Many businesses focus on mass production, marketing and selling but they rarely think about customers’ perception of their company. It is no longer enough to offer products or services that sell on features and benefits.
Customers are no longer simply shopping for products. They desire to be a part of an exciting and promising brand. The desire to experience and belong to something special and unique has become a significant element when choosing which company to buy from. But how we see ourselves and what our potential clients think are not always the same.
What is brand positioning?
Definition: Brand positioning is a marketing strategy that helps businesses differentiate from their rivals and own a certain space in consumers’ minds. In other words, brand positioning is key to success as no company can establish itself in the market without expertly developing its reputation. Brand positioning is a complex process based on concepts as uniqueness, trustworthiness, memorability, unambiguity and meaningfulness.
Great brand positioning is based on seeing things from the 3Cs:
- Customers – What do consumers want
- Competitor – What your competitor does best
- Company – What your brand does best
What is a brand positioning statement?
A great brand positioning statement represents a brief summary of what a company does, who your target customer is and what makes you unique. The statement highlights the brand’s identity, purpose and essential characteristics that will help your customers distinguish you in the competitive market.
Brand positioning statement examples
A brand positioning statement consists of 4 components: target audience, brand name, category, point of difference. The statement you create serves as a guide for marketing strategies you want to put into practice.
For example, Apple might use the following positioning statement:
“For individuals who want the best personal computer or mobile device, Apple leads the technology industry with the most innovative products. Apple emphasizes technological research and advancement and takes an innovative approach to business best practices – it considers the impact our products and processes have on its customers and the planet.”
And McDonald’s might use the following positioning statement:
“For individuals looking for a quick service restaurant with an exceptional customer experience, McDonald’s is a leader in the fast food industry, with its friendly service and consistency across thousands of convenient locations. McDonald’s dedication to improving operations and customer satisfaction sets it apart from other fast food restaurants”.
We know that fast food is not the healthiest but McDonald’s still promises that you will love the taste of its food and enjoy the fast service and convenience.
Although these two companies target a broad range of consumers, it might sometimes be a good idea to create different statements for different target market segments. Once you do this, you can start marketing your brand effectively – positioning your brand.
Why is brand positioning important?
If your brand is seen to be similar to what others, it will be lost among thousands of competitors and thus less likely to succeed.
Here are 5 reasons why brand positioning plays an important role in the company’s growth:
- It allows a company to take a leading position
Brand positioning helps differentiate yourself from competitors, increase brand awareness, and highlight your benefits and uniqueness. A great, strong brand position helps you grow and increase market share.
- It makes it easier for your target consumer to buy from you
An excellent brand position streamlines the consumer decision making process. Rather than spending time and effort assessing their many options, consumers can instead rely on the trust they have of your brand. This increases conversion rate and the speed of decision-making.
- It helps you offer a better quality of product and service
When you occupy a certain niche in the market, you start focusing on the quality of your service. This helps you look for new opportunities and understand your target market better. Defining your brand positioning is a perfect way to analyze your strengths and weaknesses and find your point of differentiation.
- Brand positioning defines your value proposition
The value proposition of the business is the unique combination of what you offer to your target customers. In a nutshell, it explains why customers should choose exactly your product or service over another provided by competitors.
- It creates a unique brand story
Thanks to brand positioning, consumers will become emotionally and functionally attached to your brand. The brand story builds connections between your business and your customer. An impressive brand narrative will evoke emotions and response from your target audience. Brand storytelling is the core of your business positioning strategy, it is the heart of your brand that helps consumers to understand your company and products.
Brand positioning examples:
Nike – brand strategy that inspires other companies
Nike is a well-known brand that offers a wide range of athletic shoes and clothes. It positions itself as an inspirational brand that is available for everyone. Nike is a great brand positioning strategy example.
Nike has effective brand positioning that helps the company to be the best. Their slogan “Just do it” encourages people to challenge themselves and try to go the extra mile to reach goals. Nike uses segmentation that helps it meet the needs of different people. It divides the entire market into smaller segments and serves each group appropriately so that customers feel a part of something global.
Coca-Cola – brand that is recognised around the world
Coca-Cola is one of the most successful brands in the world due to the strength of its brand positioning. It conquered a unique place in the consumer’s mind and continues to maintain that position through powerful advertisements and product innovation. It targets a broad market, follows current trends, and satisfies the needs of different segments of the market: from children who are full of energy, to more mature adults who enjoy spending time with their family over a refreshing drink.
Coca-Cola’s strong brand positioning strategy is based on evoking strong emotions and values such as happiness, fun, unity, and sharing. Their Christmas advertisement business campaign is world-famous. A sense of the holidays, gifts, and a feeling of joy and love make this the quintessential Christmas advertisement campaign.
What is brand positioning strategy? Types of brand positioning strategies
Once you determine your target audience and competitors, it is time to choose the right brand positioning strategy. These can be built on the following attributes:
The brand positioning strategy based on a specific category implies the idea of launching a fundamentally new product, so that it improves the whole product category. What you offer should have many advantages and unique characteristics over other brands, otherwise you will not be able to occupy a leading position. You will get a bigger market share when you understand the problem of your customer and suggest a solution or propose innovative ideas.
Brand building and positioning based on the customer is relevant if you decide to serve one segment of the market. You can do a market analysis, test possible hypotheses and identify the target audience. It is common practice for many brands to collect customer feedback, reveal possible drawbacks and develop the unique offer for a specific segment of consumers.
You can also choose to position your brand against the competition, just like how Apple positioned themselves against Windows. If you want to seize your competitor’s market share, you have to show their customers that you are the better choice.
Benefit positioning is difficult if you operate in a highly-competitive atmosphere. Nevertheless, certain benefits force a potential buyer to make a final decision. A product’s benefit is not always physical, it sometimes brings about emotional satisfaction which in many cases could be even more important.
There are 3 price positions you can adopt: set prices lower than your competitors, offer more value for less money, offer more value for more money.
This type of brand positioning strategy is about concentrating on the features of your product. It encourages consumers to reject substitute products and focus on the uniqueness and qualities of your business’s offer.
Prestige positioning is when consumers are ready to pay not only for goods or services the businesses provide, but also pay an extra amount for luxury and other considerations. For instance, full service airline British Airways prices higher than their budget airline competitors.
Let’s have a look at examples of brilliant brand positioning strategy.
Dove uses a customer-focused brand positioning strategy. It mainly emphasizes the idea of women’s natural beauty. Their marketing campaigns are focused on increasing women’s confidence and self-esteem. Dove’s campaigns features real people and without the use photo manipulation.
“I love the idea that their mission is about showing women as they really are, so the idea of serving as creative director for a campaign such as this felt really natural.” – Shonda Rhimes, American television producer
6 steps to crafting the right strategy
Here is a 6-step guide to creating the right marketing strategy:
1. Determine your brand’s current position in the marketplace. Find out, where your brand positions in the world (or local) market.
2. Identify your competitors and conduct a competitive analysis on their relative strengths and weaknesses
3. Specify what makes your brand unique or desired
4. Create a positioning statement based on your value proposition and goals
5. Establish strong emotional attachment with your target audience
6. Maintain your identity and make sure you move in the right direction