By Samuel Thimothy is VP at OneIMS.com, an inbound marketing agency, and co-founder of Clickx.io, the digital marketing intelligence platform.
When it comes to building a strong brand, a tagline or logo alone won’t do the job. You have to think about how you’re going to be seen by customers and what will make you different from other businesses offering similar services or products.
That’s why it is important to be strategic about positioning and make sure your brand appeals to the right audience. But how exactly do you position a brand? Where do you start? Let me try to break it down for you.
What is brand positioning?
Brand positioning is a process of getting your brand out there and establishing it as something worth thinking about. It’s not a matter of what you do, but rather how you do it. This may sound a little bit abstract, so let me put it into an example.
Take two hypothetical sunglasses brands: Company A and Company B. Both companies provide protective eyewear and offer lenses with different prescription strengths. However, the frames of brand A are made of steel, whereas the frames of brand B are made of titanium, which is extremely lightweight and flexible.
Titanium frames will return to their original shape even after being bent — and it’s more than just an interesting characteristic. This is the rationale explaining why brand B is the manufacturer of the safest, most durable glasses on the market. And this is precisely what separates them from the rest.
Why is brand positioning important?
Every business has a brand, but is it by default or by design? You can either work proactively on your positioning or let others do it for you. Then, however, you have zero control over the results. Brand positioning matters for a couple of reasons.
• It allows you to differentiate your brand. A company’s brand is its identity. That is why knowing what makes your business unique is crucial to capturing the attention of those interested enough to take action. Brand positioning creates clarity around who you serve. It also explains to your target audience why you are the best company for them and what sets your products or services apart.
• It helps you justify your pricing strategy. The positioning of the brand can be used to justify a pricing strategy. In other words, when the price of the products is high because of the quality and exclusivity, and the brand positioning emphasizes these factors, the cost automatically becomes reasonable in the eyes of the customers. This also applies to products on the more affordable side.
• It makes your brand more creative. Although quite a few brands offer products and services that are very similar to the same target market and audience, they differ and are uniquely based on their brand positioning. That is why a good positioning can make or break your brand. A creative, innovative strategy combined with strong execution will leave customers coming back for more!
A few tips on how to position your brand in the market:
• Be unique. The importance of being unique cannot be overstated. You can’t just try following someone else’s road map because they’re already established with their audience; if people want something similar to Apple, they just go and buy Apple. So if a brand looks exactly like its competitors, it will not stand out against its offerings.
• Be relevant. First and foremost, the brand must be appealing to customers. It doesn’t matter how credible or how unique the brand is; if it’s not relevant, it doesn’t even get to the consideration stage. Be sure those features that distinguish you from the competitors are important to the customers. Identify what matters most to your clients and position your brand around it.
• Be consistent. You can change your positioning but you must find a general direction for your brand. People won’t know what your brand stands for if you keep changing it. So make sure that whatever you are doing is going to help build your brand over time. Think about what you want it to represent five or even 10 years from now.
• Be credible. Some brands tend to overdo the truth, which doesn’t really help establish trust between them and their audience. Make sure that everything you say about your company is believable and will connect with customers on an emotional level, or else they won’t trust what it says. Everything has to fit with what is important to your client.
All in all, it’s not enough to just have a great product or service. You need an engaging customer experience across all of your channels for that advantage you’re trying so hard to achieve to really shine through and be noticed by your customers. Positioning is more of a daily commitment than a one-time event. But despite all the difficulty and commitment behind it, the results are well worth the work.