The key ingredient you need to nail your positioning

Growing up in England, my boyfriend Joe has some childhood memories that are really interesting to me — so different than my experiences in suburban New Jersey.

One of those memories involves a hot, beefy liquid called Bovril.

According to Wikipedia, Bovril is “the trademarked name of a thick, salty meat extract, developed in the 1870s.” You mix it with water to create a beef broth of sorts.

According to Joe, it’s heavenly.

Most of his Bovril talk centered around one warm and fuzzy memory:

Every time Joe’s dad took him to watch their local football team, his mom would send them off with a thermos full of Bovril.

They’d sip it to safeguard against the chilly, drizzly English afternoons…and save a couple bucks at the concessions stand.

When Joe first told me about Bovril, I was horrified.

Hot beefy liquid? That you drank out of a thermos? Could anything BE more gross?

I spent many years thinking my boyfriend was a weird, beef-guzzling maniac.

Yet this winter, in a strange turn of events, I was the one craving hot beefy liquid.

All because of positioning.


How positioning completely changed my mind.

You know when something new comes into your awareness and you start noticing it everywhere? That’s what happened to me and bone broth.

As soon as I learned what it was — a slow-cooked soup made from animal bones — I couldn’t get away from it.

I saw posts about its health benefits in my favorite food blogs.

Photos of wooly-gloved hands wrapped around a cup of bone broth in my Instagram feed.

Articles about medical centers doling out bone broth to expectant mothers in magazines.

Stories of former caffeine addicts who revitalized their health by swapping coffee for bone broth.

Friends telling me about the new brothery I just had to try the next time I was in New York.

The more I learned, the more fascinated I became.


The incredible power of positioning

When beefy broth was the stuff of rowdy, outdoorsy, football-loving dudes, it seemed completely gross. But now…it was like gold to me. It seemed trendy. Warming. Deeply nourishing.

And that’s all to do with how it was positioned.

Healthy hooks like “restore and revive”, features in big media outlets, and premium pricing all elevated bone broth to a completely new level.


The crisp modern branding caught my eye, in stark contrast to the rather outdated Bovril logo.

(Source // Source)

I saw people like me — health-conscious women who appreciate quality ingredients — in artsy, broth-filled photos on snug winter mornings.


And I started thinking “Yep. I’m into this.”

Bone broth’s new positioning changed its story — a story that completely changed my mind about something I was 100% convinced I didn’t like.

Pretty powerful stuff, eh?


The key to position your offer to really connect

As entrepreneurs, you have a great deal of control over your positioning, and in turn, your message.

But you have to pay attention.

How are you telling your story?

Is it with photos of an authentically messy desk? Or crisp photography of a perfect dream office?

Is it with tongue-in-cheek humor? Or staunch stick-to-the-facts authority?

Is it with striking, modern design? Or are you going for a more classic, lived-in feel?

Every post, photo, tweet, and email you send out builds your brand’s story. You don’t position your product all at once — you build it piece by piece.

One of my favorite challenges of being a copywriter is making people feel a certain way. Doing my best to influence how a message is received.

And that comes down to one thing: knowing your audience.

Joe’s childhood stories of soccer games didn’t captivate me like cozy photos and health claims did.

To properly position your product, you have to know what your audience likes.

What they don’t like.

How they prefer to communicate.

What they value.

What they want more than anything.

What they avoid like the plague.

How they view themselves.

How they like to feel.

All of these things will give you clues about how to position your offer to make it appeal to your ideal customer.

And then it becomes your job to properly position it, piece by piece, word by word, cozy Instagram photo by cozy Instagram photo.


How to master your positioning

The most fun part about positioning is that YOU get to decide!

But just like you’ll never hit a bullseye if you can’t find the target, you’ve got to know where you’re aiming first. Which, in this case, is the impression you want to give off.

To get clear on your target, you need to start at the source: your audience.

There are no shortcuts around knowing your audience. Sorry, Charlie! You’ve simply got to do the work.

But I do have something to make it easy for you. I’m sharing my Audience + Brand Clarity Workbook below.

This is my 13-page workbook that I use with my one-on-one clients to intimately understand who we’re talking to.

Click below to download — it’s free! — pour yourself a glass of wine (or a steamy mug of bone broth!) put on some tunes, and get to work discovering your audience.

join the convo


How do you want your business + offer to be seen?

What are THREE words you want people to feel when they come across your brand?

What do you think of the bone broth phenomenon? Is all the buzz merited or is it just positioning gone right?

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© Whitney Ryan LLC

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