Are you in the dark when it comes to the question of ‘what is brand positioning?’. And why is it critical for your business? With this comprehensive article, you’ll be an expert in no time.
In its simplest form, brand positioning is the unique place that your brand inhabits in consumers’ minds and – as a secondary consideration – how that ‘residence’ compares with your competitors.
Clearly, we all want our brand to be at the forefront of consumers’ thoughts; the name that instantly comes to mind when there is a need or desire for a product or service. The name that compels a purchase.
In this insightful piece, we explore the fundamentals of brand positioning and dive into strategies and techniques that will enable you to unlock its power and establish a strong identity for your company that drives success.
We also detail the importance of brand personality and voice and how it can be harnessed to deliver a consistent and compelling message to your audience, further fuelling growth.
Let’s get stuck into it…
Why Is Brand Positioning Important?
We’ve covered off ‘what is brand positioning?’, but now comes another critical question: why is it important?
Well, you may have noticed that the terms ‘crowded marketplace’ or ‘competitive marketplace’ are thrown around in marketing circles ad nauseam.
But their sentiment is spot on.
It is a seriously competitive consumer landscape, so being able to place your brand at the front of the queue is absolute gold for any business.
Brand positioning is central to this aim. When you capture premium real estate in consumers’ minds, you’re forging a deep connection with your target audience that ultimately drives growth.
Even better if you can stand out with such dominance like the brands we listed above.
How do you elevate your business above the competition?
It begins with a strong brand positioning strategy that allows your company to communicate its unique selling proposition (USP) and create a memorable and compelling brand identity.
Let’s be clear – brand positioning is more than just a marketing buzzword. It is the foundation upon which all marketing efforts should be built on.
It sets the tone for your brand’s messaging, visuals, and overall customer experience.
A well-positioned brand will resonate with its target audience and create a sense of trust and loyalty.
Here are some of the steps to take and things to consider when creating your own brand positioning strategy.
Understand Your Target Market
For effective brand positioning, you must first understand your target audience.
This requires in-depth analysis to gain insights into the needs, desires, and preferences of your potential customers.
By understanding who your target market is and what they are looking for, you can tailor your brand positioning strategy to appeal to their specific needs and motivations.
Conduct Market Research for Brand Positioning
Investing in this activity is a crucial step to successful brand positioning, as it provides valuable insights into your target market that allow you to get to know and understand this audience.
Market research allows you to identify such factors as potential customers’ demographics, psychographics, and buying behaviour.
Moreover, by understanding your target market’s pain points and desires – of which both are equally important – you can create a brand positioning strategy that addresses their needs and differentiates your name from competitors.
There are several methods and tools you can use to conduct market research, including surveys, focus groups and interviews, and data analysis.
Surveys, for example, allow you to collect quantitative data by asking targeted questions to a sample of your key customers.
This data can help you to understand their preferences, buying habits, and perceptions of your brand.
Setting up focus groups can be just as effective in delivering qualitative insights. This tactic allows you to observe and engage with a small group of individuals who represent your customer market.
Define Your Brand’s Unique Selling Proposition
Determining your unique selling proposition (USP) is a key element to achieving successful brand positioning.
It is this unique value or benefit that your brand offers to customers that sets it apart from competitors.
Your USP should be clear, compelling, and relevant to your target audience – the importance of the last element can’t be stressed enough.
To define your brand’s USP, you must identify what makes your brand different and better than competitors. That’s the key – the best USPs aim to appeal to someone, rather than trying to please everyone.
This could be a unique product feature, exceptional customer service, or a specific value proposition.
By focusing on your USP, you can position your brand as the go-to solution for your target audience’s needs and desires.
Unique Selling Proposition Examples
There are loads of examples of brands that have nailed their USP. Let’s take a look at a few of them…
Canva: The Australian-made graphic design company has a mission to ‘empower everyone in the world to design anything and publish anywhere’. Launched in 2013, Canva has become a global phenomenon with 15 billion-plus designs created on its intuitive and easy-to-use platform.
FedEx: With the US multinational conglomerate announcing, ‘When it absolutely, positively has to be there overnight’, it puts the emphasis on the customer. It’s a convincing message that’s memorable and trustworthy.
Domino’s: The international takeaway chain boldly declares, ‘You get fresh, hot pizza delivered to your door in 30 minutes or less – or it’s free.’ It speaks straight to the heart of what any hungry consumer wants from its takeaway experience: the promise of hot food, delivered promptly.
HubSpot, Shopify, Nike, HelloFresh – the list of iconic brands that have successfully identified their USPs goes on.
Develop Your Brand’s Personality and Voice
The next step in creating your brand positioning strategy is to develop your brand personality and voice.
Let’s start with brand personality.
Your brand’s personality is a collection of human characteristics and traits that you want your brand to be associated with.
Think of it like this – how would you describe your brand if it were a person?
This personality should align with your target audience’s values and resonate with their emotions.
A piece in The Journal of Marketing Research by Jennifer Aaker has been widely referenced on this subject.
Aaker outlined five dimensions of brand personality – sincerity, excitement, competence, sophistication, and ruggedness – which can be used as a starting point when developing your own brand personality.
As for your brand’s voice, this is the tone and style in which you communicate with your audience. It’s essential that this voice is consistent across all marketing channels – to help build trust and loyalty – and reflects your brand’s personality.
There is no one type of voice that shines louder than others. The world’s leading brands have immense diversity in their respective tones and styles.
The key is crafting a brand voice that’s authentic and resonates with your target market, whether it’s funny or friendly or edgy or elegant or anything else.
Create a Brand Positioning Statement
Now it’s time to tie it all together by developing a brand positioning statement.
What is a brand positioning statement?
Well, it’s a concise description of your brand’s product or service and how it satisfies a particular need of your target market.
It should capture the essence of your brand and value proposition in a few sentences and serve as a framework for all marketing output.
Instant-messaging service, Slack, is one of many great examples of a company that delivers an on-point brand positioning statement. It declares:
‘Slack is the collaboration hub that brings the right people, information, and tools together to get work done. From Fortune 100 companies to corner markets, millions of people around the world use Slack to connect their teams, unify their systems, and drive their business forward.’
In short, when developing a brand positioning statement, consider the experience you’re aiming to deliver for your customers while providing sufficient internal guidance that will allow your employees to meet that expectation.
Implement and Communicate Your Brand Positioning
Once you have agreed upon the key elements of your brand positioning strategy, it’s time to implement and communicate it effectively.
To be meaningful and successful, your brand’s messaging, visuals, and customer experience must align with your brand positioning strategy across all touchpoints.
Not for the first time, we place emphasis on the word consistency. It’s critical.
There are abundant ways to communicate your brand positioning. These include through various marketing channels such as your website, social media platforms, and advertising campaigns as well as customer interactions.
Using your brand’s voice and visual elements consistently to reinforce your brand’s identity helps to create a memorable impression on your target audience.
Evaluate and Adjust Your Brand Positioning Strategy
There’s a lot to consider when it comes to brand positioning. Here’s another to finish with…
This is not a one-time activity. Sure, you can put a sturdy framework in place, but it requires continuous evaluation and adjustment to stay relevant and effective.
Therefore, regularly monitor your brand’s performance, gather feedback from customers, and analyse market trends to identify opportunities for improvement.
If your brand’s positioning is not resonating with your target audience or if market conditions change, an adjustment to your brand positioning strategy is required.
This could involve refining your target audience, redefining your USP, or updating your brand’s personality and voice.
Particularly in today’s fast-paced digital world – along with its notable cancel culture – things can change quickly.
But by staying agile and responsive, you can ensure that your brand remains competitive and connected to your audience.
Brand Positioning Strategy Assistance
Need help with your brand positioning strategy?
You could just Google it…or, better yet, reach out to us!
At Hunt & Hawk, we’re branding and marketing experts with tons of experience at driving growth for businesses of all types.
Discover what we can do for your brand. Contact us at email@example.com or book a meeting to chat.
For more marketing, branding, and sales tips and insights and plenty else, check out more of our blog.
What Is Brand Positioning?
Brand positioning is the unique position that your brand occupies in people’s minds – and how that placement compares with your competitors.
What Are the 4 Components of Brand Positioning?
The four key parts of a brand positioning statement are the target (audience), the category, the differentiator (from the competition), and the payoff (benefits).
What Is an Example of a Brand Positioning Line?
American multinational technology company, Amazon, has a brand positioning statement that reads:
‘For consumers who want to purchase a wide range of products online with quick delivery, Amazon is a one-stop online shopping site. Amazon sets itself apart from other online retailers with its customer obsession, passion for innovation, and commitment to operational excellence.’
How Do You Identify Brand Positioning?
Once we know the answer to the question of ‘what is brand positioning?’, the key elements to identifying your brand positioning are:
- Understand your target market
- Conduct market research for brand positioning
- Define your brand’s unique selling proposition (USP)
- Develop your brand’s personality and voice
- Create a brand positioning statement
- Implement and communicate your brand positioning
- Evaluate and adjust your brand positioning strategy