positioning strategy, the visual and verbal brand, blends targeted messaging and crisp design.

Positioning guides the brand context.

A solid positioning strategy defines what's seen, heard and read. It follows strategic definition--current perceptions, audiences, and communication channels. Well-crafted messages and a bold identity express your brand’s positioning.

Narrow the focus, capture recognition

Quick recognition, supported by concise messages, motivates your target audiences. Positioning helps your audiences recognize who you are and what you offer. Once people understand, they can take the next step towards doing business with you. Connect with those audiences at each point of choice.

Test your positioning strategy

Are you noticed and recognized? Does your identity guide and reinforce the brand persona, support who you are and what clients appreciate most?

Do audiences “get” why your goods and services are a better choice?

People want stories. They want to understand. They want to know enough to share. They want to see at a glance what you stand for — find your brand on the street, on the shelf or online. Positioning unifies messages and visuals. It adds energy and excitement to the your brand. You'll see long-term impact when your positioning is clear and focused.

Visual identity and a messaging hierarchy summarize your organization’s unique position. Together they are the visual and verbal brand.

Messaging architecture articulates key ideas

A hierarchy of messages summarizes your unique position in your market. Messages are layered to focus on the ideas that resonate with your audiences and separate you from the competition. Messaging is the blueprint for all communications, from website to literature to advertising and social media.

When we build messaging architecture for a brand, we address:

  • Positioning: What is the organization known for? What do you want to be known for? What’s unique? Where's the "wow!"?
  • Value proposition: What value is offered to the target audiences? Why should audiences choose the organization/product/service over another option?
  • Brand promise: What can audiences expect? The tag line sums it up and is the promise to your target audiences.
  • Key messages: The top three ideas/concepts/messages that are unique to who you are and how you do business. Each is supported by three proof points--the facts or details that differentiate and clarify. Different messages may be crafted for each target audience group.

… distilled the intricacy of our organization and helped us focus our message to reveal a better expression of important services.

—Jody Christensen, McMinnville Economic Development Partnership, Job Growers Incorporated board member

Identity system builds visual character

The logo is the thumbprint of the brand. A comprehensive identity system must reflect the character, culture and personality of the organization from the audiences' point of view. And it must be designed for all channels. An optimized brand establishes a system with standards, guidelines, templates and specific visual assets.

  • Identity design: The logo sets the stage and is the first glimpse of the brand persona. Its design guides how a complete brand system is crafted. It must be created to work in black and white and color, at various sizes and in online and offline applications.
  • Visual system: The brand identity is a specific system of elements — color palette, fonts, support elements — that provide structure and a recognizable style. 
  • Standards: Guidelines and standards direct use of the brand — colors, fonts, personality, tone, appearance and versions — to maintain consistency. Standards demonstrate best and primary uses of the logo, as well as unacceptable applications.
  • Resources: Digital asset files are delivered for all applications and variations — colors, formats and refinements for size and legibility. Multiple sizes and file formats ensure consistent application, whether by an in-house department or outside vendors.

In this phase existing logos can be used; a logo design refreshed and updated (a brand refresh); or a new logo created to reflect the positioning. A logo “organizational chart” can be designed to accommodate departments or sub-brands and fully define their hierarchy and relationships.

… helped us organize the many levels of logos within our overall brand, and create a cohesive look and feel that still offers flexibility in its final execution.

—Sherryll Johnson Hoar, Manager of Marketing and Communications, Salem Health

Positioning — messaging and identity — are essential to an optimized brand and a foundation of the rebranding or branding process.

The next step? Planning brand implementation, where and how the brand will be applied at each point of choice.

Ready to talk logo design? Or messaging?

Ready to refresh and update how you present your organization, products or services? Let’s talk.

For examples of the many award-winning identity systems we’ve created or updated, please see our case studies in the Work section.

Begin the process. Explore and discover who you are and what's unique from your audiences' point of view. Download our positioning worksheet.


Read more about the power of strong and focused positioning on our blog.


The work we have done with Creative Company to evaluate and reposition our organization and distill our messages from our audience’s point of view has been extremely valuable. We have moved Cascade Employers forward, even in an economic downturn – we have thrived rather than merely survived.

Patrice Altenhofen, President, Cascade Employers Association