would you describe a romantic night out with me?” “Well, Bachelorette, I would pick you up in my Ferrari, then we fly to Paris in my personal jet for dinner, and finally to my home to play Xbox (my mother makes a delicious cup of hot chocolate).”
Life is “The Dating Game” whether you are dating, working, or selling...
Why should I buy from you? Why should I hire you? What separates you from the crowd? These questions apply to you as an individual and to your company, products or services. This is the premise of branding.
You start to define your brand by creating a positioning statement. This is a short synopsis of who you are and what makes you special - the proverbial "2 minute elevator pitch". It helps others match you with what they need, see value in what you offer, and clarifies your niche and articulates how you want to be perceived throughout your community. It strengthens your identity by helping you see yourself through the eyes of your “customer” and highlighting that "one thing" (or "big things") that sets you apart.
Take your time to think about and internalize these Starter Questions:
1. Who are you? What do you do?
This should come from your mission statement. (All individuals should have personal mission statements regardless of whether they are doing personal branding or not.)
2. What are the specific needs or problems of the market that you serve? How do you satisfy those needs or solve those problems?
Think of three specific and unique ways you can address these needs or problems.
3. Who are your preferred customers? What is your value to these customers?
Identity who you trying to sell to. You cannot be all things to all people so think about which customers you wish to target and why they would choose you. Think about what the customer cares about and what your compelling value propositions are. (Determine your single most compelling value proposition, the top three, and no more than a total of five to maintain focus.)
4. Who are your competitors? What unique benefits set you apart from the competition so that the customer chooses you?
Each product or service has a different set of competitors so carefully identify them and determine what differentiates you enough so that the customer selects you. Define the criteria that customers use when making purchase decisions. Remember all benefits and values are compared relative to the competition.
After answering the above starter questions, you can construct the positioning statement in several ways but I like these two slightly different templates. Template 2 is a modified version of a template from personal branding expert and author, Karen Kang. I got to meet her (fabulous person) and highly recommend her book, "BrandingPays".
Remember that you may have different positioning statements for different products and situations. Be the contestant that stands out and wins in your daily version of "The Dating Game"!
A file with both templates can be downloaded here.
Frank Lio is a Product Manager, Strategist, and Change Agent in the Hi-Tech industry. His growing track record of successes include creating 3 winning software products, leading nationwide seminars, and turning around a failing business unit. He is currently serving a dual role as Product Manager and Business Team Support Manager at Instron ITW.
Happy to Share!
Want to use my content & images on your website?
I am happy to share but I’d appreciate a credit and a link back to this site. Thanks!