Led me to contribute a rather over-long comment about how we (MotiveQuest LLC) approach brand positioning questions for our clients today.
In the old days we had a product with rational and emotional benefits, and we made up a story and then pounded this story into people’s heads with $$$ (advertising). This worked pretty well until the fragmentation of mass media and the rise of the networked individual.
Today the way to approach this question is to first understand (using MotiveQuest of course – online anthropology) what people care about most. Then examine what they already believe to be true about your brand and your competitors. Finally, you figure out how to connect your brand to what people are passionate about in an authentic (consistent with what they already believe to be true) compelling (relevant to what they are passionate about) and helpful (helps them achieve their goals, not yours) way.
Everyone says that branding is more like politics today, but that is because it’s true. You should always connect to something passionate and true (it’s the economy stupid).