Brand Positioning is the Heart of a Specific, Targeted Business Plan for Insurance Agencies.
If you missed our first article on common sense marketing for insurance agencies, you can check it out here (Insurance Agency Branding), otherwise keep reading. 😉
What is the scariest comment a potential customer can make about your insurance agency?
“I’m not sure what they do.”
“I’ve never heard of them.”
“I’ve never heard of them, but someone told me (insert incorrect perception here).”
Here’s the question of the day: Would you rather be in control of how the market sees you or just let things happen and hope for the best?
It’s not a trick question, and we will explore in this article exactly how you can avoid the obvious wrong answer.
What is a Brand Positioning Versus a Brand Position?
Your brand position consists of three critical things.
- How the market perceives your insurance business today.
- What they know about you from personal experience.
- What they think they know about you based on what they’ve learned from other sources.
In short, what they know about you is what THEY have figured out.
Think of your brand position as playing defense.
Your brand positioning is YOU taking the reins by defining who you are, who you serve and why customers should buy from you.
In short, what they know about you is, in part, driven by what YOU have consistently told them.
Think of your brand positioning as playing offense.
Apple and Many Others Have a Firm Grip on Their Offense.
A brand positioning is Apple telling us its business is innovation, not just selling electronics.
Not long ago we read a story about how involved Apple is in the driverless automobile business. Had Apple positioned itself as a phone company that might not ever have happened.
It’s Starbucks telling us its business is building community, not just selling coffee. Like Panera, Starbucks didn’t just happen upon this path… it knew in the beginning it wanted to create a unique experience for the customer that included coffee. Starbucks is expanding its community concept to liquor.
A brand positioning is your best chance to influence how your brand is perceived in a crowded, competitive insurance market.
Playing offense is your best chance to create competitive advantage.
Why Do I Need a Brand Positioning Statement?
An old, pre-Internet saying still holds true today: If it’s not written down, it doesn’t exist.
That saying applies to a lot of things, but it is critical when it comes to business planning and strategy, of which brand positioning is a core element.
A brand positioning is most often presented as a descriptive statement. Its role in a business is to capture what that business decides is unique about its offering and/or products and services, and how those unique capabilities benefit customers. It is core to your company’s strategic focus and how your priorities are executed.
Think of a brand positioning statement as that voice in your GPS system that politely tells you when you’ve veered off course. Its role is to keep your business focused on its priorities.
Panera Bread Puts its Brand Positioning Out for Everyone to See.
Panera Bread is a fast-growing chain of stores that has redefined fast food. In the mid-1990s ownership identified a growing niche of people who wanted something more than processed fast food. According to Panera, they wanted “real food” served in an engaging environment by people with self-respect. Panera created a new niche that would come to be called “fast casual”.
Below is a sign that is in every Panera store. It is the company’s promise to its customers. After reading this there is little doubt where the company puts its priorities, and that includes making its customers a key part of the Panera experience.
A Brand Positioning Statement is the Heart of Your Business Strategy.
A brand positioning statement does much more than just communicate. It’s the heart of your business strategy. It is what you have decided is most important to you.
Odds are Steve Jobs spit up on thousands of good ideas that might have been great for other companies, but they weren’t right for Apple. They didn’t fit where Apple was going.
What are the Elements of a Brand Positioning Statement?
Redbird Advisors uses a seemingly simple six-question process to help insurance agencies develop a brand positioning statement:
- What business are you in?
- Who do you serve?
- What are their special needs?
- Who are your competitors?
- What makes you different?
- What unique benefit do customers get from you?
Done correctly, the answers to these six questions form two simple sentences that will become judge and jury for your insurance business.
In subsequent articles we will dive into each of these six questions to help you create your own brand positioning.
Feel free to give me a shout or shoot me an email. Would love to chat about this… it’s something we are passionate about.