In the world of marketing, brands are king.
A brand can be a blessing that allows companies to thrive and succeed, or it can suffer from an array of strategic mistakes that make it succumb to the incredible weight of the competition.
That’s why it has become increasingly important to know more about brand positioning, brand awareness techniques, and to supercharge a brand positioning strategy that gets results.
As the world becomes ever more competitive, marketers must bear certain key rules and major guidelines in mind to be able to succeed when it comes to the positioning of their brands.
By reading this brand positioning article, top-notch professionals will be able to know how to get effective results by leveraging a proven strategy for brand positioning.
What is Brand Positioning?
Before getting to know what is the most actionable brand positioning strategy that every marketer should try in 2019, it’s important to understand what brand positioning is all about.
Brand positioning can be referred to as brand positioning statement, positioning strategy, or even brand strategy.
It is basically the strategy that aims to devise how to craft a remarkably powerful impression on the minds of the target customers, making sure they associate a set of specific (and desirable) qualities with a brand.
The major objective?
To ensure the specific brand is perceived as unique in the market.
Indeed, the brand must be uniquely qualified to answer specific target audience needs in a short amount of time, and it should also be a product or service that is simply irresistible.
There are four different types of brand positioning everyone should know about before getting to know the best brand positioning strategy.
Types of Brand Positioning
Here are the different types of brand positioning that marketers should take into account:
- Competitor Smackdown
- Focus on a Sub-Segment
- Reshape an Already-Appealing Market
- Create Something from Scratch
This type of brand positioning strategy is all about being able to find the market leader of a specific niche and defeating that company.
This type of strategy can only be used if there is an already well-established marketing category without a tangible market leader that is way ahead of the competition.
Focus on a Sub-Segment
This idea is quite simple: it is all about aiming for a specific niche and positioning the brand accordingly.
Whenever there is an existing market that fails to have its needs met, there is a chance to use the sub-segment technique of brand positioning.
The main advantage?
The audience has a clear frame of reference since the brand is positioned taking a sub-segment of an already-existing market into consideration.
Moreover, and unlike what happened in the previous brand positioning strategy, market leaders won’t need to fight the hard battle against an established leading company.
They will basically be targeting a specific sub-niche, which means that they probably won’t even face competition for some time.
Simple: a market leader can witness the rise of that specific sub-niche and either buy the company that focused on that sub-segment or sell the product at more competitive prices.
Reshape an Already-Appealing Market
This type of brand positioning strategy is all about taking an existing market and coming up with branding that reframes it in a whole new way, therefore gaining an edge.
Marketers must be able to bring about new benefits and features of already-known products, ensuring the products become more than what they used to be (the real main benefit when compared to the competitor’s product.)
When should marketers go for this technique?
When their product development is pristine, ensuring their product clearly showcases an advancement or new solution.
The main objective is to showcase a brand as a major differentiator: a team of expert mavericks that was able to pick something that already existed and come up with new features and benefits.
The strength of the brand must be so obvious and awesome that it is simply impossible for competitors to come up with the same solutions.
Create Something from Scratch
In the event that there is no market category available, marketing pros should be able to take advantage and reap the rewards of I-came-first brand positioning.
Whenever a new need emerges which isn’t already met by a specific brand or product, these experts will have the chance to invest in this specific brand positioning strategy and become true pioneers.
The advantage is quite clear: since there’s nobody around which has tapped into the market, the company that opts for this technique shall become the market leader right from the get-go.
There is a big problem with this approach, though: professionals must watch out for companies which will want to copy this once-in-a-lifetime idea that no one had ever thought about before.
This means they must be able to create patents and protect their incredible innovations so that they can continue to offer something unique within the market.
Now that we’ve been able to understand the different types of brand positioning strategies available, it’s time to get to read about a foolproof strategy that’s going to take brand positioning to a whole new level.
The Best Brand Positioning Strategy
1. Know Where You Are
This is a crucial aspect to bear in mind when devising a successful brand positioning strategy.
It is important that marketers know what their brand is, how it serves customers in a new way, whether or not it represents a unique solution, whether it is easy for customers to access, etc.
This corresponds to the initial stage of a brand positioning strategy.
It is fundamental that marketers understand whether or not their product is something special.
How to know that?
It’s all about being able to focus on the brand’s current position.
Analyzing the current position of a brand allows marketers to gauge where they are and how much they should do to shape and shift the minds of the target audience.
At this stage, marketers should answer the following questions:
- What is the target audience?
- What is the mission?
- What is the differentiator?
- What is the brand’s voice?
- What is the brand persona?
- What is the key value proposition?
Once they’re able to find answers to all these complex but mighty important questions, it is time to move on and read about the next chapter of the perfect brand positioning strategy.
2. Focus on Your Competitors
Brand positioning has many goals but one of the most vital ones is all about making sure companies can effectively beat their competition.
What to do?
Business leaders must make sure to analyze their competitors, their target audience, their persona, brand message, key value proposition, etc.
At this stage, company owners should invest in a thorough market research, get valuable client feedback, and use social media to understand what customers are yearning for and what they want from a specific product.
Market research is a process that allows people to gather a sales team and come up with a strategy that enables them to:
- List competitor’s companies
- Understand the type of products competitors sold/are selling
- Learn more about the advantages/disadvantages of the products
- Understand the means through which competitors have gained traction (social media, content marketing, CRM, word-of-mouth, brand activation campaigns, etc.)
- Know what is the position they’re in on the current market
As for client feedback, leaders have to be able to ask their clients to provide valuable feedback such as:
- What do you love about our product?
- What’s missing from our product?
- What other similar products should we offer?
- What businesses have you searched for before reaching us?
This research will allow businesses to learn more about their brand and what should be changed to acquire more prospective customers.
Client feedback is invaluable.
These are the people that matter the most since they are the ones who interact with the products, know the brand, and can either vouch for it or destroy it.
Last but not least, social media platforms are king and they must be part of any brand positioning strategy that’s worth its salt.
What should companies do to make sure they get the most from social media research?
- Enter Facebook, Reddit, Twitter, LinkedIn, Quora, Google +, and Instagram
- Get to explore different groups connected to their product
- Find customer questions on Quora to get reviews and comments
- Read official product social media pages to analyze feedback and reviews
- Read comments to search for suggestions, criticism, negative reviews, etc.
- Take all that in and understand what must be changed, how the product is perceived by the public, the reason why users love/hate the product, etc.
Social media is quite the powerful tool.
Whereas before business pros would need to access unknown platforms to look for some obscure piece of customer-created reviews or comments, social media now allows them to take a precise look at what their products are doing, how they are perceived, and what customers love about them.
They should use social media to make sure they have a near-perfect document filled with valuable client feedback that can help them create the best brand positioning strategy around.
3. Get Mighty Unique
Even though it is important to get to know competitors and their specific products, the most important thing is the brand.
Creating a brand is all about making sure business masters can leverage what is unique and get awareness because of that.
How to make sure a product is unique?
After going through a thorough competitor research process, marketing kings must be able to understand what is it that everyone else doesn’t have and they do.
They should feel and grasp that special quality of the product, understand why it is such a tremendous advantage, and use that to showcase that product to the masses.
This is the starting point that companies must take into account to make sure the target audience knows that they are offering something which is simply much better than what anyone else has put out there.
4. Get the Customer’s Perspective
In order to make sure marketing mavericks don’t create an unsuccessful brand positioning strategy, they must guarantee that they are fully connected to their customers.
What to do to make sure these people get to become an actual customer?
The first thing marketing professionals should create is a sheet in which they will insert everything that they believe to represent their customer base.
They can focus on age, religion, tastes, educational background, nationality, income, etc.
Basically, all the different criteria that make up their brand’s target audience.
Now, they should go ahead and think about all the points of interaction users will have with their product, service, brand, etc.
What comes next?
After getting to know all the touchpoints, they must think about whether they can communicate a brand positioning statement that reflects them all.
By knowing what their product is and how customers interact with it, they’ll be able to come up with a brand positioning strategy that takes the perceptions and ideals of their customers into consideration.
5. Make a Statement
Statements are affirmations of a company’s effective power.
In order for businesses to make sure their statement has got everything it should have to showcase their product in the best possible light, leaders should focus on these two must-haves:
- It has to be one single sentence so that it grabs the audience
- It must communicate the brand’s uniquely special value (this is where customer research comes in handy)
For business pros to make sure to create their brand positioning sacred statement, they must understand who their target customer is, what is the benefit their product is proven to offer, and what is the category of that specific product.
In other words, they must master product knowledge.
Once they have all that info, they will be able to craft a mighty statement of intent that reflects what’s special about their amazing brand, product, or service.
They should never forget that their statement should cover a wide range of customers.
It must be an all-encompassing and super compelling positioning statement that effectively holds people and offers a service that appeals to everyone.
How to know business experts have hit the right notes?
They should follow these steps:
- Does the brand positioning strategy succeed in differentiating the brand?
- Does it properly showcase how the product is different than the competitor’s products?
- Is it something catchy users will enjoy knowing about?
- Is the promise delivering something credible and attainable?
- Does it take the core consumers into account?
6. The Testing Stage
This is the time to put a statement out there.
Marketing specialists must make sure their brand positioning strategy statement is visible on their website, content marketing initiatives, flyers, presentations, billboards, images, banners, etc.
After ensuring their brand positioning is fully inculcated in the minds of all users, they should then measure its success.
These highly-engaged experts have now spent a specific amount of time researching and trying to come up with something which is remarkably appealing to their target audience.
They should go ahead and test that statement, see how product users react on social media going through the motions adumbrated before, and effectively gather whether or not their strategy is yielding results.
What should they ponder upon in order to ascertain whether they’ve created a successful brand positioning strategy?
- Number of leads acquired since they’ve started the brand awareness experience with the new strategy
- Number of customers acquired since the beginning of the new strategy
- Number of new social media followers acquired
- Percentage increase of website visitors (marketing pros should use Google Analytics to ascertain what the precise percentage increase was)
Afterward, they should dive into the one technique that’s proven to effectively improve their brand positioning strategy: they must ask customers for constructive feedback.
They can use social media, comment sections, Quora, and as many different platforms as humanly possible to gather an immense amount of customer feedback.
This will allow them to keep making strategic improvements and actually make sure the brand positioning strategy is sharp.
From going through the most comprehensive research process of all time to being able to put themselves in the shoes of the target audience, a brand positioning strategy will demand a lot of work from marketers and team leaders alike.
Nonetheless, by following these simple brand positioning steps, key decision makers will be able to effectively craft a strategy and a statement that not only reveals the most precious advantages of using their product but also takes the customer’s valuable feedback into account.