Learn what it takes to position a brand in a crowded digital marketplace.
February 5, 2022
Brand positioning is so much more than how your logo or product design stands out from competitor brands. How your brand is positioned in the market will tell your customers and ideal buyers how well you can meet their needs and will determine how they view you. It also determines who your competitors are in your category. If done right, it will serve as a guide to how much people or businesses will pay for your products or services.
But what is brand positioning exactly?
The term "brand positioning" was coined by Jack Trout in 1969 to mean what "advertising does to the product in the prospect’s mind." Since then, its meaning has expanded. Now, brand positioning is about owning a unique position in your target customer's mind and how you present yourself to be what you want your business to be to customers.
A similar definition by Kotler describes brand positioning as "the act of designing the company’s offering and image to occupy a distinctive place in the mind of the target market”.
As such, brand positioning lies at the core of every brand's marketing strategy. It is the guide for any of the brand's tactical and strategic activities that will help its products or services stand out among its competitors.
With 77% of B2B marketing leaders convinced that branding is vital for growth and with 89% of brand marketers focused on creating highly engaging brand customer experiences, it's easy to see why brand positioning is important.
Brand positioning shows your audience what you do. It communicates to the world what you bring to the table and more importantly, why you are different from others who are offering the same thing.
A customer will always weigh the advantages and disadvantages of what you offer before making a purchase. How you position your brand to meet their needs will help them make the decision whether to purchase from you or not.
Sometimes, competitors may be offering similar products so the differentiation won't come from technical aspects of the product but rather from an emotional connection elicited when buying the product. For instance, a lower price might satisfy a customer more by saving money.
Step 1: To create a strong, unique, and effective brand positioning, you need to begin internally and analyze and understand what your customers want, how your competitors are positioning their brands, and what your brand capabilities are.
Step 2: Create a positioning statement that will resonate with your ideal customers, can be delivered by your brand, and is different from your competitors. In order to properly articulate your brand position, consider these:
Keep it short, simple, and tight so your message can easily be understood and conveyed to your customers. A popular approach to this is by using three unique words to summarize your brand positioning.
Step 3: Once you're done with those two steps, you have to ensure that you reflect this brand positioning in everything that you do including your brand personality, marketing campaign, communications, packaging design, service, etc.
There are many factors that will require a brand to change or improve its brand position. For instance, business goals might change or the needs of target buyers might be changing. In order to keep an effective positioning strategy and continue to have a competitive edge in a crowded market, brands need to be adaptable. Here are some tips:
Brand positioning is the difference between your brand being just a household name or just another company floating through a broad market. Creating a strong brand positioning strategy isn't a one-time event, however. Even after establishing your current positioning, you should always be flexible and willing to keep fine-tuning your positioning concept and statement to ensure the best customer perception and relationships possible.
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