Brand positioning can differentiate your brand while creating value for consumers. Regardless of the phase of maturity your business is in, it’s important to set up brand positioning. So what exactly is brand positioning? Keep reading to learn more.
What is brand positioning?
Brand positioning can be summarized as the space within someone’s mind that a company occupies. How does a brand differentiate itself from its competitors? What does an individual first think about when it comes to a particular brand? How does someone feel when they hear the name of the brand? These are the million-dollar questions that businesses find themselves asking and trying to shape the answers to every day when it comes to their brand and their products. Ideally, companies want to control their brand’s positioning, and they will take steps to do so by using specific messaging, imagery, and advertising techniques to convey their brand’s position into the minds of consumers.
Brand positioning does not always only require advertising, there are other ways that companies can affect how the average consumer views their brand. For example, philanthropic work is an enormous influence on how individuals see a particular brand and how it relates to them, their community, and the rest of the world. Sometimes, although the results are positive, philanthropy can backfire and actually make a brand suffer or evoke negative feelings from consumers when they hear about certain companies advertising their philanthropic work.
Another way a brand can position itself into the mind of the average consumer is by sponsorships and endorsements. Many brands will purchase the naming rights to a local sports venue, or even sponsor an individual, like a pro-golfer, NASCAR driver, or another form of professional athlete. Although the company is not directly advertising their brand, they are positioning their brand in the minds of sports fans and individuals who consume sporting events at a venue or on television. Again, this can backfire if a certain celebrity sports personality should suffer a scandal. This is why so many companies will pull out their brand endorsement of particular personalities if it may have the slightest chance of reflecting negatively on their brand image.
The same way brands can endorse sport’s figures, they can endorse actors, TV personalities, fashion icons, and basically anyone who has a large enough following to make a difference. That is why you see certain makeup lines partnering with certain celebrities, fragrances with certain actors, etc. By the brand being associated with a particular celebrity, the brand positions itself in the mind of the consumer who may follow that celebrity’s line of work and personal life.
Brand positioning strategies
Before a company is ready to develop a new marketing campaign or launch a brand new cornerstone product, they may want to understand what their brand represents and how they should position the brand in the minds of consumers. There are many strategies that a company’s marketing department or an advertising firm can implement in order to best position a brand in the markets of its target audiences, however, there are also just a few basic principles that a company may want to consider at the core of its marketing strategy.
The first key to successfully marketing a brand and conveying its message is to be authentic. Nobody likes super cheesy, phony, and unrealistic advertising with lofty promises that feels ingenuine. Consumers want a brand that is real, relatable, and trustworthy. They want to feel like it is a win-win situation for both the company and the consumer. The company provides a good or service that serves a purpose in someone’s life, and in return, it is understandable that the company will make a profit. Any brand positioning should contain a story that encapsulates the mission of the company and the values it bases itself on.
What are your competitors doing?
Next, make sure to do diligent research. See what your competitors are doing. Where are their brands positioned? Where does your brand fit into the larger picture? There are many ways that competitors can all be profitable while cornering their share of the market. Of course, there may always be overlap and direct competition, but you may be surprised that certain competitors may not be well-equipped to cater to certain types of customers, and it is there that there is a need. You may be able to position your brand strategically to fill that void and then some.
Last, make sure you are adaptable. Do not be afraid to adjust our messaging on the fly once you begin to receive customer feedback and see what is working and what is not. A brand’s position is not a stagnant thing. It is constantly evolving. Even the biggest brands like Pepsi and Coca-Cola need to reinvent themselves from time to time.
Advantages of brand positioning
Being in control of a brand’s messaging and its positioning has numerous benefits. Here is a small sample of some of those benefits.
- Brand loyalty: Brand loyalty can be a strong advantage. First, you will have a strong customer base who will always choose your products over competitors, and second, those same customers will always advocate for your product to undecided consumers.
- Brand recall: When consumers begin to automatically associate a brand with its brand position, this is called brand recall. When presented with a handful of products, the easier they are able to recall a particular brand, the more often they will instinctively choose it.
- Compete on more than price: With successful brand positioning, you can appeal to a consumer base that may understand that your products may not always be the cheapest, but they are the best. Price competition is important, but it does not always have to be a race to the bottom, nor should it be.
These benefits and more are the reasons why brand positioning is so important in today’s global market.
How do you define brand positioning?
Brand positioning is the active shaping of a brand’s image and messaging in the mind’s of consumers. It is how people think and feel about a particular brand.
Tips on how to define your brand’s positioning
When you are in the early stages of positioning your brand, there are a few ways you can improve your positioning.
First, make sure you always listen to your customers. You may want to set up focus groups, send out surveys with products, or just have one-on-one conversations with customers at events. Customer feedback can be crucial to ensure you are getting the right feel for how your product is being received on the open market.
Next, do not be afraid to refocus or adapt your statement and position. Maybe your messaging tries to do too much, is too abstract, or it isn’t reaching the people who make up your target audience. Go back to the drawing board and focus on the basics and do not be afraid to change, adapt, and refocus your messaging.
Last, it is always good to create some buzz around your product. You can run some paid advertisements or sponsor an event and give out samples and interact with potential new customers.
Growing your brand involves great attention to detail. Some startups and small businesses may try to avoid brand positioning due to a lack of funds. However, this may ultimately lead to their failure. Part of creating products that consumers love is finding your brand position. Startups and small businesses may struggle to find financing to help their business grow. If you own a startup or small business and need inventory financing, you can turn to Kickfurther for the funding you need. Kickfurther is the world’s first online inventory financing platform that enables companies to access funds that they are unable to acquire through traditional sources. We connect brands to a community of eager buyers who help fund the inventory on consignment and give brands the flexibility to pay that back as they receive cash from their sales. This alleviates the cash-flow pinch that lenders can cause without customized repayment schedules, allowing your brand to scale quickly without impeding your ability to maintain inventory or financial flexibility.