Brand Positioning Defined
What is Brand Positioning?
It is the unique qualities of your business that creates a distinct place in your customer’s mind. You can utilize it by recognizing what it is that makes your company unique from your competitors and then reinforce those qualities in the mind of your target market.
Why is Brand Positioning Important?
In order to fully utilize your unique selling propositions and tie them into your brand’s image, you need to decide what position in your target market you want to take. Brand positioning will detail exactly how you can incorporate what makes you unique into your overall company image to make you stand out.
What is the Brand Positioning Process?
There are different Brand Positioning Frameworks but generally follow these steps:
Step 1: Determine the position your company currently takes in your target market. In order to improve your brand position, you first must identify what you are currently doing. From there you can find out what tactics you are using that are most effective.
Step 2: Identify who your competitors are. Identifying your competitors is crucial to this process. To stand out in your target market you need to understand what your competitors are doing.
Step 3: Find what makes you stand out from your competitors. Finding what makes your business different will tell you exactly what points in your business you should be emphasizing.
Step 4: Develop the position you want to take to differentiate your organization from your competitors.
Step 5: Test the effectiveness of the new stance in your market. Testing is one of the most important parts of determining where you should position your brand.
What are the Components of Brand Positioning?
The components are your target market, target’s needs, benefits, value proposition, and differentiation from competitors. Your target market, target’s needs, and benefits are directly tied together. You cannot find one without the others, but you will leverage them separately. Identifying your target’s needs and your benefits will show you exactly where your competitors fall short. Then you can incorporate both of these in all of your branding to optimize results.
A value proposition is when you show how you provide your customer’s value. Differentiation is where your value proposition differs from your competitors. For a value proposition to stand out, it must offer something your competitors do not. Some examples of how your value position may be different from your competitors are through customer service, a better product, or a unique guarantee.
Brand Positioning Tools:
The Brand Positioning Statement
This statement will outline the exact position you should take in your target market. Every other component of your brand positioning strategy should reinforce this statement, so it is crucial this statement is detailed and does not apply to your competitors. Having a statement that is always tied into your message will ensure you consistently relate your message back to what makes your company unique.
A Brand Positioning Map
You may have also heard of it as a Brand Positioning Matrix or a Brand Positioning Chart. Essentially, it is a graphic that shows your organization’s strengths, weaknesses, and rates the importance of your business’ attributes. This will help you determine what attributes you should emphasize in your image.
Brand Positioning Strategy
So, what strategies can you use for positioning your brand in your target market? There are four basic styles you can use:
- Arm Wrestling
- Big Fish/Smaller Pond
- Reframing the Market
- Changing the Game
Arm Wrestling is when you take on the leader in your target market, trying to beat them at their own game. A classic example of this is Coke and Pepsi. They are both going after the same market in the same way. This stance is most useful in an established market that does not yet have a clear leader. The drawbacks are it can be expensive and time-consuming to take on a leader like this.
The Big Fish/Smaller Pond strategy is to niche down within your market. This is commonly referred to as finding the blue ocean. It is extremely useful if your most valuable product is within a subsect of your target market. This will create a space you can dominate within. There can be difficulties once competitors realize this subsect is profitable.
Reframing the Market sheds a new light on an existing market. A great example of this is Tesla. Electric car companies were consistently competing on who had the best battery life. Tesla recognized there was too much competition to compete solely on battery life, so they emphasized the experience of driving their vehicles.
Changing the Game is when you create your own market for your product. This is extremely difficult to do because you need to first find a market then relay the value of your product to that market. Often times it will be well worth the effort because you will now be in a market with no competition allowing you to reap the reward of huge profits.