Brand strategy and positioning recognise that as a business, as an aspirational brand, your business is in a battle for the consumers’ minds.
Simply put, a brand positioning strategy is necessary because people start businesses every day. They literally start-up by the hundreds and vast numbers of new businesses are in the same, similar or comparable markets which means they are often not just competing directly but also indirectly. It’s never been more important to be seen and heard because with shorter attention spans and so much more competition for it, ‘popping up’ is not enough. Grabbing attention alone will not cut it. You need to keep it.
A brand positioning strategy is how you do that. Even when there is a sufficient ad budget (and there often is not enough) in a business, people actively avoid ads, so other avenues for building awareness and recognition are necessary. Goals for your business should include building a really strong brand that can increase your market share but strength comes from resonance and resonance is dependent on a brand positioning strategy.
Positioning, as part of an overarching marketing strategy, helps to create resonance because it ensures relevancy and clarity. It can help you think about your brand is perceived. To create a strong brand, your brand needs to occupy a distinct position in the consumer’s consciousness. You may need to build it or you can create it by changing how they think about your competitors.
At the Core of Positioning
Who are your tribe, what do they love and why should they love you?
If you can answer this, you can explain why they should listen to you. If you know that, you can craft a message that helps you realise your goals with regards to your target segments. Therefore, an initial understanding of who your target segments are. What are their differences and similarities and their underlying loves, fears or unmet needs?
In short, you’ve got to KYC – know your customer, through research, conversation and study. It’s the only way to get through to them to where you can make a lasting impression. It’s the equivalent of making a shocking ad about something customers care about – themselves.
Winning prospective customers needs to be addressed at both ‘fit and hit’ levels – fit needs, wants and anticipate requirements and hit emotions through meeting unmet needs, satisfying unexplored desires and gratifying unrealised angles for delivering delight, beyond all expectations. This may entail an extension to your offering that adds on a tiny margin of cost but is something your customer is willing to pay a higher additional premium.
This is being seen and heard on every level. You go beyond meeting an unmet need in the market to meeting unmet needs in your customer’s psyche and lifestyle. These are important considerations because depending on the barriers to entry, meeting the gap in the market your business does could be replicated. An additional dimension is essential and is where brand positioning strategy comes in.
The success of this process would mean that your brand evokes meanings and feelings about gains and benefits rather than features.
Positioning at its best is not features led, it’s feelings led. The goal is brand supremacy in that position not product superiority in the category. This is an important distinction. You are going for brand love in order to compete and will need to project a distinct and unique brand consistently in order to get the message across.
Successful Brand Positioning Strategy Drives Perception as well as Performance
This is why it’s pivotal to brand strategy, especially one that is integrated because your business is always considering this customer and their needs through both how you interact and engage as well as how you operate, deliver and serve.
A positioning statement is a huge step to defining the dimensions of positioning once the relevant research has been done and insights are gleaned because a very clear view of your target market is fundamental.
Data your organisation already holds is a very useful place to start as is research, especially if your product or service offering or business is new. Positioning is equally important when there is an existing stable of brands and the positioning of a new product will then need to be in light of building a powerful brand architecture that minimises the opportunities for cannibalization.
Brand position and strategy is an approach that creates the best opportunities for your brand to thrive. You’ve got a great offering, one that you believe in but it’s important that this is anchored to the audience who will best appreciate your product, the right message to reach them and the right voice to carry the message.