Flying back from Arizona this week, I was drawn to the cover of this month’s Delta’s SKY Magazine featuring Taylor Swift:

“TAYLOR SWIFT: BUILDING A BRAND AS THE SWEETEST GIRL IN THE WHOLE WIDE WORLD”

I could say it’s actually a pretty good brand positioning for her because it’s certainly something she can own (it’s credible). I can ask my 6 and 9 year old nieces and they would agree. However, on a more thoughtful note, I do have one problem about the positioning of her brand.

So, while her brand positioning is certainly credible, I would argue that being the “sweetest girl in the whole wide world” has NOTHING to do with what’s important to her target audiences. And, I would question whether or not she actually is the “sweetest.” There’s at least half a dozen young ladies who can also own that brand positioning — so, in other words, it’s not the most differentiating brand positioning. Then, what about when she gets older (when she’s no longer a young girl) — does she have to change her brand?

AS AN ENTREPRENEUR, PARTICULARLY IF YOU ARE THE PUBLIC IMAGE OF YOUR BRAND, THERE ARE THREE THINGS TO ASK YOURSELF WHEN CREATING YOUR BRAND POSITIONING.

  • Credibility. What can you own in the minds of your target audiences? It could be your experience, work history, certifications, or educational background.
  • Differentiation. What makes you unique in your category (industry)? Ask yourself, can your competitors claim the same thing? If so, then what else can you say about your brand?
  • Relevance. What do your target audiences care about? Here’s where you want to look outside of yourself and find out what’s important to your target audiences
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