As Brand Reveal reaches its 5 years of existence with over 30 brands positioning & strategy projects, we take a look at our first client, Marussia Beverages, to share some learning on the “why, how, what & who” of Brand Positioning.
Walk the talk: in the summer of 2013, we carried out with Marussia a Brand Positioning workshop for Mamont vodka. I am writing “with” and not “for” as best outputs happen when built together with brand teams. A positioning could have been proposed after a brief, but it would have missed the point of team ownership. Even if you have smart ideas, if they are not shared by those in charge of implementation, they may never see the light.
For Mamont, we ran a 2 days’ workshop in Paris. This was the moment for everyone to share ideas, propose actionable answers, reinforce consensus, clarify and build plans. We re-energised and polarised the brand. And thus, a brand positioning does not only bring strategic answers, it is also a very powerful management tool. “Walk the talk” they say…
No marketing bulls**t: Brand Positioning Workshops agendas must be prepared with the client project leader and vary depending on a brand life stage and situation. Brand creations need exploration and scenario building. Brands with a market history require a thorough review to put participants on the same information page. Small organisations need to ensure their positioning expression is bought in by commercial partners.
The Mamont team was looking to learn from its first years, to codify its positioning for alignment and a frame for future developments. The workshop started from the consumer occasions and motivations, to then express the brand core values, personality and benefits. Here, the workshop facilitator (yours truly) acts as idea catalyst, checks consistency and captures outputs. Also, given our category culture, we challenge ideas by ensuring they do not look like any other competitor. "No marketing bulls**t" they say...
We highly value your experience on the brand: Brand Positioning is NOT a marketing affair only, but a company weapon. Therefore, all those who have a leadership interest in their brand should participate. Ideal group size usually comprise 7 to 10 people. If more, split the group in 2 and have both teams work on same topics and build on each other’s findings.
The Mamont positioning participants included the general management, marketing, production and sales from the key markets, in other words all the company real experts on Mamont: this allowed to have a clear grasp of the markets imperatives, consumer habits and to stay very pragmatic. “You are kindly invited as we highly value your experience on the brand” the invitation says…
Now press the button: Any Brand Positioning should take the form of a statement with the Key Brand Benefit + Reason To Believe + Target Audiences and the supporting logic in terms of Brand Essence and Architecture. Whilst these elements provide a conceptual basis, do give the “acid test” by including a brand vision, ambition, strategy and plans.
So, after we confirmed the Mamont brand benefit as inspiring independence, supported by the tagline #chooseadventure (a true call to action) - the brand pillars crystallised naturally into packaging optimisation, range extension, adventure as territory and communication platform (Above the line as much as Trade Marketing promotion) inspired by the Siberian origin of the brand. “Now, press the button” … I say!
Five years after the Paris workshop and 10 years later after its creation by philanthropist and explorer F. PAULSEN, Mamont is now present in 30 markets and reached the 1 million bottles mark. After all this time, the creativity and quality displayed by Mamont within its own positioning space proves that collaboration and clarity in ideas do help build legacies.