Simply put, brand positioning is the technique of placing your brand in the mind of your customers by showing them what you offer and how you are different from your competitors. Your brand positioning statement should be a one- or two-sentence statement that clearly articulates your product or service’s unique value, and how it benefits customers. It must define the audience, define the category in which the brand exists, cite a clear product or service benefit, set your brand apart from your competitors, and instil confidence that the brand will deliver on its promise. Here are a few things to consider when writing your brand positioning statement:
What makes YOU special?
The first question to ask yourself is, what is your product or service and what makes it special? Why should the customers looking at your services or products choose you over another brand that provides similar or even the same product? It really all comes down to the quality of your offerings and the promise you make, which we will look at later. Consider what makes your brand unique and the unique value you provide to your customers. For example, if you run a restaurant, you can say that you don’t just make food, but that you provide customers with a culinary experience. It is important to recognise what it is that you are actually providing and how you entice customers into buying your offerings.
When developing your brand generally, and your brand positioning specifically, it is essential to keep your target audience in mind, always. If you intimately understand your audience then it is easier to create positive and meaningful relationships that inspire the desired reaction when you reach out to them. You need to know whom you are trying to appeal to, what are they like and what their preference is. There are a variety of demographics that can help you narrow down your audiences such as age, gender, household income, marital status, and job position. You need to have a clear and concise understanding of the demographics to efficiently position your brand. You may offer a range of services that cater for a range of demographics or you may be targeting one specific audience, either way, it is essential that you take cognisance of this when developing your brand.
Your brand positioning statement needs to comprehensively set you apart from your competitors. To do this you should do research on the landscape. Figure out why are you better or different. What can your brand provide that your competitors can’t? Are you friendlier? Do you have a more hands-on approach? Are you more personal with your clients and customers? Do you simply provide higher quality? Your brand positioning statement should include your brand and its position in the market place. Are you the highest quality or the best value? Do you have a hefty following or are you an up-and-comer in the industry that needs to get reach? You will need to research this internally and with potential clients to understand exactly where your brand is in amongst your competitors. It is as important to assess and analyse the weaknesses of and threats to your brand in order to know fully your business offerings.
In positioning your brand, you need to make a promise to your customers. What promise does your brand make to customers and your targeted market? Do you promise that your brand is reliable? Is it the swiftness that you provide said service in? is it a lower cost? You need to consider and understand both what this promise is and how you can instil confidence that you will deliver on your promise.
Brand positioning statements are sometimes confused with the company tagline or slogan. Positioning statements are for internal use to better understand your brand. It can show your strengths, weakness and areas that need improvement. These statements direct and better focus your businesses marketing and operating decisions.
A positioning statement helps you make key decisions that move your customer’s perception of your brand. A positioning statement is that which interconnects your brand’s uniqueness and the value in it to your customers in relation to your competitors.
7-Step Brand Positioning Strategy Process
In order to create a positioning strategy, you must identify your brand’s uniqueness and determine what those pros and cons are compared to your main competitors. Consider what will solidify differences between you and your competition.
There are 7 crucial steps to effectively clarify what your position is in your focused marketplace:
- Regulate how your brand is currently positioning itself (notice the little things and keep consistent).
- Identify your direct competitors and what they offer that you don’t and vice versa.
- Recognize how each competitor is positioning their own brand. If you know what they are doing, you can do it better.
- Relate your standing to your competitors to identify your uniqueness, see which level they are on and improve on those findings.
- Develop a different and value-based positioning idea.
- Build your brand positioning statement, from all that you have learnt and accumulated from your research.
- Then test towards the efficacy of your brand positioning statement.
Take a look at how these brands position themselves for example:
Starbucks does not just position itself as “We provide our clients with high-quality coffee” but rather goes a step beyond and states “To Cultured Millennials, Starbucks is a premium coffee house that adds an intimate and valuable experience to a consumer’s lifestyle by integrating caffeine with a comfortable environment”. Prius is “More green for less green” whereas Tesla positions itself as “Lay rubber where your carbon used to be.”
A brand’s tagline is different from its position statement, but keep in mind they do influence each other. A brand positioning is where the consumer sees your brand in relation to competitors. Think about it as an x- and y-axis. You can then plot which brand goes where. From the positioning, you then able to see what you are good at, and where your competitors are stronger. In an increasingly competitive market is vital to have a brand position statement as you will be able to cohesively identify your brand and gain a competitive edge.