Brand positioning is the process of understanding who you are as a brand. A big part is also figuring out who you are not as a brand. If you want to communicate effectively with your target audience and establish a loyal customer base, you need to thoroughly examine your competitors and build an identity that is separate from theirs.
What is brand positioning?
The process of making a brand's image and product offering stand out in the marketplace is called brand positioning. In other words, it entails determining what distinguishes your brand and product line from the competition and the reasons why customers favor it.
You must assist customers in associating specific attributes or traits with your brand to establish its proposition and provide value to customers. Customers shouldn't perceive your brand as a replica of another company in your sector. You must create a distinct perception and make your brand stand out by using a carefully thought-out brand positioning strategy.
Why do you need brand positioning?
Brand positioning can be a challenging and long-term project. However, it provides great returns on investment if done correctly. Here are some of the key advantages of a brand that is properly positioned in the market.
#1 Highlights your differentiations strategies
Differentiation is the secret to effective branding. You can zero in on what makes your business distinctive by thinking through brand positioning and developing a positioning strategy. Then, you can incorporate those qualities into your marketing campaigns to convey your message more effectively.
#2. Communicates value
Your value proposition—the benefit you have to offer your target market—is made possible by brand positioning. Customers should be informed of your value propositions if you want them to choose your brand over those of your competitors. You must be aware of the capabilities of both your brand and the opposition to identify those factors. Moreover, if you can establish your brand as a premium or a luxury brand, then your customers will happily pay a higher price for your products, given that the products provide value.
#3. Improves loyalty and recognition
Customers are more likely to remember and trust you once they comprehend your brand and how it differs from those of your rivals. Better sales and more devoted customers may follow as a result. Strong brand positioning can also make other forms of marketing collateral a lot more effective.
5 brand positioning elements
To stand out to your customers, you can position your brand in a variety of ways. Here are five attributes that you can pitch when showcasing your brand.
For value-based brand positioning, the perceived value of the product or the service is the focus of the brand positioning strategy. When you are showcasing the value, you tell your customers that they get more than what they pay for.
You can position your brand so that, in the eyes of your target audience, it is more valuable than your rivals. This can be accomplished by offering a product of higher quality, which would naturally have a higher value, or simply by using clever brand positioning to persuade customers that your product's higher price indicates that it has greater value to them. The opposite can also be true. You can tell your customers how you are offering great products at an affordable price.
A great example of this is Dollar Shave Club. One of the core elements of Dollar Shave Club's USP is its low cost which is obvious from the name alone. To build a relatable brand for the typical consumer, Dollar Shave Club has concentrated on a positioning that emphasizes affordability and convenience. Their subscription plans also offer value for money.
When you want the quality of your product to be the primary focus of your brand position, you can use a quality-based positioning strategy. Premium quality frequently carries a premium price. Customers would be willing to pay that price, though, if you can persuade them that your product is worthwhile.
By emphasizing excellent craftsmanship, the finest materials, and even the use of sustainable practices, which raises the cost of production, you can demonstrate the high-end quality of your product. Raving reviews, astronomical ROI, and excellent outcomes are examples of how your service is of the highest caliber.
The automaker Tesla can be cited as a good example here. While most of us still associate Tesla with making cars, the company is increasingly positioning itself as a high-performance energy provider with a forward-looking attitude. Every touchpoint they provide, including their marketing, echoes this strategy, enabling the brand to occupy a "premium" position in every market they enter—with subsequent premium pricing.
Your product is advertised as being among the most affordable on the market through price-based brand positioning.
Because nobody likes to spend more money than necessary and because people tend to choose the less expensive option when presented with a choice of products, even if the quality is consistent throughout, you can attract a sizable customer base by positioning your product as the lowest priced on the market.
Customers might think your product is of lower quality than the competition if you position your brand as the least expensive option.
Spotify is a good example in this regard. When it comes to positioning its brand, Spotify bases it on price. Its free plan makes it more accessible and affordable for people who do not want to pay to listen to ad-free music, even though its Premium subscription plan's prices are almost identical to those of Apple Music. What Spotify offers is daily or weekly plans, unlike its rivals. Apple Music or Tidal focuses more on quality. Tidal, in particular, lists in detail their studio-quality high-fidelity music streaming service whereas Spotify seldom talks about such quality.
By directly comparing your brand to the rest of the competition, competitor-based brand positioning shows how much better your brand is than theirs.
The mobile phone industry provides a good illustration of brand positioning that is based on competitors. The brand positions itself as having superior features whenever a new model is introduced. It frequently contrasts itself with products from other brands to highlight its superior features, style, or even the range of colors it is available in.
Although some brands may indirectly mention rival brands in their marketing campaigns, the messages are typically direct and address the competition in competitor-based brand positioning.
Samsung, for instance, often mocks Apple products while advertising its flagship products. While Apple provides premium vertically integrated products, Samsung often mentions Apple and its slow innovation in its advertising. Samsung has also directly compared devices in the past, showing how the Galaxy S3 was superior to the iPhone 5.
Differentiation-based brand positioning emphasizes the product's distinctiveness or cutting-edge features in comparison to competing goods on the market.
If you employ this brand positioning strategy, customers who value innovation and uniqueness will swarm to your brand. The one drawback of differentiation-based brand positioning is that many consumers might be reluctant to purchase your product due to the lack of prior user experience. By informing your customers about the testing and research that went into creating your product, you can allay their concerns.
An example is a brand called Clear. As the startup's service enables quicker security checkpoints at an airport or sporting venue, which is unique. As they connect with millions of potential customers every day, the New York-based company's brand and messaging are, of course, friendly. The company places a strong emphasis on convenience and safety, and its website and social media channels both convey this message.
Source: Upgraded Points
How do you create a brand position?
Though challenging, creating an effective brand positioning is quite possible. It becomes simpler if you are attempting to enter a market where there is less competition because fewer brands are competing for the consumer's attention. That is not to say that it is impossible to create an impactful brand positioning in a crowded market. For proper positioning, you need an understanding of the following three key elements.
#1. Understand your brand’s current position
Are you promoting your product as just one more in a sea of identical ones, or are you presenting a distinctive offering?
To assess your current brand positioning, you must determine the following:
- Identify your target market and the message your brand is trying to convey to them.
- Consider how your brand is doing in comparison to others in the same industry.
- What is your brand’s positioning statement? Can you describe your brand and its customers in a single paragraph?
Knowing where your brand is currently positioned will help you decide where to move it in the future.
#2. Understand your competition
Finding your strongest industry rivals and researching their brand positioning comes next after you have examined your own. Here are some points you must review.
- How your rivals' brands are positioned in the marketplace
- Their strengths and weaknesses are revealed by the type of customer feedback they receive.
- The marketing techniques and the price points your competitors are targeting
- What brand message are they using?
Understanding how your competitors have positioned their brands in the market will help you position your success and identify any pitfalls.
#3. Identify your USP
Certain patterns will emerge from competitor research. Most companies will take the same approach to position themselves in the market, have comparable strengths and weaknesses, or even use similar marketing techniques.
The focal point of your brand positioning should be whatever makes your company distinctive. Inform your target market of how and why you are the best option to meet their needs or give them the goods or services they want.
You have successfully positioned your brand to occupy a special place in your customers' minds if you forge a positive connection with them that no other brand has.
A good brand positioning framework relies heavily on the proper use of branding elements. Your logo, visual identity, brand identity kit, and others come into play. Developing effective branding and subsequently, a brand positioning strategy requires a proper artwork management process.