“Why should I choose you? What makes you so special? Why should I care about you? You say you’re the best option on the block? Prove it to me.” These are the thoughts of your customer.
What is Brand Positioning?
Positioning or brand positioning is to own a place in the minds of your consumers. What image comes when your consumer perceives your brand is known as brand positioning. To fully grasp the concept of brand positioning one should know the two gurus of marketing: Al Ries and Jack Trout. They are the fathers of positioning concept and world’s top marketing experts.
Brand Positioning – Examples
If you are considering secure messaging communication, you would think of blackberry smartphones. If you are dreaming about fast luxury cars, you would be thinking Lamborghini. The more the customers feel that the brand is relevant with what they are defining them as and how they distinguish them from their competitors, the stronger the brand positioning is.
It would be beneficial for us to consider four significant concepts to let the definition of brand positioning fully sink in. These are:
- What kind of feel or perception does the product or service category give to the customers? How does competition define its products or services?
- Who is the ideal customer? What is the persona of the customer?
- Why should customers consider your brand? What benefits or differences does the brand provide?
- How do customers believe that you are actually providing what you are saying?
Brand Positioning Statement
To create a brand positioning statement, the following sample statement should be considered:
To target (Who) product or service is the (what) that specifies (why) and (how) ensures it. This sample template helps in deciding the key and strategic choices.
The positioning also clarifies a competitive difference. Consumers are constantly posing the “why should I choose you?” question, and you need to be ready with the elements that make your brand stand out.
Strategy Objectives of Brand Positioning
Relevance, differentiation and credibility & attainability are the must-achieve objectives of brand positioning. They are individually elaborated as:
It is the first and foremost priority. The target audience should find the brand engaging and resonating with they are selling. It does not matter how much the brand is different, if it is not relevant for the ideal customer then it won’t make much impact.
It is that important element which drives brand positioning success. The brand, with its offerings and uniqueness, should be able to stand itself out among its competitors.
Credibility and Attainability:
It is the last but not least important element. If you cannot ensure your offering and hold yourself accountable, then customers will not feel safe to make the purchase.
It is utmost important to ensure all three objectives simultaneously otherwise there will be undesired consequences. Elaborately, highly relevant brands take a hit in the form of becoming a commodity. While highly unique brands become a subset of the market. All three objectives must be met to avoid the risk of being commoditized and becoming niche providers.
Brand Positioning Process
Understanding all Stakeholders needs & desires.
Stakeholder analysis is useful in meeting the needs of all the interested parties. Let’s first define stakeholders and stakeholders analysis and understand the process of stakeholder analysis.
A stakeholder is any individual, group or organization/institute that can be affected by the project’s success or failure. These entities may or may not be needed in the decision making the process.
Stakeholder analysis is an important process of methodically collection and analysis of qualitative information in determining which person or organization should we take into account during considering interests for success or failure of a project. It is the first and foremost step in managing stakeholders.
Process of Stakeholder Analysis
The process of stakeholder analysis is a four-step process:
- Figure out your Stakeholders
At this phase, you should be thinking about all the people who are being affected by this project – people whose influence can turn the project into success or a loss.
2. Assign priority to your Stakeholders
In this stage, a power interest grid is used to determine the level of interest your different stakeholders or the organization have in the process and their power to affect or be affected by it. For instance, your boss has higher power, influence, and interest over your projects whereas your family may have high interest but lesser power over them. The position of any entity over the grid helps you to understand what kind of action you should and would be taking with them.
3. Understand your stakeholders
The third stage is to understand the interest of your stakeholders in the project. The best way to find this information is to consult your stakeholder directly. Key questions to help you understand them could be:
- What interest do they have in the outcome of your work? is it positive or negative?
- How are they likely to feel about and react to your project?
- What is the best way to engage and communicate with them?
- What motivates them most of all?
- What information do they want from you and how do they wish to receive it?
- What would encourage them to support your project?
- Who else do they know who may be influenced by their opinions? Should these people become stakeholders in their own right?
It is an opportunity model that identifies trends, forces, and conditions. It does this by collecting and studying past and present information. This model is helpful for management in meeting company goals by deciding appropriate strategies. The model determines the unique positioning for a brand by using an idea of differentiation, credibility, relevance, and stretch.
It is a model that defines brand identity. This model or platform involves seven elements. These elements are:
- Vision or Mission statement
- Core Identity Concepts
- Brand Promise
- Value Proposition
When customers associate your brand with some corporate image, that is what brand platform is all about. These associations may be obvious and strong like the brand Blackberry is associated with secure communication. While on the other hand, the associations can be weak. Like, the Facebook messenger may be associated with secure communication but only in a weak manner.
The possible images that a brand may want customers to have come from many sources. For instance, the customer may perceive brand from the most-cared benefits, the brand is providing. Moreover, the self-image of the target audience or other descriptors can also give a perception of the brand. Company’s history or core competency can also give the brand’s image.
Brand identity & design consists of every component that is related to a product, service, company or person. Brand identity includes the following items:
The current reputation of any brand gets a boost from brand identity. Brand identity brings new clientele and makes existing customers more special. It brings both internal and external benefits.
An important idea behind the strategy of brand architecture is the different levels at which customers relate the brands. For example:
- Master or corporate brands
- Endorsed brands
- Product brands
- Product descriptors
To create your brand architecture, follow this five-step process:
- First, list down each feature of your every product/service
- Consider benefits
- Consider each feature and its benefits individually and assess its importance level in the market
- Assign ranking to your features and benefits
- There are few brands that their architectures are built around features
Continuous Evolution and Development
In order to effectively market itself, a brand must create a distinctive offering for a brand, which distinguishes the brand in the hearts and minds of the consumer, boosts its appeal and positively influences current and future purchase potential of the customer. Basically, consistent, sustained and differentiated brand positioning results in positive brand equity which is what outcomes favorable results of all the efforts.