With so much competition in the business ecosystem, it has become very important that your brand set itself apart and position itself in the mind of the consumer. A properly developed brand position strategy will help your brand build an engaging online audience faster than anything else. Of course, positioning your brand comes from your knowledge and understanding of your consumer. The aim of a brand when trying to position itself is to stand out to the target audience by differentiating the brand from competitors. A brand needs to find proper channel to connect emotionally with the target audience and make their service relevant to consumers at all times.
What is Brand Positioning ?
Positioning is the marketing strategy that aims to make a brand occupy a different position, relative to competing brands, in the mind of the customer. What this means in simple term is that your brand comes to mind anytime your consumer think of a particular product or service in your industry. Brand positioning is also referred to as brand strategy, positioning strategy, or a brand positioning statement.
The idea behind this undertaken according to the best-selling book “Positioning: The Battle For Your Mind” by author Jack Trout is to identify and try to “own” a marketing niche for a brand, service, or product utilizing various strategies which include promotions, pricing, packaging, distribution, and competition. The overall idea behind an effective brand positioning is to create an impression so unique in the mind of the consumer that he will come to associate your brand with something specific and desirable.
The objective of brand positioning is to target the “consumer’s reason” to buy your brand in preference to others. This concept ensures that the brand activities is guided, directed and delivered by brand’s reasons to buy.
It should be noted that it is the consumer that build brands and not the company. While it can be argued that the brands can influence the consumer perceptions through marketing and advertising tactics, it’s the consumer who experiences a brand; he is also the one that develops expectations based on his experience of the brand. Hence, an effective brand positioning strategy must be unique and believable.
Your brand positioning strategy must also be:
- Unique/distinctive vs. competitors
- Difficult to copy
- Strong enough to withstand competitor counter-attacks
- Significant and encouraging to the niche market
- Proper to all major geographic markets and businesses
- Helps organization achieve its financial goals
- Support and boost organization perception and image
For a brand positioning to be wholesome, it must be able to occupy a distinctive place and value in the target consumer’s mind. For instance – Apple Inc. positions itself in the consumer’s mind as one entity which can provide high quality and one-stop solution for all the smartphone needs.
Brand Positioning Strategy Process
Brand positioning is not an easy task. In fact, it is one of the most difficult tasks any organization can undertake because it involves competing against major competitors in order to wrestle the control of bigger market share from them. Before you can create an effective position strategy, your organization must first identify what makes it unique and find out what set it apart from your major competitors.
Here are 5 effective steps to position your brand in the marketplace:
- Determine How Your Brand Is Currently Positioning Itself
What are your plans for attack? What makes your brand unique? How do you plan to set yourself in the mind of consumers? The answers to these questions will help you plan effectively on what strategies; promotional and marketing methods to adopt.
- Identify your direct competitors
You cannot begin to position your brand until you know and understand who you are competing against. This is one of the first steps you must take when your organization decides to apply positioning strategy.
- Study and Understand Your competitor Positioning Strategy
To launch an effective counter-attack, you must first take the time to study, evaluate, and understand the strategies adopted by your competitors and then adopt a unique strategy to make your brand unique.
- Develop a Distinct and Value-based Positioning Idea
An effective brand positioning must be unique and distinctive. It must provide value to the consumer and give them the reason to buy. A brand must make a believable and sustainable promise to gain their trust and loyalty.
- Develop A Brand Positioning Statement
This is a declaration statement that communicates your brand’s unique value to your customer’s in relation to your major competitors. When crafting your brand positioning statement, you must incorporate into the statement a concise summary of your target customer; you must state your market definition, your brand benefits to your target customers, and the reason to believe your brand.
Brand positioning strategy example:Apple
For instance, in recent years, Apple Inc. new CEO Tim Cook, has changed Apple’s brand positioning statement to read;
“Apple designs Macs, the best personal computers in the world, along with OS X, iLife, iWork and professional software. Apple leads the digital music revolution with its iPods and iTunes online store. Apple has reinvented the mobile phone with its revolutionary iPhone and App store, and is defining the future of mobile media and computing devices with iPad”
When you have crafted a strong brand positioning statement, you can go ahead and consolidate it by creating a slogan or tagline that helps your brand to accomplish the position you are looking to own.
Brand Positioning Errors
There are various positioning errors you must avoid while positioning your brand:
- Under Positioning
This involves creating a vague and unclear idea of your brand.
- Confused Positioning
This scenario occurs when your target customers have a confused opinion of your brand.
- Double Positioning
This occurs when your positioning is not believable and the target costumers refuse to accept your brand claims.
When your postioning strategy has gone, your brand needs a brand repositioning
Brand positioning is the base for creating and enhancing the required knowledge and perceptions of the customers. It is a concept that will make your brand stand out from your competitors. A business that desires to have a bigger market share and the control of the market must make brand positioning their top priority.