What is brand positioning?
What is brand positioning?
Brand positioning can be defined as the process of getting your brand in the minds of your customers and differentiating your brand from your competitors. No matter what type of business you have, brand positioning helps customers instantly recognize and connect with your company.
One of the most common indicator of a brand’s success is how many people know and how familiar your target audiences are with your brand. It is not enough to create an amazing product or service and hope people would flock to buy them. This is where brand positioning comes in to attract customers to you in a sustainable and effective way.
A brand positioning's example
Defining your brand positioning is not about what you do but about how you do it. In order to clarify this statement, let’s look at an example:
For those looking for high-quality drinks, one of the names that will surely come into their minds will be Coca-Cola. Consumers associate Coca-Cola with refreshing, thirst-quenching drinks of high-quality thanks to its consistent marketing and brand positioning for decades.
The company has an extensive selection of refreshments; each offers a positive experience for consumers. In contrast to other beverage brands in the market, Coca-Cola brands itself as a product that provides happiness and positivity in customers’ lives. Ultimately, the company’s primary focus is to cater to the needs and preferences of its global customers.
Why is brand positioning important?
Whether you cultivate it or not, every business has a brand. As a business owner, you can choose to take control by developing your own brand positioning strategy, or your customers will position your brand for you. Businesses that have developed a creative and innovative strategy and presented it consistently showed an increased revenue by 33%. That’s not all since a strong brand positioning provides the following benefits as well:
Differentiate yourself from your competitors
Did you know that 88 percent of consumers say that authenticity is a key factor when deciding what brands they like and support? Having a strong brand philosophy empowers the brand’s authenticity and boosts the brand’s trustworthiness. This helps them gain attention and attract customers whose values align theirs faster and easier. In the end, these brands will be able to develop more long-lasting relationships with their potential customers.
Simpler price justification
A strong brand positioning allows you to justify your pricing strategy. If the brand positioning aligns with the price, then the costs – no matter how high or low – become automatically reasonable in the eyes of the customers.
Create an army of brand advocates
Brand advocacy is a term used to describe actions taken by people who love your brand and continuously support and recommend your organization. A strong brand position where the brand’s values align with customer values boosts the creation of brand advocates. These advocates play a crucial role in raising brand awareness and customer traffic, with 75% of customers saying that recommendations are a critical factor in their purchasing decisions.
Types of brand positioning strategies
While in most industries multiple brands try to get the attention of the same target audience. There is no one-size-fits-all brand positioning, as it depends on the offer, the industry, and the audience. However, there are a variety of ways your brand’s positioning can focus on:
The quality of a product or service is a relatively easy and effective way to position your company. Since 89% of businesses compete primarily on the basis of customer experience, it’s important to distinguish yourself by focusing on the area of expertise where you stand out.
Whether you position yourself as affordable or high-end, the way customers view your pricing model influences how they position your brand. By providing an affordable service that is as good or better than your competitors, you will become the go-to choice for audiences on a budget.
However, many customers prefer brands that are priced higher because they perceive these as quality, luxury, and exclusive. So pricing is something that brands should take into consideration alongside their brand value and their target audience.
A convenience-based positioning strategy is one that communicates how you can help make your customers’ lives easier. This can be based on factors like availability, design, or ease-of-use, even if your product is at a higher price point. Customers want things to be as convenient and timely as possible, and a brand that can offer all of those is more likely to win customers’ hearts.
Swiffer advertises its WetJet product as a convenient alternative to a traditional mop because of its disposable mopping pads. This allows them to sell their product for a higher price point than the traditional mop which requires frequent cleaning after every use.
Rather than focusing on the whole market, a niche refers to a specialized segment of the market for a particular kind of product or service. Businesses that are niche-oriented experience numerous benefits, including more precise customer targeting, simple and streamlined operations, and less direct competition.
Problem and solution
Positioning your brand as the ultimate solution to a specific problem your target audience faces is a powerful way to attract them. A great way to do this is by adapting your marketing strategy to address customers’ pain points and demonstrate an immediate and actionable solution that can help them solve them.
How to develop brand positioning strategy?
Building an effective brand positioning strategy is a process that needs to be carefully mapped out. Here are seven steps you can follow to position your brand for success:
Determine your current brand positioning
The very first step to successfully position yourself in your customers’ minds and marketing is to know where you currently stand.
You can start by using customer segmentation to get a crystal-clear view of who your target audience is. Next, review your brand voice, which includes your mission, brand values and your unique selling point. Finally, take stock of all the insights that include the customer values, a brief definition of your target audience and an outline of your brand voice aspects.
Identify your competitors
After analyzing your own business, you want to know exactly who your competitors are. The aim during your competitor research is to see who you’re up against. Use one of the following powerful methods to identify who your competitors are:
- Conducting market research by using relevant market keywords to discover which companies are listed, or use social media to discover competitors in your niche.
- Use customer feedback and ask your customers which businesses or products they were considering before choosing yours.
Conduct competitor research
Conducting competitor research provides you the information on what you can implement in your brand positioning strategy to gain an edge. In order to be able to compete, you need to analyze how your competitors are positioning their brands.
The fastest and simplest way to do this is getting answers to the following questions:
- What products or services do your competitors offer?
- What are their strengths and weaknesses??
- What marketing strategies are they using successfully?
- What is their position in the current market?
Compare your positioning to your competition
Now you’ve determined who your competitors are and what their strengths and weaknesses are, you can start comparing your brand with theirs. Take what you’ve learned about other brands in your industry, the target audience, and the market in general, and use it to compare your current positioning to your competition.
An effective documenting tool you can use is a SWOT analysis. This process will help you see where your brand shines and where it falls short compared to your competitors. After understanding your competitors’ brand position in the market, you can discover what makes your brand unique.
Define what makes your brand unique
Building a unique brand with a strong brand positioning is about finding the unique selling point that distinguishes you from the rest of the market. There is a high chance that after conducting competitor research, you have found areas where you excel and competitors don’t.
The ideal scenario would be to position yourself as the best affordable product that also offers the highest quality, best service, and most convenient solution. But in reality, there will only be one or two areas where your brand stands out. These will define what your brand positioning will be and where you can improve to boost and maintain your position.
Create a brand positioning statement
It’s time to take everything you’ve learned and create a statement that positions your brand for success. According to The Cult Branding Company, “a position statement is a one or two sentence declaration that communicates your brand’s unique value to your customers in relation to your main competitors.”
In order to create a strong position statement, there are 4 critical questions you must answer first:
- Who is your target audience? Use customer segmentation to clearly define who your target audience is. This helps you to get in the minds of the customers.
- What is your unique position in the market? Take a look at your competition and make sure you can articulate in a concise way how your brand is superior.
- What’s the greatest benefit of your brand, product, or service? Note exactly what the best thing is about your product or service and continuously highlight this to your customers. This benefit should align with the most important customer values
- What is the proof of that benefit? Whether it’s offering a guarantee or using statistics to back up your claim, prove what you say about your brand is true.
From there, you can craft a simple but compelling positioning statement. It should be looking something like this:
[Your brand] provides/helps [your target audience] with [Your unique position/solution in the market] achieve [greatest benefit of your brand/product/service] because [the reason why/proof of that benefit]
Here is an example of a positioning statement in practice:
For athletes in need of high-quality, fashionable athletic wear, Nike provides customers with top-performing sports apparel and shoes made of the highest quality materials. Its products are the most advanced in the athletic apparel industry because of Nike’s commitment to innovation and investment in the latest technologies.
Implement your new brand positioning
Congratulations, you have created your own brand position statement. Now it’s time to ensure all brands’ communication towards your customers reflects your new brand’s position statement.
This includes informing employees, stakeholders and even your customers. In the long term you want to reevaluate the messaging, tone, and voice that you use on other marketing materials, or on social channels. If it no longer aligns with your new positioning, then it’s time to adjust it.
Evaluate and reinforce
Your last step is to review your statement consistently by gathering data and customer insights. The constant goal should be to establish an emotional connection with prospects and customers. This is because your customers’ needs are always changing, and so are your competitors’ strategies. Therefore it is crucial to consistently monitor how your customers view your brand.
When it comes to defining your brand positioning statement, it is not a one-size-fits-all statement that can be copied and pasted. It is an ongoing process that takes time and testing to figure out what characteristics will define your brand positioning. When done correctly, your statement will unite your organization, enhance the overall customer experience, and will make your marketing efforts easier.
How to develop brand positioning strategy?
- Determine your current brand positioning
- Identify your competitors
- Conduct competitor research
- Compare your positioning to your competition
- Define what makes your brand unique
- Create a brand positioning statement
- Implement your new brand positioning
- Evaluate and reinforce
With the information given in this article, now it is the time to put them to use to develop your own brand positioning strategy.
Did you know that creating a seamless digital experience for your customers is one of the most effective ways to position your brand in their minds and in the marketplace. Working with a team of branding experts can help you capture your story and create an impactful lifelong brand statement and strategy.
To learn more about branding, make sure you check out these branding articles on how to maximize the potential branding has for your business.