How to Position Your Brand (4 Bloggers Doing it Right – # 5 in a series)

by Craig McBreen · 21 comments · Branding


How-to-Position-Your-BrandIf you’re blogging, I imagine you seek a commanding online presence.

As a small business owner, you need to set yourself apart from the competition.

But you must know where you are going.

What are you offering? How do you wish to be perceived? Can you define your target audience? Know exactly what they need?

If not, you need to get some answers on paper.

And the most important question to answer? … What does your audience need?

So you might be asking, where do I start?

Well, let’s go back to what we’ve covered so far …
1. Your Uniqueness
2. Your Purpose
3. Your Value
4. The specific problems you will solve

The posts above? They’re variations of what I do with my B2B clients. When I start any branding or design project I first ask clients to answer a few questions:

1. Can you clearly define your target market?

2. What are the specific needs of that market?

3. How does your product or service satisfy that need?

4. How does your business stand out from the competition?

5. And what are the unique benefits you bring?

So what about you?

Answering these questions will help you flesh out your brand and create a rock solid center to help you survive and thrive.

But today, instead of rambling I thought it better to highlight four people with artful positioning clearly in place. I’d say their online presence exudes it. And this isn’t just about design … it’s about consistency across the board.

Laura Click

BlueKite
Take a look at Laura’s blog and her business site.

Visual branding is cohesive across the board. And everything from tagline to blog posts have a tonality that bathes in a clearly defined essence.

She does branding right and I’m sure if I asked her for an impromptu elevator pitch she would be ready to deliver.

AJ Leon

MisfitInc

I’m a fan of Misfit Inc. and one of the reasons? The branding chops AJ and crew possess.

Check out his many online properties and you’ll find an environment with mood and meaning, from ebook to blog to landing page. Study the design, the photography, the writing and overall messaging, and you’ll see what I mean.

Ryan Hanley

RyanHanley
Young Mr. Hanley is everywhere. He blogs, runs a podcast and manages a day job, all while adding value to his insurance firm through social and content. He’s smart, motivated and in my mind, doing this “thing” the right way.

He’s not dispensing rainbow bombs, practices what he preaches and delivers a consistent message from podcast to his Content Warfare newsletter.

He clearly knows what his audience wants: Smart, tactical, business advice. And trust me, you’ll be hearing more about him in the coming years.

Jon Buscall

JontusMedia

I’m not sure when I was introduced to Mr. Buscall, but he is a great guy, really knows his stuff, and he certainly gets branding.

The essence I described above? He has it nailed, plus he has one of the most helpful podcasts out there; packed with detailed, actionable advice.

Take a look at his blog. Listen to his podcast. Read his comments (he offers generous heaps of advice in the style of Danny Brown).

Take a look at how Jon operates and you’ll understand what I mean by CORE.

What about you? Your branding?

Who are you trying to reach and what are their needs?

Does your product or service satisfy that need?

Are you bringing it in a unique way?

Is your visual style inline with your message?

Work to answer these questions and study the bloggers (um, entrepreneurs) above. They’re rocking it and you’ll learn a ton, trust me.

If you’re interested in learning more about my branding and design process, jump on over to my email list. There is much more in store. In the comments below, let me know exactly what you are struggling with regarding branding and design.

Craig is Principal of McBreen Design. A Seattle Branding and Design firm which helps small companies bring their purpose to life with brand strategy, award-winning graphic design, and web design services.

If you want top-notch creative work with a personalized approach, look no further.

 

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{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

Laura Click April 10, 2013 at 4:26 pm

Wow! Thanks for the kind and generous shout out, Craig! This is awfully kind of you. It’s validating to receive compliments from friends and especially peers. This means a lot coming form you!

And, I’m with you – I love what Jon Buscall is doing. But, holy smokes! It looks like he redesigned his site since I last visited. I need to check that out! I’m aware of Ryan and AJ, but dont’ follow them closely. Off to connect and see what they’re doing.

Thanks for the excellent examples and for including me as part of it, Craig!
Laura Click recently posted..3 Skills You Must Master if You Want a Career in Social Media MarketingMy Profile

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Craig McBreen April 10, 2013 at 4:39 pm

Hi Laura,

You are most welcome. I love your site and overall branding!

Yes, looks like Jon’s on the move, and you would do well to check out Ryan and AJ!

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Ryan Hanley April 10, 2013 at 5:12 pm

Craig,

Bro… Thank you. Your words are way too kind especially in this company. I’m just a guy trying to find his art…

I appreciate the relationship we’ve built over the last year.

I look forward to working together more moving forward.

All the best my friend,

Hanley
Ryan Hanley recently posted..Struggling Businesses Never Slow Down to Create ContentMy Profile

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Craig McBreen April 11, 2013 at 9:58 am

Hey Ryan,

You’re welcome and I meant every word! All the best to you, my friend!

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Jon Buscall April 10, 2013 at 11:27 pm

Thank you so much for the shout out Craig. I appreciate it.

The podcast is a labour of love and I’m touched when people find value in it. You won’t believe how many times I blow the intro and have to start again :=)
Jon Buscall recently posted..$10 for a promoted update on Facebook earned me $7500My Profile

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Craig McBreen April 11, 2013 at 9:57 am

Hi Jon,

You’re most welcome! I took notes while listening to your most recent podcast :)

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Ralph April 12, 2013 at 3:07 am

Hi Craig.
The questions are great. How do you ask these? In the form of a questionnaire or just by conversation? How do you record or apply these to your design process? I ask because we have a similar process and are working through some refinements to improve the output. You see, we are discovering that asking through “right” questions is most important and only really get to the essence through iteration.

I have to take another look at those blog’s now. It’s funny how when everything “works” you don’t actually notice the parts because they are so aligned to the whole.

Thanks for the thoughts. Very enlightening.
Ralph recently posted..QOTW 2013: Week 15: What do you expect to gain if you are indecisive?My Profile

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Craig McBreen April 12, 2013 at 3:57 pm

Hi Ralph,

Well to be honest, it’s much more in-depth than this, but I wanted to keep things short and sweet today.

I start with a questionnaire, then conversation. Oftentimes it’s a series of interviews with principals, owners, etc., then preparing a brief I send back to all parties for review, refined questions w/ answers based on everyone’s comments. I’ll be writing about this process a bit more in-depth later on. For now, I don’t want to bore you to death ;) … I could ramble about this stuff forever, ask my wife. But, much more coming.

Take another look at those fine peeps. I think they are doing many things right and it’s about way more than design.

Thanks and have a great weekend!

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Ralph April 16, 2013 at 2:39 am

Very cool.

Our processes, through discovery, are very much aligned then. I would find it beneficial to compare notes and see what I might learn about how you do things. Like I said we are toying with our approach and tools to see how we can improve our information gathering process to avoid systemic change down the line.

Your thoughts, as a comparative, would be very interesting.
Ralph recently posted..QOTW 2013: Week 15: What do you expect to gain if you are indecisive?My Profile

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Craig McBreen April 16, 2013 at 1:20 pm

We should also have a chat down to road!

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AJ Leon April 15, 2013 at 8:13 am

Means the world to me, Craig. Thank you for showing some love to the Misfits. :)
AJ Leon recently posted..When Perfection is AchievedMy Profile

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Craig McBreen April 15, 2013 at 12:04 pm

Hi AJ,

You’re most welcome. Love what you and the crew at Misfit, Inc. are doing!

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Adrienne April 15, 2013 at 1:45 pm

Great questions there Craig and I enjoyed checking out their blogs and sites. Yeah, they’ve got it going.

When I started I admit I didn’t know what the heck I wanted to do and I was lost for quite some time. So my blog kind of still points in that direction but I’m slowly but surely getting there. I’ll be making some small changes over the course of several months steering me in the direction of the product I’ll be releasing this year. I’m still pretty much on track but I also still have some work to do.

I appreciate you sharing this with us and great job as always.

Enjoy your week.

~Adrienne
Adrienne recently posted..Are You Maximizing Your Blog Income Potential?My Profile

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Craig McBreen April 15, 2013 at 4:29 pm

Hi Adrienne,

Thanks and glad you had time to check them out.

Well, one of the best things about your blog is the honestly and the fact that you share all those learning experiences … you didn’t completely know what you were doing, but now your giving people advice on how to do it right.

Wow, a product. Looking forward to that and the changes at your place. Sounds exciting.

Thanks for stopping in and hope you have a great week as well!

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Koj Tajo April 15, 2013 at 10:08 pm

Hello Craig, nice to know the three others. I only know about Ryan here but thanks for making me know others. I am sure I have lot to learn from them.
First time on your blog.
Listing it in my list of commentluv enabled blogs.
Regards – Koj
:) Happy blogging
Koj Tajo recently posted..CommentLuv Enabled Blogs [A to Z] – Make Best Use.My Profile

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Craig McBreen April 16, 2013 at 1:23 pm

Hi Koj,

Well you should definitely check them out. All good people too.

I appreciate you stopping in and happy blogging to you! :)

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Mike Robertson April 16, 2013 at 2:16 pm

Great post Craig, posing the questions within the post certainly got me thinking and making notes as I was reading. Also very clever to show actual examples with pictures, can explain much better than words sometimes.
Really useful information for an inexperienced blogger like myself, certainly got me focused on thinking about my own blog & examining what I’m doing and hoping to achieve
Mike Robertson recently posted..Risk Free MarketingMy Profile

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Craig McBreen April 16, 2013 at 4:01 pm

Hi Mike,

Thank you! I will be writing more on this very topic in the very near future.

Yes, and these bloggers made it easy for me, so I’m pleased to put their content up on my site.

In the initial planning process, a positioning exercise is so very important. It takes time to flesh out, but pays dividends for a long time.

Thanks for stopping in today! Appreciate the kind comments.

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Ryan Biddulph April 17, 2013 at 6:42 am

Hi Craig,

Sensational questions here. Asking and waiting for answers can give you the clarity you seek.

Know who you intend to target and decide on how you plan to target this crowd. Using SEO helps tremendously in this area I have learned.

Stand out! I post vacay pics all over my blog because living the dream is my strongest selling post. Be you, and show it.

Thanks for sharing Craig!

Ryan
Ryan Biddulph recently posted..Generate Cash Online – Did You Max out Your Talents Today?My Profile

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Craig McBreen April 17, 2013 at 9:41 am

Hi Ryan,

Thank you! These people made it easy for me :)

I’m digging into the SEO world for sure, but my very long step one has always revolved around positioning the brand.

I’m heading over to your place now to check out the cool photos!

Thank you for stopping in, Sir!

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