A Guide to Brand Positioning
As you’ve heard (over and over), a strong brand is essential for survival and growth in the competitive business world. A well-positioned brand stands out from the crowd, resonates with its target audience, and drives sales. But what exactly is brand positioning, and how can you develop one for your business? Let’s get you caught up.
What is Brand Positioning?
Brand positioning is the process of defining how your brand is perceived in the market – and defining the essence of who/what you are. It’s about understanding your target audience (their wants, needs, and ideals), identifying your brand’s unique selling proposition (what problems you solve, what you allow your audience to do), and crafting a message that sticks with them.
Why is Brand Positioning Important?
It’s not enough to simply have a good product or service. While some may see that statement as a negative – we take it as a positive opportunity to align your mission, vision, and ethos with your team and target audience. A strong brand positioning will help you:
- Attract new customers: If your brand is well-positioned, it will be more likely to attract the attention of potential customers who are looking for what you have to offer.
- Increase customer loyalty: Once customers understand what your brand stands for, they are more likely to become loyal customers who will continue to do business with you (and be your biggest advocate).
- Boost your bottom line: A strong brand can command a premium price, and it can also help you to attract and retain top talent.
How to Develop a Brand Positioning Statement
A brand positioning statement is a short, concise statement that summarizes your brand’s identity and place in the market. It should be clear, memorable, and relevant to your target audience.
Here are some steps to help you develop your positioning statement:
- Define your target audience: Who are you trying to reach with your brand? What are their needs, wants, and pain points?
- Identify your brand’s core values: What are the principles that guide your business?
- What makes your brand unique? What sets you apart from your competitors?
- What is your brand’s promise to your customers? What can they expect from your brand?
Once you have a good understanding of your brand, you can start to develop a positioning statement. Your positioning statement should be no more than a few sentences, and be easy to remember and repeat.
Feels like a heavy lift, yeah? It can be. But it is also a powerful practice that is ultimately enlightening, engaging, and fun. Take a look at these examples to see what we mean:
- Nike: Inspiring athletes of all levels to achieve their goals.
- Google: Organizing the world’s information and making it universally accessible and useful.
- Airbnb: To create a world where anyone can belong anywhere.
- Coca-Cola: To craft the brands and choices of drinks that people love, to refresh them in body & spirit.
These are great, right? Right. Here’s why:
- Nike is a popular sportswear brand that targets athletes of all levels. Their brand positioning statement communicates their mission to inspire athletes to achieve their goals.
- Google is the world’s most popular search engine. Their brand positioning statement clearly communicates their mission to organize the world’s information and make it accessible to everyone.
- Airbnb’s brand positioning statement communicates its mission to help people feel at home anywhere in the world. It also fed their tagline: Belong anywhere.
- Coca-Cola’s brand positioning statement is consistent with its tagline, “Taste the Feeling.” Both the statement and the tagline focus on the positive emotions that people associate with the Coca-Cola brand, such as happiness, refreshment, and togetherness.
Take inspiration from these statements to start crafting your own. Look at other innovative brand positioning strategies that have proven wildly successful in the past. And of course, talk to your partners, your team, and your target audience. Insights from every angle of your business will help you discover your most powerful language.
How to Communicate Your Brand Positioning
Once you have a strong brand positioning statement, it’s important to communicate it to your target audience. You can do this through a variety of channels, including your website, marketing materials, and social media.
Here are a few tips for communicating your brand positioning:
- Be consistent with your messaging: Make sure that your messaging is consistent across all channels.
- Use strong visuals to reinforce your brand identity: Your visuals should be consistent with your brand personality.
- Tell stories that connect with your target audience: Stories are a great way to communicate your brand’s values and personality.
- Be authentic and true to your brand: Don’t try to be something you’re not. Your target audience will appreciate your authenticity.
Reviewing and Updating Your Brand Positioning
Your brand positioning should not be set in stone. As your business grows and evolves, you may need to update your positioning to reflect your changing circumstances. Keep up with your KPIs for measuring brand performance, and take action when/where needed.
Remember, your brand positioning is always a work in progress. As your business grows and evolves, you will likely need to update your positioning to reflect your changing circumstances. But once you get started, it’s like riding a bike. You’ll find that regular review and modification where needed helps you understand your ambitions, goals, audience, and potential exponentially more than just surveys of market data alone. Best of luck, and reach out if you need a partner in your positioning journey!