So, what is brand positioning?
The business dictionary defines brand positioning as: “A marketing strategy that aims to make a brand occupy a distinct position, relative to competing brands, in the mind of the customer. Companies apply this strategy either by emphasizing the distinguishing features of their brand (what it is, what it does and how, etc.) or they may try to create a suitable image (inexpensive or premium, utilitarian or luxurious, entry-level or high-end, etc.) through advertising. Once a brand is positioned, it is very difficult to reposition it without destroying its credibility. Also called product positioning”
Why is it important?
Your brand has a position, whether you have formalised it or not, your brand is already perceived by consumers in a certain way. Understanding or redefining your brand positioning is important to all businesses, as this provides the opportunity to differentiate your brand amongst its competitors and reflect your core brand values through your communication channels. Today, many sectors are over-saturated, flooded by businesses offering similar products or services to customers – this makes it increasingly important to ensure your business stands out from the crowd.
Here are five reasons why understanding your brand positioning is crucial:
1. It sets you apart from your competition
Brand positioning allows you to define your brand and understand what lies at the very core of your business proposition. Understanding this enables you to strategise how your brand and products should be communicated to the customer and through what channels. Understanding your unique position within the marketplace will help establish a clear identity within your chosen market, showcasing your unique selling points and benefits. If your business offers specialised services or a unique product which no other companies offer in your market, it is especially important that your brand values reflect that positioning.
2. It helps you focus
By setting yourself apart from your competitors it will give you more focus in regards to how to best communicate the services you offer to your audience. It is important to identify your strengths and weaknesses in your sector, to fully understand where you sit in the marketplace, enabling you to look for new opportunities. Defining your brand positioning can help to find your unique selling point, positioning your brand as an industry leader or specialist and identifying who your target audience is.
3. It generates more effective and creative decision making
Clear brand positioning allows you talk to your customers and competitors with confidence and consistency. Once the brand character and key messages have been developed, you can create a clear set of creative guidelines to follow – having a clear vision and understanding your brand USPs allows you to develop interesting, on-brand, relevant campaigns which resonate with your target audience, in your chosen market. This will not restrict your creativity, instead it will help you make informed business decisions and help you develop high-impact marketing activities.
4. It aids storytelling and amplifies your brand messages
Brand storytelling is a huge part of your brand proposition evolution – it is the dialogue you have with your customers and how you bring your brand essence / character to life. When you understand who your audience is and what is at the heart of your brand, you can begin to develop a meaningful narrative which can resonate through all communications materials. Consumers are emotional beings, and it is becoming increasingly important for people to genuinely connect with what a brand stands for.
5. Increases the opportunity for conversion
A strong brand vision can make all the difference when it comes to converting customers to make a purchase, or generate leads. If your consumers understand your brand and can connect with it emotionally and functionally, you have a greater opportunity to convince them to choose your brand over competitors and convert. Today, clearly communicating your brand essence, key messages and benefits can be the difference between making a sale, or not. When considering the multiple touch points a customer may interact with your brand, you must meet your customers different ‘needs-states’ cross-channel. Consistency is key here in order to increase opportunity to capture the sale.