Nowadays, businesses only have one thing in mind: standing out. Due to the congested nature of today’s business landscape, setting yourself apart from your competitors is becoming more and more challenging. Without differentiating yourself in such a congested marketplace, it can be difficult to sustain your growth and remain competitive. But, when it comes to getting ahead of the competition, where do you even start?
Fortunately, there are several proven strategies that you can employ to be able to stand out. One such strategy is brand positioning.
What is brand positioning?
Brand positioning is an often overlooked yet impactful part of marketing strategy. At its most basic, brand positioning refers to how a company sets itself apart from its competitors. It helps customers get an overview of a company’s values to influence their buying behavior. However, brand positioning is more than just highlighting your company’s unique selling point or coming up with a catchy slogan, it’s a comprehensive strategy that aims to boost your credibility and thought leadership.
When positioning a brand, one of the most important things you need to keep in mind is brand association. Brand association is when your customers attribute a certain quality to your brand. It fosters easier recognition of positive characteristics that help people remember your brand and ultimately differentiate you from your competitors.
Why is brand positioning important for small businesses?
Small businesses need brand positioning to stand out in a crowded marketplace. It enables them to understand their customers better and make informed marketing decisions. Brand positioning is an integral part of marketing as it encourages customers and potential customers to take notice of your company’s uniqueness. Through this, your customers will pay more attention to the quality of your product regardless of price.
What are the main goals of brand positioning?
While the main goal of brand positioning is to differentiate your business from your competitors, it should also support brand recall. Brand positioning is an all-encompassing strategy that provides consumers with visuals and concepts about a particular brand. In essence, it determines how you could best communicate to your customers in a way that’s consistent with your brand. Highlighting why your product is different and creating a unique impression in your customer’s mind positions you and your products to stay adaptable and competitive.
How to Improve Brand Positioning: Tactics and Strategies For Small Businesses
As previously mentioned, brand positioning is more than just writing a catchy tagline and developing a logo. Brand positioning enables your brand to appeal to your target market and potential customers. However, it’s important to understand that brand positioning doesn’t happen overnight. Brand positioning, like everything in business, needs constant work. Fortunately, there are several tactics and strategies that you can use to better handle your brand positioning efforts. Check out some of them below:
Know who your customers are
Before you get started on your branding campaign, you should first know who your customers are. Effective brand positioning means you have to have an idea of the products that your customers buy, what their interests are, as well as what influences them when purchasing a product. Having this information will help you create a persona for your brand and enable you to personalize your messaging in order to appeal to your target market.
Establish your brand’s personality
A critical component of brand positioning, establishing your brand’s personality humanizes your brand and makes you more relatable to your intended customers. While finding your brand’s persona sounds simple, it actually involves a lot of work.
Consider Nike’s Just Do It campaign. It has stood the test of time (it was first used in the late 80s) and is still considered one of the most innovative campaigns of all time. Regardless of how you interpret it, Nike’s Just Do It campaign served as an inspirational rallying cry that spoke to millions of aspiring athletes and everyday people that want to take care of their health.
Determine what sets you apart – and focus on it!
Determining what sets you apart defines what your company can uniquely offer. In essence, this means identifying your unique selling point or USP. Identifying your USP enables you to highlight the value you create and sell the problem that you solve.
One of the best tools that you can use to determine what sets you apart is market research. Through the use of concrete data, you will be able to obtain an unbiased view of the marketplace and recognize what you need to do in order to stand out. Not only does a unique selling point give you an edge in the marketplace, but it also puts focus on what your competitors lack.
Create a strong positioning statement
A positioning statement gives your customers an idea of what you can offer that others can’t. It essentially creates brand recall that would let you stay top-of-mind no matter how congested a particular industry is. According to Adhere Creative, a brand positioning statement defines how your product fits in your customer’s lives. This means finding the value in your product and focusing on how you do it better than your competitors. If you are in the initial stages of launching a company or a new product, make sure to establish a strong positioning statement that is aligned with your overall voice. If you’re unsure where to start, here are a couple of tips when developing a position statement:
- Identify your target market
- Determine your differentiators
- Craft a positioning statement with your target market in mind and the unique benefits that your products offer
- Evaluate your positioning statement and make sure it’s clear and concise
- Communicate your positioning statement consistently (and regularly!) across all of your platforms
Consistency, consistency, consistency
To ensure brand positioning success, you need consistency. In a brand positioning campaign, it’s important to make sure that your copy, graphics, and other types of content ties-in with your overall brand voice. This is key for leads and customers to gain a holistic view of your brand and your products. Contrary to popular belief, brand positioning not only applies to customer-facing marketing collateral, but also to a company’s internal messaging. Having employees “live and breathe” what you stand for is a surefire way to bolster your brand positioning efforts.
What are some brand positioning examples?
Are you wondering if brand positioning works? Here are a few companies that have successfully positioned themselves over their competitors:
- Dollar Shave Club – Quite possibly a contender for the best brand positioning strategy in the last decade, the Dollar Shave Club hit the ground running and attracted consumers towards their low-cost razors. However, that doesn’t mean that Dollar Shave Club products lack quality. The company has positioned itself as a leader in quality grooming products at a fraction of the price.
- Trader Joe’s – Trader Joe’s brand positioning appeals to consumers that are looking for healthier alternatives. Put simply, Trader Joe’s highlights their health-focused products while creating a fun shopping atmosphere in each store. Another great thing about Trader Joe’s is that their products are reasonably priced. High-quality food at an affordable price? Genius.
- Apple – It’s probably difficult to find a person in this world that has never heard about Apple and their products. From powerful laptops to sleek mobile phones, Apple’s message emphasizes the value that their products offer and positions them not only as a technology leader but also as a lifestyle brand.
The thing about brand positioning strategy, like everything in business, is that it really depends on the type of company you have and how you want to be perceived by the general public. It’s possible for companies to try and fail a couple of times before finding the right brand positioning formula. But once you establish the right brand positioning strategy for your company, it’ll be easier for you to shape consumer preferences and allow you to remain competitive in an oversaturated market.
Once you have established a great brand positioning strategy, expect your products to fly off the shelves! If you need additional financing to produce more inventory, check out Kickfurther. Kickfurther is an online inventory financing platform that connects brands to a marketplace of funding.
The great thing about Kickfurther is that companies go through an extensive vetting process before they can tap into the Kickfurther community. This creative funding model is an innovative way for businesses to get the funding that they need without tying up their cash flow on inventory. For more information, visit www.kickfurther.com.