94% of customers are more likely to recommend a brand that engages them emotionally.
How can your brand establish such a relationship?
The answer: Strategically developed brand positioning.
Read on to get brand positioning insights and tips that could nearly double your customer advocacy.
Brand positioning is the process of getting your target audience to notice your business through its unique image and offering.
It does so by making itself occupy a distinctive place in the mind of the prospective and existing buyers.
Through brand positioning, enterprises create brand associations in the minds of their customers in order to make them perceive their business in the desired way.
The key problem brand positioning is trying to solve is how to distinguish a brand and how to make it stick with customers.
It is a multi-faceted strategy that businesses use to set themselves apart from the rest and describe, to the target demographic, how their brand is different from competitors.
The brand positioning statement aligns the business in a certain direction and reaffirms the core values that it communicates to its audience.
Here are a few examples of brand positioning statements:
A brand position statement should assert a business’s primary demographic and explain how its products or services help with solving their pain points.
An internal benefit of a brand positioning statement is that all the employees within a company, from advertising to sales and in between, use it to align their activities towards a common goal.
A brand positioning statement has four core elements:
A quality position statement contains information about the company’s demographics, purpose and potential taglines. It is typically one or two paragraphs long. Not being overloaded with information makes it easier for customers and employees to understand the position better.
The average construction of brand positioning statement may look like this:
"To [target market], [brand] is a [category] that [differentiator] because [target market] needs [the payoff]."
Giving your brand a unique and distinctive position helps you stand out within the overcrowded market.
Think of it from the consumer’s point of view: today, the information and advertising overload are so severe they have a hard time defining what they actually need, let alone who to trust.
In fact, here’s a very telling stat that shows just how crowded it’s got: Americans are exposed to up to 10,000 ads...per day!
Through brand positioning, companies build authentic brands and position themselves successfully in their market, helping consumers make an informed decision.
With brand positioning, companies not only help customers understand how their products and services help them and why they should care about a certain brand - they also gain the following benefits:
To position your brand successfully means taking an introspective look into your brand and establishing what it does differently and better than everyone else.
Creating a brand positioning strategy unique to your company involves these seven steps.
To be able to really analyze your competition with an objective eye, you need to understand your current brand positioning and where you stand in comparison.
Ask yourself these questions:
You can define your ideal customer profiles (ICPs) - the clear definition of who constitutes the ideal buyers of your products and services - with your real customer data or by behavioral indicators, technographic or other audience characteristics relevant to you.
Also, identify your brand’s values and mission, how they fit your market and your niche and how different they are from the rest.
Take an honest look into your brand persona, brand voice and value proposition - do they communicate your unique values clearly?
Consumers are likely to connect with a brand that sounds and feels authentic. Sounding human and down-to-earth, instead of developing a complex marketing jargon, is the way to go. Try to adopt and use your ideal audience’s language.
Competitor analysis and knowing who you’re up against on your market informs you on how to improve your positioning strategy to get an edge over everyone else.
Several ways in which you can perform competition research are:
After defining your competition, it is time to analyze how they position their own brands.
This research should cover these questions:
Unique brands possess an X factor that makes them different and that works best for their business. Defining what this means for your brand and then building an image based on that is a good starting point.
Competition research will show you the patterns of businesses that have the same strengths and weaknesses. Comparing your products and services to theirs might also reveal that some segments in which they are weak are your strengths.
This is your brand differentiator - it’s what makes your brand unique, different and better. That is also a great starting point for brand positioning.
Take notes of your unique offers and look carefully into what makes you better and different than everyone else.
Defining who within your target audience cares the most about your brand’s values and products is the basis for audience segmentation.
This step helps with deciding on the context you want your products or services to have in order to make it easy for ideal customers to understand your brand value, messaging and positioning statement.
By focusing on a very specific market segment and fewer high-value buyers, your business can double down on marketing resources more effectively.
At this step, it’s time to translate your unique capabilities and features into the value they bring your customers.
Creating a brand positioning statement, a one to two sentence declaration which communicates your brand’s unique value to customers.
To create your positioning statement, bear these four factors in mind:
Let’s take a look into Amazon’s positioning statement and analyze its anatomy:
“Our vision is to be the earth’s most customer-centric company; to build a place where people can come to find and discover anything they might want to buy online.”
Amazon doesn’t segment its audience and isn’t into hyper-specification. Instead, everyone is their audience as they sell products for everyone. This is their benefit and the proof of this benefit is online.
Simply launching a positioning statement and not evaluating its effects may leave you and your business in the dark. Collecting feedback from your customers on whether your positioning has the desired effect, testing and experimenting with it is also very important.
Asking for customers’ feedback and listening to their impressions is important to maintain content and style in which it is delivered as a brand’s key positioning asset.
Brand positioning strategy’s main objective is to make consumers perceive a brand as favorable, credible and different.
Every business manager wishes for their brand to be set in the minds of consumers as a gold standard in its industry. Positioning strategies that set great brands apart from the rest and make them extra memorable have the following defining qualities.
There are successful brands in various markets and niches whose positioning sets the tone and standard for everyone else. Here, we take a look into five successful brand positioning examples that made the difference.
As one of the brands with the most effective brand positioning, Apple is usually seen as a role model. They formulate their positioning on these three elements:
Apple creates products that are different from anything else on the market: in their approach of focusing on value over features, in their design, use of materials and premium brand philosophy of not going into price wars with their competitors.
More than just an IT brand, Apple professes a lifestyle focused on quality. As a result, their brand affinity is possibly unlike any other company as they are one of the most valuable brands in the world.
Bumble is a dating app that realized and remedied the shortcomings of numerous other dating apps on the market and based its positioning on that.
Plenty of dating apps leave users frustrated with their experience, which Bumble saw as their chance to introduce a progressive and innovative user experience with fewer distractions and unwanted content.
This app also limits initial interaction and reduces the number of messages a user can receive from someone they just connected with.
What is Bumble’s even greater brand differentiator is that women only can make the first contact before any other messages can be sent, thus challenging social norms and making the app a more pleasant experience for women who are usually targeted with a barrage of messages.
The global leader in sports apparel creates products that are both high-quality and fashionable. Their go-getting spirit and “Just do it” tagline befit their athletic target audience and the very essence of sporting determination.
However, the brand goes beyond using sporting celebrities for the sake of promoting their achievements in Nike wear. They set the example with these figures for the ordinary consumer, affirming their aspirations to an athletic life.
Nike empowers the "average" buyer to expand their limits instead of just focusing on the sporting excellence of world-famous stars.
Gilette’s highly professional ads and general marketing messaging relying on cold and efficient masculinity had a stronghold on the market of men’s razors and care products.
Dollar Shave Club competes with this approach in two ways: through humorous marketing and affordable prices. Their brand positioning begins with their name that indicates the low cost that captures users’ attention.
But this brand also makes a strong case for the quality of their products, and the proof they offer for this in their light-hearted messaging further differentiates them in the grooming industry, leading them to become one of its major players.
Millions lack access to basic human needs because they can’t get a ride. So we’re doing something about it. Today, we’re introducing #LyftUp, an initiative to expand transportation access for those who need it most. https://t.co/VPa7gAnl13pic.twitter.com/kwUOWfpSm0— Lyft (@lyft) January 21, 2020
Uber and Lyft have drastically different brand positioning despite being the same service: ride-share apps.
Uber was the market’s pioneer and right from the get-go they positioned themselves as exclusive, sleek and adding a touch of luxury to “ordinary” people. Their cold branding in black tones befitted this brand persona of exclusivity.
Lyft presumably foresaw that this elitism may backfire and adopted a completely opposite positioning: approachable and fun drivers, quirky and zany branding and messaging with casual fonts and even cars sporting pink mustaches!
This was Lyft’s reaction to Uber’s positioning, knowing they had to position themselves as different to help them get a distinctive edge.
This down-to-earth approach made the brand easier to identify with, as Uber was becoming increasingly criticized for its somewhat cold and elitist nature.
Through brand positioning, businesses can establish their main point of differentiation and communicate their unique values to their ideal customers.
Besides providing a differentiating quality to a business, brand positioning statement also:
The essential elements of any successful brand positioning are
Creating a brand positioning strategy that sets a business apart from the rest consists of: