Crafting your brand positioning is essential – but what exactly is brand positioning? Simply put, it’s the way your brand aims to differentiate in order to claim a distinctive space in the minds of consumers. How your company positions its brand in the minds of consumers is a crucial step you don’t want to overlook during the website creation process. The perception, images and thoughts that a consumer thinks about are all essential pieces of the positioning puzzle. Ensuring those thoughts and images about your company and offerings are highly favorable is the key.
Common considerations for brand positioning
In general, a company should start by deciding to satisfy very specific customer needs or even a single need if possible. It should avoid attempting to satisfy too many things for everyone as this is often difficult to communicate and utterly confusing. In addition, a company should decide to satisfy just those specific needs it’s really good at and hopefully in a way that no other company can match. Here is where a company’s competitive advantage must come into play. You want to capitalize on this and communicate this advantage to the world. Maybe the company has a set of value propositions that satisfy a cluster of needs that is so unique, very few competitors can compete. You also want to consider your target audience (both primary and secondary).
Your target audience must be able to identify with your brand and recognize your unique offerings.
They should have a special place in their minds that they reserve just for your brand. So for example, when a customer is in need of Lemon Garlic Turkey Jerky made with 100% turkey breast, there should be only one brand that comes to mind!
Evaluate your offerings
Developing and establishing a brand positioning takes time and careful consideration. You need to look at your brand internally and also consider the competition. You’ll need to evaluate how your services stack up against the competition and it’s important that you are honest about what you discover. Because while you may think you offer a unique credit card service millennials will love or a luxurious and high quality bag women can’t wait to get a hold of, the reality is that consumers are well informed and rarely ever fooled. So check your ego at the door and be completely forthright with what your company is really good at (and not so good at).
Points of difference and points of parity
Surely there will be similarities between the various brands and offerings. But these points of parity are not where we recommend spending most of your time. Instead a company should know their points of difference and how those differences make them unique.
Identifying the point of difference – This is where our agency likes to spend some extra time in order to discover the benefits a customer associates with a brand. These attributes may be numerous but often times there are just a few (even one) that really make all the difference. With Apple it can be design and ease of use. With Coca Cola it can be classic taste. With All State Insurance it can be that you are in the best of hands. Whatever those associations may be, it’s important that they create strong and favorable associations between brand and consumer.
A company should also be aware of top competitors, including the strategies and tactics utilized by competitors. This will help define the competitive frame of reference to guide positioning. And as for competitors it’s the direct and top competitors that you want to pay close attention to. Another great tool is the SWOT analysis that includes a competitive analysis. But we’ll save the SWOT analysis for another write-up.
Positioning should be clear
Remember, the goal is to place your brand firmly in the minds of consumers in a special place that maximizes the benefit to your firm.
Everyone in the company should be clear on the brand positioning so that they may use it as context for making decisions. Sometimes it helps to be able to condense the overall positioning into a single concise statement such as a tagline or mantra. Of course, that’s up to you to decide. However, ensuring employees are clear on positioning will go a long way towards effective customer-focused communication.