Discover how to build a brand positioning strategy that sets your company apart.
It’s easy for marketers to talk ad nauseum about brand positioning, but many small- to medium-sized business owners simply have no idea what it means. You’re too busy running your, um—actual business operations to have time to think about abstract marketing concepts. But how abstract is it really? We’ll unpack the buzzword for you and help you realize how you can improve your business branding without morphing into a marketer.
What Brand Positioning Involves
A brand’s positioning in the market is the way your company sets itself apart from others in your industry in the mind of potential customers. Things like logos, websites, tag lines, and the benefits of using your product or service all help your company establish a brand identity that shows its ideals, beliefs and position on issues it relates to.
The purpose of a brand positioning process is to identify (and try to take ownership of) the marketing niche for your brand, product or service. It involves strategies like pricing, promotions, sales channels, distribution methods, packaging, and publicity. You want to leave a unique impression on your target customer, so he or she associates your company and brand mission with a specific standpoint that is different from other offerings on the market.
Why It’s Important for Every Business
Brand image can have a huge impact on whether your customers perceive the company as “good” or “bad” (or something in between!), and their perception, rightly or wrongly, determines whether they buy from you, promote you through word of mouth, and return again to be loyal customers. A brand personality supports the sales tools you use to persuade customers to buy, boosts your firm’s visibility and ensures you remain top-of-mind with prospects who care about your position. This helps to establish the company as an important member of the marketplace and to elevate you above the competition.
How to Build a Brand Positioning Statement
Developing your brand positioning requires you to dive into the details of your brand and discover what you do better than anyone else. HubSpot suggests following six steps to help you create a statement for your business:
Step 1: Establish your Current Brand Position
Your current brand positioning will help you understand where you want to go from here. Start with identifying your ideal customer, and what makes your company different from others in your industry. Determine what value you offer your clients and the type of company they think you are.
Step 2: Identify your Competitors
Perform research to find out who your main competition is and what they offer. You can do this by:
- Asking your salespeople who they routinely lose clients to;
- Searching online using your primary keywords to see which companies come up in results;
- Getting feedback from customers to find out who else they considered before choosing you;
- Learning to listen on social media to find out what the most common opinions are about your and other companies.
Step 3: Research the Competition
Conduct market research to find out what your competitors offer, how their companies are viewed by the market and what methods they are using to promote themselves.
Step 4: Find Out What Makes Your Company Unique
Every business has a particular aspect of its product or service that it believes nobody else does as successfully. Ask your salespeople what they tell prospects to convince them to use your company instead of another. Consider this your Unique Selling Point (USP) and determine where it meets your company’s purpose or mission.
Step 5: Draft Your Statement
Take everything you’ve learned and draft a declaration of one or two sentences that communicates your unique offering, the value it gives customers, and how this ties in with your purpose. This declaration needs to:
- Directly address your target customer
- Mention your unique offering
- Highlight the greatest benefit you deliver
- Show proof of the benefit.
Use this template to develop your draft: [WHO – Your brand name] provides [WHAT – the offering or benefit that makes you better than competitors] to [WHOM – your customers] who need [WHAT –customer needs] because [WHY? – the reason your company is a better choice than competitors].
Step 6: Incorporate Into Your Marketing Plan
Spending the effort to identify your brand positioning statement is just the start. Next, you need to incorporate it into your marketing strategy to help guide communications and brand image. Review and evaluate it regularly to ensure it stays current and continues to be effective for the company.
For more information on how to build a brand positioning strategy for your company, please contact The Marketing Machine for a free consultation. We have been the leading Raleigh brand marketing agency for over 20 years, and know how to get you in front of your customers.