In almost any market, brand positioning is crucial to its success. Creating a strong position for your brand within your market share can be the main difference between you and a competitor. But what actually is brand positioning? Why is it so important? And, what can you do to create a stronger one? In this article let’s look at these questions and develop a clearer idea of how to create and maintain a strong brand position in your market.
What is Brand Positioning?
Brand positioning can be seen as a complicated area, however, it doesn’t need to be. Brand positioning has been defined, by Philip Kotler, the father of modern marketing, as “the act of designing the company’s offering and image to occupy a distinctive place in the mind of the target market”.
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Simplifying Brand Position
So, what does this quote actually mean? In its most simple terms, it focuses on suggesting how your product or service can stand out to a potential customer. This can be done in a number of ways that we’ll look at later in the article, though one particular way, that we all know too well, is through packaging. Iconic packaging can stand out in a customer’s mind with your brand, adding that “distinctive place” that we’re looking to fill.
The Benefits of Good Brand Positioning and its Importance
There are a range of reasons why brand positioning is important, but they all focus on one thing: linking a product or service to an idea. We can use this idea to help us establish relevancy to a particular message, and in turn to build loyalty from a consumer as well as a willingness from that consumer to purchase from a brand.
An Example of Successful Brand Positioning
As an example, let’s use Ryanair, their brand has a position in the minds of customers through the idea of being a cheap no-frills airline. It has done this by focusing on how cheap and straightforward its flights are. When we think of cheap airlines, Ryanair typically comes to mind. This might not seem like a great thing, but, in this case, it is. This brand positioning means that anytime we are looking for low cost flights, we’ll look to Ryanair as our first port of call.
Develop Your Branding Position
Below we’ve outlined three ways to help develop your brand position. Tailor these around your market for maximum effect.
As within anything new research should always be carried out. Doing as much research as possible before you start, to develop your brand position, will help improve the effect. But what should you be researching?
Research Your Own Brand
First, look at your own brand, and look at your own business. Where is it currently positioned within your market? Understanding this, in as much detail as possible, helps you know what and how much work needs to be undertaken. This can be done in any number of ways, depending on your industry, but consider a simple social media quiz or a customer questionnaire.
Research Your Competitors
What are your competitors doing differently to you? Is their strategy working? Is it not working? Working out the answers to these questions can avoid many unnecessary failures. Competitor analysis can enhance your own brand. The internet is a good starting point, with website research for example, or by looking through their social media, reviews and feedback, and by even engaging with the brand at trade fairs and exhibitions to look at the products or services, and their promotional materials. Check out this blog for tips on how to perform competitor brand research.
Bring All This Research Together
By doing this, you will have created a lot of data about yourself and your competitors, but what do you do with all this data? Compare yourself with your competitors and understand what they’re doing well. Find out ways to use this information with the subsequent stages. All this data can help make your brand position project run as smoothly as possible.
Create Your Brand Position
If you’ve done all this, you should be a master of brand positioning for your market. Now it’s time to review this information to start developing your own brand position.
What Does Brand Repositioning Look Like?
You can reposition your brand by using a range of methods. View this article for a more in-depth look into how to reposition your brand. However, the slick, short answer is through marketing, advertising, content, packaging and feedback. As previously mentioned, brand positioning is all about fixing your brand somewhere within a customer’s mind. The goal is to plant your brand within a consumer’s mind, and make an association. Associate your brand with being the best in the market, with great content or service, and with being the experts of your industry. You could also cut pricing and become the “Aldi” of your industry. All of these can help you to reposition your brand.
So, you’ve done the research, your new brand ideas are out there and you want to know if this whole process has been successful? Now is the time to start testing. This step is similar to researching and uses similar techniques, though, for testing, you’re gathering evidence for whether a particular change enhances the brand, or does not. Understand what users think of your new branding ideas. As well as this, conduct some more analytical testing, if I sell at this price have sales increased; if I sell at this other price have sales increased? Compare the results. If you remove some of the advertising are sales still consistent? Use tools like Google Analytics, Social Media, feedback, reviews, whatever is at your disposal to use for testing material. All of this is valuable data that can be used to improve your positioning.
Conclusive Results to Create a Strong Brand Position
Brand positioning can achieve fantastic results, from increased sales, to dedicated customers, to becoming the experts in your industry. But this takes time, research, strategy and effort to progress plans towards a reality. As well as this, other brands are continually trying to achieve the same as you, so this can’t be a one time process and ought to be built into your ongoing business plan.
If you’re looking to help your brand stand out in the mind of a consumer, get in contact with Fellow using the information below. Or check out some of our other fantastic blogs below.