Brand Positioning: What It Is and Why It’s Important
More than ever before, consumers are faced with a myriad of brands to choose from. Since most of your competitors probably offer similar products and services, to truly stand out, you must consistently deliver a positive, memorable experience each and every time your customers think of or interact with your brand.
Brand positioning is defined as “the process of positioning your brand in your customers’ minds.” Once created, the benefits of a strong brand positioning strategy can run deep for your business: it will drive your marketing strategy, determine customer messaging, spur competition strategy and shape brand value propositions.
Brand positioning leaves a long-lasting impression on your customers. The more they associate positivity with your brand, the more likely they are to purchase from you rather than your competitors. You can use various tactics such as competitive pricing, attractive packaging and exciting promotions to help attract customers and transform them into repeat customers. But in order to achieve this, first you need to determine the best position for your brand.
Find Your Sweet Spot
Before you can create an effective brand positioning strategy, you need to do some homework – nail down what sets your brand apart, why you’re unique in the marketplace and how you’re different from your competition. In other words, pinpoint the sweet spot where you outshine the rest. Consider these points:
- Determine how you currently position your brand. Even if you don’t have a formal strategy, your brand is already “positioned”. To help you figure it out, here are some questions you should answer:
- Do you differentiate your brand in some way? How?
- Does your current positioning match customer perceptions of your brand?
- Does it enable growth?
- What are your brand’s unique values? Does your current positioning convey those values to your customers?
- Does it produce a clear picture in your mind that’s different from your competitors?
- Is your brand promise believable and credible?
- Will your positioning help you make more effective marketing and branding decisions?
To help you evaluate your current brand position, check out How to Create Strong Brand Positioning in Your Market by The Cult Branding Company, a specialized branding consulting firm.
- Research your competitors and think about how your brand positioning compares to theirs. It’s critical to spend time and effort developing a positioning strategy that differentiates you from the herd. Are you effectively capitalizing on your uniqueness? Think about what makes you stand out and figure out a way to build your branding around that awesome trait.
- Craft a specific, value-based brand positioning statement. Used internally, a positioning statement is a clear description of your target market and outlines how you want that market to see and experience your brand. This statement provides structure and consistency for your marketing strategy, because all decisions regarding your brand should support your positioning statement. If you’re not sure what to include in your positioning statement, follow this template:To (target audience) Product X is the only (market definition) that (your brand promise) because (reasons to believe the promise).If you need a little bit more help, here’s some advice about brand positioning from the branding experts at The Branding Journal.
Putting Your Strategy to Work
Once you have a solid positioning strategy, it’s time to implement it. Start within your business’ four walls. Every employee must understand your position and express it in everything they do. To accomplish this, begin by noting all the ways you interact with your customers and make sure each of those touch points communicate the position you have chosen.
To be effective, your strategy needs to be across-the-board consistent with messaging throughout your advertising and marketing channels. Use every opportunity to communicate your value to potential customers, including:
- Your product name, company name and logo
- All advertising
- Collateral – digital and traditional
- Public relations
- Customer service and customer relationships
- Email communication, including signatures
- Sales programs
- Customer Service
Regularly review each of these touch points and evaluate how well you are expressing your brand’s position and its promise. With a well-honed brand positioning strategy that’s clearly and consistently communicated, your customers will perceive your brand as a trusted option that delivers on its promises.