You’ve probably been hearing some buzz around brand positioning, and may have asked yourself, What is branding positioning and how does it work? Or Isn’t brand positioning just for big, global brands?
If you’re thinking that your brand ‘is what it is’—that the right people will find it and see it for all that it has to offer, naturally—then you may be in for a big surprise.
It’s up to you, your brand’s first and foremost champion, to position your brand in a way that not only gets it noticed, but that helps to form consumers’ perceptions.
Let’s delve more deeply into the subject of brand positioning, so you can decide for yourself if it will benefit your brand.
Brand Positioning: An Analysis
Brand positioning, when done correctly, will help to make your brand more visible to the right people, more credible to all who come in contact with it, and more profitable because consumer perceptions and encounters will align for a unique and authentic overall user experience.
Feeling like the concept of brand positioning is too intricate, too intangible? Often, it helps to view it in parts, like this:
- Choose a Niche: The chances of any product or service standing out in a broad market are slim. Instead, identify what your brand does best, build your ideal client profile, and settle into a niche that satisfies both. This may mean joining others in a niche; it may mean establishing your own niche. This will narrow your marketing scope and your targeted message will be better received. Niche marketing is the answer to the frustrations that come from swimming in a deep, wide market pool. Consumers can go there to get more targeted products. Brands can find their ideal clients more easily through niche marketing. For these reasons, every niche brand should create products and services that support the lifespan of that niche. It provides for your brand and delivers ideal customers; therefore, it’s worth keeping alive with products that deliver what defines that niche.
- Find Uniqueness: This is often called your brand’s USP (Unique Selling Proposition). It’s the one thing that makes your brand different from the competition—the one thing you will use for stand-out marketing. Look closely for gaps in what the competition is offering. Ask consumers what they feel is missing. Solve a problem in a distinctive way.
- Mention Similarities: There are things that are great about the competitions’ products. Research which qualities are most appreciated by your target audience, and make mention that yours does it just as well…but with an added [unique] benefit.
- Influence Perceptions: Consumers are 100% in charge of how they perceive a brand. They make the calls. They have the opinions. However, you do have a chance to influence them. By positioning a brand in a particular way, among other similar [competitive] brands, you will colour perceptions simply by association. This goes back to choosing your niche carefully.
- Give Reasons with Placement: No one is going to buy your product unless they see a compelling reason to do so. In truth, today’s consumer wants to know ‘what’s in it for me?’ They also want to feel that the total of what they’re getting exceeds the total of what they’re giving. Tell them what they want to know not only through your marketing messages, but with your brand’s positioning and placement. If people go to a place (real or virtual) to be comforted, and that’s one of your brand’s promises, then be there. If they go to another place to be pampered, and that’s your brand promise, then be there. If your brand is conveying the ‘right’ message, then being in the right place at the right time can be just what’s needed for sales.
- Specify without Limiting: Every brand that is built to last is built to respond to consumer and market evolution. It guides consumer perceptions without putting too many limits on how the brand may be viewed—in preparation for the time in which it will have to expand to keep contemporaries interested. The last thing any brand should strive to do whilst positioning itself is to box itself in so strictly that people will tend to believe that it cannot
- Be Consistent: When a brand is positioned properly, it fosters consistency across all channels. In other words, the brand message should not change, no matter the consumer touchpoint. When it is solidly positioned, consumers will sense that consistency and have no trouble trusting the brand.
- Support Authenticity: When a brand is positioned, it tells everyone who looks at it, from bankers to investors to potential customers, that it ‘has a place’ in the market. If its position has not been defined, it will seem that even its founders aren’t sure about its purpose or what makes it unique. When you position your brand, you increase its credibility…and therefore increase its overall potential.
No matter the size of your business, brand positioning is a step that should never be overlooked. It will shape perceptions of your brand, suggest that your brand is credible, guide your marketing efforts, help to keep communications focussed and consistent, and assist in building a brand foundation upon which to grow.
Are you ready to learn more about building a brand, branding, brand positioning and marketing? Then you’re ready for our One-Day B.R.A.N.D. Kick Starter Online Masterclass, which will help you to fast-track your business and get it right the first time. Enrol now.