Building Your Brand - Brand Positioning

The idea of "brand positioning" may seem a little out of the box, but a brand is about the bigger picture not just an end result. Brand Positioning is the art form of creating or transforming a brand into something that can persuade and realistically demonstrate its relevance to a customer's daily life to become his or her regular choice. To position a brand you need to remember that the position of your brand is not created by a marketer or the individual brand itself, it is how others perceive your brand collectively with other similar brands. (For example when I think of Nike I think sports reliable and well made products ... this leads me to think of Adidas too ... they have a similar brand position so this is not unusual, another example would be Microsoft and Apple). Whilst reading this article I therefore ask you take the view of your target audience (the consumer), put yourself in their shoes repeatedly and each time you do change the person you empathise with ... so maybe your targeting 18 to 14 years olds, think of it from a male and female point of view, think are they at uni or working, where they may work, try to consider all possible variables. Now having said a marketer doesn't create the position they can have an overwhelming affect on the position of a brand in the consumers mind, and this is their job. A marketer should create the strategic and tactical suggestions to encourage the customer to accept a particular positioning in his or her mind.

To start the process of positioning your product, service or business as a whole you need to consider the following of your brand (get a pen and paper ready and write these down): key attributes or benefits that represent good value, whether it has a unique selling point (USP), how you can offer trust to your customer and also how your brand "appears" (eg if you are IBM you are wanting corporates to take you seriously so you ensure all of your products and services don't look like a rough painting by a 2 year old ... you ensure they are clean and professional with no fuss). It is these points you have written down that you now need to chop down to a maximum of 5 (ideally 3) great selling points and these will form the basis of your brand positioning (so keep these selling points in mind for everything to do with your business not just marketing in its literal form, but also indirect marketing via letter heads and business cards).

Now you've got the basics of what you want your brand to represent, it's time for you to expand them into real selling points ... not just a few words as some brands have like "clean" and "clear" ... if you do have these words this is your chance to think about what they mean and how you convey them ... again its a good idea to write these down - think of it as a little brainstorm in your notepad. Here are several characteristics of your brand you should consider whilst conveying your message and brand.

Relevance of Your Brand

The more obvious the connection is between the brand and the prospect's daily activities, the greater the chances are that the chances of selling the product or service you are offering. Relevance, or the connection that the prospect has to the brand identity, is how customers ultimately decide which brands to buy and which they will discard. Consider: Is the identity of the brand too young or old for my target market? Are you targeting the right Audience? (by this I mean if your target audience is female and you are using lots of blue which is perceived as mail then your not targeting properly)

The Genuine Article

Many companies begin ensuing trust with a prospective customer by letting them know that what they offer is a genuine product or service (eg Coca-Cola on every bottle label from the company and the cans of course it tells you "it's the real thing" and has the brand tagline "Always Coca-Cola" on coke or diet coke also microsoft sticker every machine with "windows genuine"). Remember it is this little bit of detail (eg 100% genuine ruby) that gives you not only a little more trust from a prospective consumer but also adds a level of clarity and reassurance from your brand to the customer and may be the single point of differentiation between your offering and another businesses. Consider: Is your service or product somehow "more" genuine than anyone else? Do you manufacture the product or service? Now consider how you can emphasise this element.

Your Message / Tag Line

Whether you have the worlds best strategy for marketing your brand or not, it is worthless if you don't have a clear, concise and focused message / slogan / mantra. It has to be appropriate, possibly be left of field (to make people think and ensure you stick in their mind) and finally it must sell your service. (one of the worlds best examples is "Gillette - The Best a Man Can Get" ... clear and simple, also easy to remember.) Consider: Is your message relevant to your product or service? Can your message be misunderstood or twisted to look bad? Could it evoke a feeling of "warmth" towards your brand? Could the message be made more accurate to reflect your product or service? Does your message convey the company in a good light? (and if not does it do you more harm than good?)

Trust Based on a Promise

This is a dual aspect to your brand and is the Most Important factor in brand positioning. Firstly you give them a promise they can trust and believe in a promise of "100% FREE Delivery" or "100% satisfaction or your money back" or something similar. In doing this you give them something for nothing in essence, even though you make these promises if one person takes it up its more than likely the sales made from the promise will out weigh one persons want to get their money back, most people see it as a sign of trust and not take it up even if they don't like it. (take Asda own brand goods, they all says satisfaction or your money back, how many people have taken them up on this ... my guess is one person being funny, how many people have thought ooh money back .... i'll have some of that ... and bought it - i bet millions). The other edge to making a promise is to be promise your USP ... or show it more... take sure for women ... why does it sell to women (other than its perfumed fragrance of flowers?) because its message is "it's pH balanced for a woman, and not a man." what about L'Oreal .... people buy it because the slogan makes you believe your worth it ... can you think what the slogan might be ... "Because I'm worth it" - now think of how your message should be conveyed for your USP. Consider: What promises you could make about your product, service or company? Don't make them if you can't follow through on them. Does your promise add value? Can your product or service promise more than anyone else in your market? if so tell them, or even better show them.

So as you can see there is a great bit of work needs doing to position your brand correctly and several factors to consider, a good marketer will help you with this aspect of brand building. But as I always say any marketing is about the skills of the marketer and the passion of the client/business in question ... not a single one alone.

So... Is your brand positioned correctly, would you like to move your market position to a place where you are much more reputable and increase your sales as a result? if so then contact us today and we can help you.