What is Brand Positioning?
Brand positioning is the creation of a distinct image or identity for your brand in the minds of your customers. A brand’s position is the unique way it is set apart from other businesses. This involves more than just a tagline or logo.
A brand is considered effective when it is seen as favorable, valuable, and credible by the consumer. When you add those three things together, it becomes something that is unique to your business. Your customers will begin to think of you as being different from all the other businesses out there.
It’s not enough to be different from the competition to win in the market. You can’t position a brand just because you want to — it comes from the achievement of something amazing.” Will Barron, an expert on brand positioning, says that you can only give your brand a positive image if you do something noteworthy. He goes on to say that you cannot simply try to improve your brand’s image, it has to be a natural result of your success. Anything else and it’s just comparison.”
Why is brand positioning important?
You are known by how you present yourself, so it is beneficial to have a plan that allows you to more manage your reputation and how you are seen.
A little over a century ago, a soda company came out with a new product – the first ever cola drink. The company did this successfully and is now known as the original. Coca-Cola sells millions of cans every year and is a popular drink in many households. We think of it as the best soda.
A company’s brand positioning is how it differentiates itself from its competitors. Differentiating your business can help increase brand awareness, communicate value and justify pricing – all of which have an impact on your bottom line.
Not all brand positioning strategies are created equal. Some are more effective than others and some have different objectives. Your positioning and messaging will depend on the nature of your offer and the industry you are in. There are a few strategies that can help you get started with positioning.
What You Need To Develop a Smart Brand Positioning Strategy
A solid brand positioning strategy has many layers. There are certain elements you’ll need to become familiar with to create a roadmap that will lead to success.
IDEAL CUSTOMER: WHO ARE THEY?
It is beneficial to know your audience or who you would want them to be when trying to persuade them to make a purchase. The better you understand your ideal customer, the more successful your marketing will be. To determine who would benefit the most from buying your products and services, you’ll first have to:
- Know your offering well
- Define it from your clients’ perspective
- Determine the key benefits of your brand
- Study your market segment
- Build a customer profile based on the data you gather
After you identify your target market, you can develop your brand positioning strategy.
MARKET SEGMENT: WHICH SEGMENT OF THE MARKET ARE YOU IN?
A brand positioning strategy cannot be started if the target audience is not known. You can more easily write your positioning statement and brand messages if you first identify which market segment you are in. It will allow you to create customs campaigns and products that will earn customer loyalty.
There are four main types of market segmentation:
- Behavioral: Purchasing patterns, attitude towards a product, readiness to purchase, and loyalty status
- Demographic: Age, sex, income, education, occupation, religion, nationality, and race
- Geographic: Region, country size, population density, and climate
- Psychographic: Personality, social class, and lifestyle
Through market segmentation, you can more clearly identify which type of customer is attracted to your product or service, making it easier to target your advertising and marketing efforts. If you want to improve your branding, do some research to figure out what potential customers might want that isn’t already being offered. Once you know what to offer, you can create targeted marketing campaigns to position your brand in a way that sets it apart from the competition.
KEY BENEFIT: HOW DO CONSUMERS BENEFIT FROM YOUR PRODUCT?
The main advantages of a product are the features and qualities that contribute to fulfilling the consumer’s desires and requirements. The perks your clients hope to get when purchasing your offering are all the things that make your offering valuable to them. These advantages can be either:
- Actual: Performance, design, and affordability
- Perceived: Popularity, image, and reputation
The key benefits of your offerings will help you create brand value. Drawing attention to your brand’s most favorable attributes will make it more likely that your target customer will see you as the best option.
CURRENT POSITION IN MARKET: WHERE DO YOU CURRENTLY STAND?
In order to create a successful brand positioning strategy, you must be aware of your own capabilities and be very committed. It is important to remember that creating a brand position is a gradual process and not something that can be done quickly. You will need to be patient while you do the required research and watch how your customers respond to your brand positioning choices.
When you are defining your market position, it is important to be open-minded. Do not ignore what your customers are saying about your brand, whether the feedback is positive or negative. This information will establish the basic framework for your marketing strategy and give you useful practical knowledge. If you don’t get the results you want at first, you can always adjust your strategy and learn from your past mistakes.
COMPETITIVE ANALYSIS: WHO ARE YOU COMPETING AGAINST?
Keep your enemies close, they say. Although your competitors are not your enemies, you should still keep track of what they are doing to promote their products and services. How your audience perceives similar brands to yours could give you additional insight into how to emphasize your brand’s key benefits.
Competitive analysis is a process of research on your primary competitors to help you market and sell more efficiently. Your investigation should give you a lot of information about their products and services, sales, marketing methods, and more. This will allow you to put into place more effective business strategies to help you take control of the market.
How Can a Brand Positioning Map or Template Aid in Strategy Creation?
In order to determine how your brand can best provide value to your target market, it is necessary to study and understand the market itself as well as the needs, wants, and values of your target audience. Only then can you develop a positioning strategy that will articulate how your brand offers the unique solution that they are searching for. This means your brand positioning strategy must encompass all of your brand’s products or services. If you don’t have a strong foundation, it can be very difficult to create a detailed plan. If you have a brand positioning strategy template, you will be able to see your brand vision and customers more clearly.
Before you create a brand positioning framework, you must ask yourself the following questions:
- Who is your ideal customer?
- What problems do they have?
- How are you uniquely positioned to solve these problems?
- What are your brand’s strengths and weaknesses?
- What sets your brand apart from others?
- Which key benefits do you want to accentuate?
- How do these qualities influence customer interactions?
You will be able to think more critically and comprehensively about your brand if you have a clear answer. After you have gathered all the necessary data, you can arrange it on your template in a way that makes it easy to see relevant details and present them in a more polished fashion to people who need to be kept up-to-date on your work.
How Do Your Brand Positioning and Marketing Strategies Align?
Creating a brand positioning is a great foundation for your marketing campaigns. It allows you to figure out what your brand means to you and your clients so that you can craft effective and more compelling messages to communicate with them via:
- Blog posts and online content
- Email newsletters and campaigns
- Social media channels
Your marketing strategy should make a strong, favorable impression on your ideal customer. The impression you make on your customers will last depending on your brand positioning plan. The goal of this is to make the customers’ purchase journey easier and give them the tools they need to better understand your brand and how it would fit into their lives.
Brand Positioning Examples
There are many companies that have been successful in establishing a brand position that is superior to others. Here are three great examples:
1. Bumble vs. Tinder
After leaving Tinder in 2014, Whitney Wolfe founded Bumble, an app designed to empower women and give them more control when connecting with new people.
In addition to focusing on improving the experience for female users, Bumble has expanded to allow users to find friendship and professional connections as well. Tinder, on the other hand, focuses on fleeting connections.
Bumble’s vs. Tinder’s Positioning Strategy
Bumble’s positioning strategy is differentiation. The brand Bumble was founded with the intention of shaking up the outdated rules of dating. This is evident in their unique approach which puts women in the driver’s seat, instead of men.
Tinder’s strategy focuses on being the leader in the market; they use their established history and popularity to attract people to join. The brand doesn’t explicitly say that it’s a leader in the online dating industry, but it does imply it by pointing out how many users it has and how long it’s been around.
2. Starbucks vs. Dunkin’
While Starbucks and Dunkin’ may seem like they are targeting different types of customers, they are both going after people who buy coffee every morning. While the in-store experience is important to Starbucks’ branding, Dunkin’ focuses on its coffee and donuts. The slogan for Dunkin’ Donuts is “American Runs on Dunkin'” which emphasizes how widely available their products are. Starbucks’ primary focus is on promoting and selling coffee that is of higher quality than what is typically available, as well as creating a more authentic coffee shop experience.
Starbucks’ vs. Dunkin’s Positioning Strategy
Starbucks’ branding is green and brown while Dunkin’s is bright pink and orange. It shows in their strategies, too.
Starbucks’ strategy focuses on quality. The brand’s coffee masters have distilled their years of tasting knowledge into three simple questions to help you find a Starbucks coffee you’re sure to love. This shows that Starbucks is focused on quality, not quantity or availability.
Dunkin’ is focused on being the leader in the field as well as having a wide range of availability, so their strategy is based on being the leader and being convenient. Dunkin’ is the world’s leading coffee and baked goods chain. It states that it serves more than 3 million customers each day, and highlights how convenient it is to simply stop by for coffee.
3. Spotify vs. Apple Music
The ongoing debate between Spotify and Apple Music users has been receiving a lot of attention. If you look up “Trump” on the Google News section, you’ll get over 26 million results.
Apple Music is known for its premium song selection and high-quality brand, whereas Spotify is known for its high personalization. Though they offer similar things, both brands use different strategies to position themselves in the market.
Spotify’s vs. Apple Music’s Positioning Strategy
Spotify uses a price-based strategy. While Spotify and Apple Music offer similar premium options in terms of pricing, Spotify provides a free plan that makes it more accessible.
Apple Music uses a quality-based approach, which means that it has a large catalog of songs that are of high quality. The app also provides unique content like videos and on-screen lyrics. Spotify only offers this feature for a few songs, while most other streaming services offer it for all songs.
Benefits of Having a Powerful Brand Positioning Strategy
The best brand positioning strategies are those that take into account factors that are both unique to your brand as well as important to the consumer. When executed correctly, a brand positioning strategy can achieve the following:
CREATES BRAND LOYALTY
If you want to turn your customers into brand advocates, you need to make your brand stand out from the rest. Showcase what makes your brand unique, and you’ll be well on your way to developing a loyal following. Building a customer base that continually buys your products, recommends you to others, and helps improve your credibility is key to success.
GENERATES BRAND RECALL: CUSTOMERS REMEMBER YOUR BRAND
Your brand positioning strategy is essential to enhancing your brand’s story. It’s important to have a strong message across all channels to keep customers engaged.
The right brand positioning strategy will make the consumer associate your brand with what matters to them and remember the benefits of buying from you. A good brand positioning strategy will make the consumer think of your brand when they need the product or service you offer. This means that they will be able to choose more easily from the options available in the market.
SEPARATES YOUR BRAND FROM YOUR COMPETITORS
In order to make your customers see you as a valuable brand, this is necessary. You would be selling the same product features as anyone else without it. So why should your clients pick you? Stand out from your competitors by emphasizing what makes you unique or better. Your brand positioning strategy should aim to create a unique market identity.
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