What Is Brand Positioning?
Simply put, brand positioning is a process that aims to position a brand in the minds of consumers. The positioning work is part of the brand building and the goal is to create a unique and desirable position that makes the brand appeal to the target group.
Brand positioning arises regardless of whether the trademark owner actively works with the trademark or not. If you want to take control of the brand and avoid an undesirable position in the target group’s consciousness, you should therefore take an active role.
The earlier this work is started, the better. It is usually a lengthy and costly process to reposition brands, sometimes it can simply be easier to launch a new one than to reposition an old one.
Why is it important to know your brand position?
A clear brand positioning that is relevant to the target group and that drives attitude and buying behavior distinguishes strong brands from weak ones.
The benefits of an effective brand position are several:
1. Brand positioning enables competition on value, not price
A clear and unique position, where the brand conveys characteristics or benefits that the target group is attracted to, creates added value.
These added values contribute to the price becoming less important.
2. Brand positioning sets you apart from the competition
If your brand is differentiated from the competition and relevant to the target audience, the positioning will make your brand unique and more difficult to copy.
A clear brand positioning helps you to be remembered and get through the noise.
3. Brand positioning contributes to consensus within the organization
A clear brand position that is well known within the organization provides consensus and better conditions for more effective sales and marketing work.
4. Brand positioning facilitates your marketing work
Once you have developed the central message needed to clarify your positioning, you have a good base to stand on.
Focusing facilitates the creative process and the brand’s uniqueness helps you choose the right channels and the right marketing communication.
Where do you stand today – and where do you want to be in a year?
A marketing plan is necessary to get an overview of your current situation. Where do you stand today? How did you get to your position? What are you selling? Why do customers turn to you and above all who are your customers? These are extremely important questions that I help you analyze and answer.
Based on the data that is produced, you can develop opportunities for improvement and outline the direction your marketing should take to achieve the financial results you want to get.
Marketing is about finding more customers and making your existing ones feel safe with your company, your product or your service.
Creating effective customer growth requires a strategy, a marketing strategy. It helps you stay focused on your goal.
And it helps you predict the outcome of your market investment instead of burning the budget and then nervously waiting for its outcome.
The positioning survey – the basis for successful positioning work
The positioning survey forms the basis of the positioning work.
Simplified, I can divide it into two steps.
Step 1: Define target audience, competitors and image characteristics
A good positioning survey presupposes that the brand owner first establishes a clear target group definition. It is always better to have a broader target group definition than one that is too narrow and niche.
Then we can subsequently break down the results into smaller groups. Once the target group definition has been established, all competitors in the market are listed.
The starting point is to include everyone who exists, but sometimes you need to limit yourself to those who are the biggest and most relevant.
Finally, write down all the image properties that can be associated with the brands on the market.
If you are unsure of the characteristics, it is advisable to first carry out a qualitative survey in the form of focus groups or personal interviews with the target group.
But sometimes a so-called attribute mapping workshop with internal stakeholders at the company. The result results in a long list of properties.
Step 2: Data collection
The data collection is always carried out as a quantitative market research, either as telephone or web interviews. The fact that the sample for the survey represents the target group is crucial for a high-quality result.
If there is statistical information about the target population, we can use it to ensure representativeness. I strongly advise against including only existing customers in the survey, as this will probably result in a distorted result.
The positioning survey is often included as part of a larger brand survey where, among other things, the brands’ performance and strength are also determined.
This gives a complete picture of the brand and it also becomes more cost-effective than dividing them into several surveys.
In your marketing strategy, you will find market opportunities
By creating a marketing strategy, you as an entrepreneur are forced to have the facts analyzed analyzed and you will realize what information is missing.
Based on your company’s knowledge, resources, ideas, etc., the marketing plan is designed. It contains, among other things, how your company should reach customers in both the short and long term.
A well-made marketing plan shows what market opportunities your company has and what path you should take to reach your business goal.
Determine your desired brand position
Through the positioning survey and any internal company information, you now have enough information to formulate a good positioning strategy for your brand.
In this work, it is important to think tactically. Certain types of attributes have a greater impact on the positioning work compared with others.
It is important not only to choose the qualities that drive behavioral or attitude loyalty, but also those that differentiate the most.
Of course, it differs between different industries, but from experience it is often personality, gratification and emotional qualities that are most distinctive and that generate the greatest differentiation effect.
When the functional product properties are hygiene factors, then the other attributes simply become more important.
Your marketing strategy does not always have to be comprehensive
The most important thing is that you do one, because then you will need to produce important key figures and analyze them.
Review what options are available, and for example analyze what your competitors are doing very well.
The marketing strategy is to create a structure and plan for your company’s marketing activities.
Test your choice of brand position
Not all the differences that the own brand has compared to the competitors are worth investing in.
To ensure that the positioning is correct, the attributes should meet a number of criteria. If you can tick them off, you are well on your way to success with your work.
- Flexible: It is an advantage if it works for more segments and markets
- Communicable: It should be easy to communicate
- Differentiating: It should convey the unique value of your brand
- Easy to understand: It should be memorable and easy to understand
- Hard to copy: It must withstand counter-attacks from your competitors
- Fulfill a need: The positioning must respond to a customer need
- Credible: The positioning must be credible
- Defensible: You must be able to prove what you highlight in the positioning.
- Sustainable over time: Your positioning should work today as well as tomorrow.
Remember that it takes a long-term perspective to establish, maintain or change a position. Successful brands often have in common that they are consistent in their branding work.
Conversely, it can be quick to lose an achieved position. Therefore, the trademark owner must continuously maintain his position through consistent follow-up and communication.
It is therefore highly recommended to continuously examine its position in the market.
Brand positioning: everything a company says or does
The image used to be that brand positioning was advertising, now brand positioning is everything a company says and does.
As the functional offer is more similar today, brand positioning is what sets a company apart from others. It can easily be said that the company’s personality, values and emotional aspects become much more important.
A lot is just about doing the right thing and not about devising clever strategies. “You make it sound so simple” I often hear, but I think that brand positioning is partly an art form but at the same time also something straightforward and simple.