Launching a brand takes a lot of time and effort. Apart from coming up with a sharp strategy to segment and target your audience, you also have to know how to position your brand well. Through effective brand positioning, you’ll be able to distinguish your product or service from competitors and connect better with your market therefore encouraging brand recall.
Whether you’re planning to enter a market that’s fairly new or one that is already saturated, there is value in brand positioning. If your business falls under the former, you can use brand positioning to specialize in a certain niche so that your product or service still appeals to a certain segment and stands out without having to directly compete with the current market leader. Likewise, for a brand that’s aspiring to be a market leader, having a clearly defined position will allow you to establish a solid following that will be loyal to you no matter how many newcomers come along.
The Benefits of Brand Positioning to Your Startup Business
Are you a startup owner who’s not yet clear about your marketing strategy? Curious about the possible benefits of brand positioning to your company? Read on to find out how it can serve as a tool in growing your reach and setting the foundation of your business.
It sets your product or service apart
Brand positioning enables you to establish what makes your brand stand out from the rest of its competitors in the market. You can do this through a value proposition that only your product or service can provide, or a brand message that addresses a specific problem or concern of your target audience.
It connects you to your audience
Brand positioning allows you to make a direct impact and get your message across to your target audience more effectively. If you’ll be hiring a brand ambassador in the future, this also enables you to select a representative that embodies how you want to convey your product or service to your audience.
It makes your brand more relatable and trustworthy
Positioning also allows you to relay a brand story that resonates with your audience. When customers are able to relate to your brand, trust is often bred.
It establishes the worth of the product or service you are offering
Positioning allows you to establish what makes your products uniquely different from your competitors’, helping them realize why they should patronize your brand.
It will help substantiate your price point
Justifying the price of your product is just as important as proving its perceived added value to the life of your audience. Brand positioning allows you to come up with a reasonable price for your product or service relative to that of your competitors.
It will help you reinforce your message across all platforms
Positioning lends you a deeper understanding of your brand and its distinct qualities so that you are able to convey it in your brand messaging on different communication channels. And if you’ll be utilizing the web and social media in your marketing efforts, it’ll help you be consistent with the content you put out there as well.
It aids with the design process
Your brand positioning can also serve as your guide in designing the logo, typography, web and mobile application development and various elements of your brand, which in turn allows you to communicate with your target audience better.
Positioning Pitfalls You Should Avoid
Developing a successful brand positioning strategy involves a lot of trial and error. Here are some common pitfalls that you should avoid when coming up with your own strategy.
- Not prioritizing strategy
Businesses tend to go straight into picking a language that will appeal to their customers without first thinking if their current strategy is working as well as it should. Before anything else, establish your brand’s objectives and core values first, and segment your target. This should help make choosing a language or tone that’s consistent with your brand persona easier.
- Not working on establishing your niche
How people perceive your organization reflects on your brand, so it’s important that you work on establishing its credibility first. According to Blair Enns of Win Without Pitching, “After you’ve built a firm of deep expertise – maybe as soon as a year or two after repositioning – then you can think about the softer side of positioning your brand, letting your personality shine through.”
- Not looking at the competition
When crafting your strategy, don’t look for areas to work on within the organization alone. Also look at what your competitors are doing, where they are lacking, and how you can position your business to meet those discrepancies.
- Considering having the “lowest price” as a competitive advantage
While it can be tempting to do so since a lot of consumers consider value for money, this isn’t a sustainable approach and may just lead to failure in the long run. Plus, if you’re running a small business, it may put you at a disadvantage against your bigger competitors.
“Bigger more established competitors could force you to take further price reductions that reduce your profits in trying to compete with your larger competitor’s low ball pricing to force you out of the market.” marketing consultancy firm, MyMarketingDept explains.
Coming up with a Brand Positioning Strategy that Works
Just as coming up with a strong brand name is important in capturing your target market’s interest, creating and implementing your own brand positioning strategy is just as important. But with all the resources available out there, it can be confusing which ones to follow. To save you from your dilemma, we’ve come up with a simple step-by-step guide below:
#1. Figure out your company’s mission, vision, and core values
And once you’re done, you should put it into writing. These should help you come up with a sound company positioning statement. The mission statement contains your company or organization’s main objectives, while your vision contains its aspiration. Lastly, the core values
One good example of a company’s core values is that of Ikea’s:
Its vision, “To create a better everyday life for the many people” is short, yet meaningful enough to showcase the heart of the company.
#2. Determine your buyer’s persona
Figure out who they are and where they can be found. Know their function, behaviors, problems, and everything that makes up the specific qualities of your target audience. Then find out which area or industry, your prospective buyers are likely to live in or work.
A recently released infographic by Single Grain reveals that using marketing personas
#3. Know your consumer’s pain points
Find out the issues that your customers encounter and what your product or service can do to address them. Clearly define exactly how you intend to solve the problem with what you are offering.
One of the companies that have effectively recognized its consumer’s pain points is ride booking app pioneer, Uber. It used to be an exclusively black car service before eventually expanding their offerings to appeal and cater to a wider audience. Harris Roberts of Figmints detailed, “With their jet black branding and sleek logo. They were exclusive, cold, and luxurious.”
But the company wasn’t blind to the needs of the public. “Over time their offerings became more diversified and products like Uberx and Uberpool allowed anyone to call a ride and get picked up for a few dollars by a Prius,” he said.
#4. Make your brand stand out
Note how exactly your offerings addresses your customers’ problems differently from your competitors, and what makes your product the better choice. This helps build trust among your customers, which can turn them from occasional buyers to loyal patrons. If you must include a statement distinguishing your brand from a competitor in your written strategy, make sure to keep it internal.
#5. Set the tone
How do you want your brand to be perceived by the public? Fun? Professional? What company are you likely to model the tone of your company? What words would you associate with your organization? Be careful what you decide on at this stage as your tone would have to be consistent across all marketing collaterals.
Bonus Tip: Your Own Brand Positioning Statement Made Easy!
A brand positioning statement condenses all the elements of your brand positioning strategy into one simple declaration. This will then serve as a guide for your whole organization to follow. To get started, you can follow this simple templated from Brandwatch:
[Brand] is a  company that provides  with  by .
1 – The category that your brand falls under
2 – Your target audience
3 – The benefit that you can provide the consumer
4 – How your brand intends to fulfill this promised benefit
So there you have it, a detailed guide to help you develop the best positioning strategy for your brand. All these information may appear to be overwhelming and too tedious to follow at first. But once you’ve gotten a good grasp of it, implementing these tactics in your own strategy will become second nature. And if applied effectively, you’ll start reaping its benefits for your business too.