It’s tempting to jump right into marketing. Who doesn’t want to have fun building an online presence and creating witty ads? But developing brand positioning goals upfront helps you construct a cohesive marketing strategy that solidifies your reputation with customers. Learn more about brand positioning in marketing and how you can use it to tailor your strategies.
What Is Brand Positioning?
Brand positioning involves crafting your offerings and building your image to inhabit a distinct place in your target customers’ minds. Your brand positioning strategy will be based on how you want customers to perceive your company. It will inform every component of your messaging and your marketing.
Why Is Brand Positioning Important?
Brand positioning allows you to market your product or service as a competitive alternative to the competition. Several benefits of brand positioning include:
- Unifies your brand message across all platforms.
- Helps you align your marketing with your company's core values.
- Grabs the attention of your target audience
- Builds customer loyalty
- Differentiates your business from direct competitors
The successful positioning of your brand can help your business grow substantially. Whether you operate in a niche market or serve a wide variety of customers, the benefits of brand positioning are numerous.
Types of Brand Positioning
Brand positioning strategies vary significantly based on your goals. Below are a few common strategies.
Cost-Driven Positioning Strategy
A price positioning brand strategy establishes your products as the cheaper alternative to the competition. Offering the lowest cost is one of the most effective ways to connect to consumers.
Benefit Positioning Strategy
Providing benefits unique to your products or service is another way to position your brand. For example, you may highlight how your product provides health benefits unlike similar products on the market. Benefit positioning is a great way to stand out in a saturated market.
Product Quality-Based Positioning Strategy
A quality-based positioning strategy focuses on the quality of a product. These products typically come at a higher price compared to the competition. In return, consumers expect a better product that may last longer, work more effectively, or come with more features.
Convenience-Based Positioning Strategy
A convenience positioning strategy emphasizes why a company's service or products are more convenient than the competition. Convenience can be any number of things, such as accessibility, support on various platforms, or ease of use.
These are only some of the strategies you can utilize. From celebrity-driven positioning to niche-focused positioning, there are several paths ways to create a brand positioning plan.
How To Create a Brand Positioning Strategy
You can use brand positioning to build your credibility and make existing and potential customers see you as their preferred company. When done effectively, as you’ll learn below, brand positioning helps improve brand awareness and loyalty.
1. Determine Your Current Position
If you’re founding a new venture, you can use your business plan to define your position. You probably have existing market research, and you can articulate the value you provide to potential customers.
If your company is established, but you’ve never given much consideration to brand positioning, start by assessing your current place in the market. To determine how your customers perceive you, you should look at the following:
- Competitor analysis
- Customer satisfaction surveys
- Existing marketing plan
2. Define Your Brand Positioning Goals
There are different ways in which you can position yourself. Common methods for brand positioning include:
- Problem and Solution
- Price or Value
- Market Differentiation
These are just some of the starting points. For example: If you choose to build your reputation on quality, your messaging would highlight why your product is superior to competitors.
Home hair color company eSalon uses a brand positioning strategy that highlights quality and convenience. Its website touts colorists’ experience and explains the customization process. However, the website also emphasizes how easy it is for customers to use the product at home.
You can focus on multiple positioning strategies as it makes sense, but one will likely be more dominant than the other.
3. Identify Your Top Competitors
This step involves detailed competitive analysis. Once you’ve set your brand positioning goals, identify the top businesses currently occupying your chosen position. If you operate a small coffee shop, you might choose to emphasize quality over convenience.
Create a brand positioning map to see how your brand compares to others. Highlight what qualities are most important to your brand and how it compares to your competitors. Identify how your products or services can give you a competitive edge over your competitors.
Your competitors would likely include Starbucks and other large chains in your neighborhood. If you're in an area where people value small businesses, they might frequent other coffee shops and bakeries nearby. Knowing where else your customers are shopping will help you differentiate yourself.
4. Develop Your Brand Positioning Statement
Evaluate your current brand positioning, your goals, and challengers in the market to develop your brand positioning statement. This is a short declaration that defines your value as compared to others in the market. It should include:
- Identification of your target clientele, including demographic profile
- Current position, including your industry and how you are relevant to your customers
- Unique benefits you provide to your existing and future patrons
- Evidence on how your company delivers benefits to the clientele
5. Create Marketing Strategies that Enhance Your Brand Position
Use the outcomes of previous steps to start creating ads, taglines, website copy, and content that helps you solidify your reputation. Start with taglines that play off your chosen positioning statement.
For example, car insurance company GEICO’s tagline — “15 minutes can save you 15% or more on car insurance” — emphasizes price and convenience. On the other hand, Allstate insurance’s tagline — “You’re in good hands” — focuses on customer service.
6. Evaluate Your Branding
Before redoing your advertising, look at samples developed from your brand positioning statement and evaluate whether they are effective. Answer the following questions:
- Does it make you stand out against your competition?
- Is it accurate and true for your company?
- Does it speak to the right target market?
- Can you keep your brand promise?
- Does it leave a lasting impression on customers?
- Does it hold up to possible competitive attacks?
If you can answer these questions and feel that you have a solid brand position, communicate it.
How To Develop Marketing Strategies that Enhance Your Brand Position
Once you have created an effective brand positioning strategy, you can start focusing on marketing. In the previous section’s Step 5, you developed effective taglines that demonstrate your position in marketing materials. Build on those.
Create Impactful Content
Use content to solidify your brand position and take it to the next level. Appeal to your target market by researching what they want. Find out what they appreciate about your product and create content that speaks to these needs.
For example, national grocery chain Trader Joe’s positions itself as an affordable neighborhood market with quality products at reasonable prices. The company has a blog, videos, and podcasts to educate customers on how they can use different products. It also gives consumers the opportunity to share other lifestyle tips that highlight store products. Since many of Trader Joe’s customers are interested in entertaining, blog posts include quick and easy recipes for appetizers, cocktails, and other party fare.
Content marketing also helps you build a rapport with current and potential customers. Make sure your content is consistent in brand voice and tone, which should be based on a strong positioning strategy.
Boost Your Position on Social Media
Once you've found your voice, use it across platforms — including social media. With over 4 billion global users, social media is an important marketing channel.
Your target consumers likely scroll their feeds regularly, and popping up on their phones helps strengthen your brand position. Whether you’re using paid ads or relying on organic interaction, your social media channels should be cohesive. Paid posts should look similar to those you post every day. You can post the same content across platforms or switch it up to appeal to different users.
For example, beauty and skincare line Burt’s Bees offers natural, chemical-free products. The company’s brand position is built on natural ingredients and has minimal impact on the environment. Its Facebook page and other social media feeds solidify this message. A recent Facebook post celebrated one of their founder’s favorite national parks and discussed how Burt’s Bees was helping to preserve the park.
Use Online and Offline Ads to Communicate Your Brand Position
By now, you have likely landed on an impactful and memorable tagline that communicates your brand position to your target market. Use other components of your ads to complement and enhance this message. Your tagline should work together with images and other copy to create your identity.
For example, Tesla offers electric luxury cars. It is currently unmatched in the market, but its main competitors would be other luxury car brands. In its ads, Tesla showcases its small carbon footprint in the ad copy. Ads often feature cars driving on a coastal highway and in other settings that are commonly featured in luxury car ads.
Images, symbols, colors, and other advertising elements can be used to subtly communicate your brand position. Similar to what Tesla did, these factors can communicate how your service or product is similar to others. However, your ads can also be used to differentiate.
Another example: GEICO, whose tagline emphasizes convenience and cost savings, often uses humor. While other insurance companies create ads that feature people after accidents and other disasters, GEICO keeps its ads light. The company’s ads often have nothing to do with insurance, but they are funny and memorable. To make sure viewers associate the ad with GEICO, each one includes a call to action. This prompts customers to call and see how much they can save.
How Does Brand Positioning Fit in Different Industries
You might consider brand positioning to be relevant only for companies who sell products to consumers. But it can be used in other industries too, like professional services and other business-to-business (B2B) markets. B2B brand positioning strategy should still be centered on what differentiates you from competitors and how you can best meet clients’ needs.
For example, perhaps you operate in a unique niche like an architecture firm specializing in airports. Your strategy could be based on that. Since airport design involves different considerations than other commercial buildings, you could position your firm as the expert in crafting these spaces. Your ads could include language based on flight terminology and showcase how your company builds airports that improve the customer experience.
Brand positioning is all about how you can best provide solutions for your target customers. It should be built around identifying what they need and communicating why you are the best firm to meet these needs.
How To Handle Content for Brand Positioning
Developing a brand positioning strategy is an often overlooked, yet important part of any marketing plan. Create a solid vision for your brand and its position in the market. Then, you can tailor your messaging to communicate it to customers.
Compose.ly offers skilled writers who can help you create meaningful content that solidifies your brand position and lets you connect with customers. Contact us and see how our content writing services can help you position your brand.