Whether small or large, retail or B2B, branding is one of the most crucial aspects of every business.
In today’s increasingly competitive marketplaces, having a strong brand strategy gives you a significant competitive advantage. But, exactly, what does “branding” imply? How does this impact your small firm?
To put it simply, your brand represents an oath. A promise you make to your customers. It explains what consumers may expect from your products and services and distinguishes you from your business rivals. Your brand is formed by who you are, who you aspire to be, and how others perceive you.
Do you stand out as a trailblazer in your field? Or are you the seasoned, dependable one? Is your product high-priced but high-quality, or low-priced but high-value? You can’t be both at the same time, and you certainly can’t be everything to everyone. To some level, who you are should be derived from who your target clients want and need you to be.
There are plenty of successful companies out there. While their success may be attributed to different factors, they all have one major, undeniable thing in common: a strong brand.
Due to their successful branding, they enjoy privileges such as an improved image, a distinguished identity, and, most importantly, customer loyalty.
You might be thinking, ‘How exactly do I create a strong brand?’. Well, brand positioning is your answer! In this article, we will help and guide you to position your brand by dissecting the topics below:
- What is brand positioning?
- What is the significance of brand positioning?
- How to create an effective brand positioning strategy?
What is brand positioning?
According to Kotler, brand positioning is “the act of designing the company’s offering and image to occupy a distinctive place in the target market’s mind”. Essentially, brand positioning is a process to establish your brand in the mind of a customer.
Brand positioning is more than a catchphrase or a flashy logo; it’s a strategy for distinguishing your company from your competition.
An important term to note is ‘positioning statement’, which is a statement that aptly summarises brand positioning.
However, company taglines or slogans are frequently confused with positioning statements. The latter serves as an internal reference for your company’s marketing and operational decisions, aiding you in making important decisions that affect your brand’s impression among customers. Meanwhile, a tag line is external and is used in marketing efforts.
What is the significance of brand positioning?
When you have the proper brand position, it becomes the impetus behind your company, informing everything from your marketing messaging to how you shape your services and price your products. Brand position is especially critical as consumers are more than ever faced with many brands to select from.
As most of your competitors are likely offering identical products and services, you must perpetually stand out by providing a significant, positive experience every time your customers think about or connect with your brand.
A solid brand position guarantees plenty of benefits.
Conversely, a weak brand positioning will conjure a lot of troubles for your company. Here are some of the reasons why brand positioning is exceptionally pivotal for your business:
1. Distinguished identity
Brand positioning helps you to showcase how unique your product or service is. By displaying how your or service benefit your customer by catering to their needs and tending their problems differently than your rivals, customers will be able to take notice of your company better.
2. Improved image
People’s perceptions form your brand image.
When done right, brand positioning will be a powerful instrument by creating a lasting impression of the heart of who you are and what your brand is all about.
3. Customer loyalty
Having a good brand positioning will inevitable helps your customers during their purchase process as they can trust your product.
In addition, pricing conflicts with competitors aren’t necessary for a strong brand. Instead, strong brand positions build high value, causing buyers to desire to purchase regardless of the circumstances.
How to create an effective brand positioning strategy?
When positioning a brand, it is a must to establish its mission and vision.
A brand’s promise should be honest and transparent.
To elucidate, a luxury hotel offers magnificent rooms and a memorable experience but not low prices. In comparison, the motel offers low prices and clean rooms but not luxurious furnishings.
As mentioned before, you must position your brand clearly in the mind of the customers. To make it easier, we have categorised three different levels of brand positioning, complete with examples.
Firstly, marketers can position their brand based on their product attributes.
For instance, P&G initiated the concept of disposable diapers with the brand Pampers. Pampers’ early marketing emphasised its product attributes, namely disposability, good fit, and fluid absorption.
However, product attributes are the lowest level for brand positioning as other brands can mimic these attributes. More crucially, customers are more concerned about what the attributes will do for them than about the attributes themselves.
As such, Pampers go further by focusing on its product benefits, such as the ensuing containment and baby skin-health benefits of staying dry, rather than just technical product features. You can also position your brand by correlating its name with the benefit it provides.
FedEx (guaranteed on-time delivery), Nike (performance), Walmart (cost savings), and Instagram are some examples of successful benefit-based companies (capturing and sharing moments).
In the meantime, most successful brands go beyond attribute or benefit positioning.
To elucidate, Pampers represent much more than merely absorption and dryness to parents. They are based on strong ideals and values, and they connect with customers on an emotional level.
Pampers promotes itself as a brand that cares about happy babies, parent-child interactions, and overall baby care.
Successful brands emotionally engage customers.
Thus, brands should try to become ‘lovemark brands’, a term used to define desirable brands desired over their competitors and loved. Some examples of lovemark brands are Coca Cola, Apple, Google and Nutella.
These brands are considered lovemark brands as they have a substantial top-notch emotional impact. Customers don’t just like these brands; they have strong emotional attachments and unconditionally love them.
Putting Strategy to Work
Now that you have a solid understanding of brand positioning and its strategy, it’s time to implement it!
If you’re feeling overwhelmed with the sudden burst of information, fret not!
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