Establishing Your Brand Positioning
Brands are like babies, it takes a little thought and a little time to create them and then there they are, out in the world and nobody really tells you how to acclimate them or socialize them. Much the same as a small child, brands need to grow awareness and expand their appeal to specific demographics. The goal of any business or nonprofit group is to grow and either expand the customer base and increase revenue or at a minimum maximize the outreach and impact the of the brand on specific markets. The way these goals are achieved is through brand positioning and marketing; but what does that mean exactly? Many people come to us asking questions about how they can begin improving local and global brand recognition and expand their sphere of influence within their target group or niche. So, we have decided to explain the ins and outs of what good brand positioning and sound marketing looks like:
What is Brand Positioning?
At its most simple and basic level, brand positioning is a process that helps put your brand in the best possible light within your market and helps keep it in the mind of your customers. Brand positioning can also be communally known as a positioning strategy or a brand strategy.
Part of creating this roadmap to success is developing a Brand Positioning Statement. This is the Who, What, For Whom, What is the need, Against Whom do we compete, What is our Point of Differentiation and Why does the consumer care exercise. These sound like simple questions but quite often they are difficult to fine tune.
A positioning statement is quite simply how a brand aspires to be perceived in the minds of their consumers. A no-nonsense, easy to understand statement that IS NOT a tagline, nor is it a long drawn out explanation of the brand and is definitely NOT open to interpretation.
By creating this Brand Positioning statement, the goal of business marketing is to in essence own a marketing niche and be the first name customers think of – this can be for an overall brand, a single or batch of products, or some special services that are provided. For example, Nike owns the marketing niche for athletic shoes, Starbucks has a strong hold on the coffeehouse market, and Mc Donald’s, Burger King, and Chick-Fil-A have some of the strongest holds on the fast food niche.
This stronghold on their particular market is achieved by using various strategies to get their name out there in front of customers and to make their brand memorable – these include pricing, ads, promotions, distribution, services, products, packaging, customer relations, and competition. The goal is to create a strong, positive, and unique impression in the customer’s mind so your brand is what they think of first and your businesses the one they choose when they have a need that you can fill and satisfy for them. This is a key part of business marketing.
Brand positioning and marketing have to both work together in order to be successful, and they often happen – some way shape or form – without much effort because it is essential to any level of business success. “Brand positioning occurs whether or not a company is proactive in developing a position, however, if management takes an intelligent, forward-looking approach, it can positively influence its brand positioning in the eyes of its target customers”.
Brand positioning statements are an important part of the business plan and are part of what helps customers remember them. However, they are often confused with company taglines or slogans. There are several key differences that need to be understood in order to maximize their impact. Positioning statements are intended for use by the employers and employees within the company or the members of the group. These statements guide brand positioning and marketing procedures and methods. A positioning statement helps you make the important decisions that can directly affect your customer’s perception and view of your brand.
A tagline is an external statement that helps push the perception of the brand in the right direction. Insights from your positioning statement may give rise to a tagline, but it is important to note that they are different. A tagline is short and simple and is the ‘jingle’ that gets stuck in people’s heads. It is that quick blurb that helps with improving loc