An effective positioning strategy not only defines the scope of your brands communication strategy, it provides a clear direction for all creative content, while ultimately establishing what your brand stands for.
Think of it as a guiding light designed to help you differentiate your brand as you navigate through your competitive landscape, while also giving you the foundation needed to ensure your customers perceive that difference as well.
The process of brand positioning has no cookie-cutter recipe. Each brand is unique, presenting its own strengths and complexities; the creative process of positioning each brand must be unique as well. Nonetheless, here are 6 tips to help ensure that your brand is positioned to be distinctive, inspiring and ambitious:
- How is your brand currently positioned?
Ask ten different people in your company what your brand stands for. If you get ten different answers, it’s time to re-evaluate your brand’s position. Decide what your end goal is, look outward to the consumers and what you are offering them, not inward to the corporate structure.
- Who is your target customer?
Segment the market you’re in by what makes sense of your brands attributes and offers. (Ex: demographics, lifestyle, geographic, etc.) Then determine your customer’s values and desired benefits.
- Who are your competitors?
Run a competitive audit. Study your competitors; learn where they are positioned in the market, what their offers and benefits are, what audience segments they might focus on and what their goals are and why. Where can you carve out a unique brand position within the competitive landscape? Once these opportunities have been identified, translate the positioning idea into a creative concept.
- What does the future look like?
While you’re conducting your research and building your brand position, always be thinking about what your industry might look like 5 or 10 years from now, this helps set a direction for you brand. Create your brand position to be flexible in a constantly-evolving industry and easy to update, so your brand continues to stay relevant.
- How is your brand different?
Will you become an industry leader, premium, challenger or niche brand? How will you stand out in your industry? Can your brand offer a viable alternative to the industry leader? Your brand position should have a clear meaning of what your brand is as well as what sets you apart from your competitors. Highlight your differences and lean on your strengths.
- Create and implement your brand positioning statement.
Once the research is complete and a formal positioning statement is created, it must be adhered to. Your position statement is only useful if it’s implemented and followed. The end result will be a clear position for the brand and a creative articulation of that vision.
Your brand is your company’s first impression to your audience. Once you have created an effective brand positioning strategy, your company will be better equipped for internal and unified understanding of who you are, distinct direction for future products or services, separation from competitors and greater sense of knowing who your company is and the value you provide.