Struggling to make your brand standout in a crowded marketplace? It might be time to evaluate your brand positioning and look for ways you can give your strategy a facelift.
What exactly is brand positioning? The key principle is to find a market niche that your brand can attempt to own. What does your product or service offer to consumers that no other company does? How does that special offer affect how customers think of your brand and choose you over competitors? Brand positioning is crucial to shaping consumer preferences and is the foundation for brand loyalty that keeps people coming back for more.
It’s important to note that brand positioning is first and foremost an internal tool that helps guide different departments towards a common goal. Company’s typically generate brand positioning statements to help guide strategy across departments, including marketing, communications, merchandising, and more.
This should be differentiated from an external slogan or tagline that is developed for consumers.
Brand positioning statements can (and should) be boiled down to a sentence – two at most. This clearly defined declaration will be your company’s guiding light as you work towards new goals. If you’re looking to develop a new brand positioning statement, you should follow these four steps:
First, determine your target audience. Instead of offering average products and services for everyone, excel in making your offerings the best on the market for a smaller group of people. Once you’ve identified this target group, learn their behaviors and characteristics to know how best to appeal to them.
Secondly, evaluate the marketplace to understand your competition. Before you can determine what makes your product or service diverse, you must be well versed in the industry – both what your competitors are offering and how they are delivering on those promises.
Once you have an advanced understanding of your target audience and the competitors vying for attention, begin brainstorming a brand positioning statement. Each statement should contain four key elements: target customer, market definition, brand promise, and reason to believe. For example:
For suburban American families, Target retailers offer a wide range of designer, name brand, and off-brand goods for affordable prices, making it a one-stop shop for all your family’s wants and needs.
Once you have a brand positioning statement in mind test it to see if it stands up against a crowded marketplace by asking questions like:
Does it clearly define how you are different from competitors?
Does it allow for growth?
Does it focus on your main target audience?
Is the brand’s promise realistic?
Is it consistent in all areas of your business?
Can your brand completely own it?
If your brand positioning statement holds up against all these questions, then you have identified a brand positioning statement that will help define your overall strategy. Let it be the anchor of your decisions while you work towards the company goals you seek.