It was way back in 1969 when marketing virtuoso Jack Trout came up with the term ‘brand positioning’. A few years down the line, he and Al Ries explained the concept in detail in a book titled Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind.
The introduction of brand positioning revolutionized the way branding was being done then. Even today, developing a brand positioning strategy is a very relevant topic. Let’s understand what a brand positioning strategy is and how to successfully create a brand positioning strategy in this modern world.
Brand Positioning Strategy Definition
By definition, brand positioning strategy creates a roadmap of placing your product or service in the mind of consumers. For instance, when you think about luxury watches, Rolex or Rado may be the first names that come to mind.
Similarly, when you think about toothpaste, a brand like Colgate is often the default choice for everyone. The same goes for many other categories, such as Coke or Pepsi for soft drinks, Red Bull for energy drinks, Nike or Adidas for sports shoes and activewear, Tesla for electric cars, Apple or Samsung for mobile phones and Zomato or Swiggy for food delivery.
This automatic association doesn’t happen by chance. These brands have gone through a brand positioning process, which has led their marketing team to develop positioning strategies that establish this instant connection with customers.
How To Create A Brand Positioning Strategy
A brand positioning process lays down the foundation of the brand positioning strategy of any organization. The following steps will help you create a brand positioning strategy for your brand or service:
Examine Current Brand Positioning
The brand positioning process starts with examining the current brand positionings in the market. It’s important to understand how your brand is positioned compared to others before you decide to shift to something more appealing and in line with customer preferences.
Figure Out The Brand Attributes
Once you’ve understood the current brand positioning, figure out the brand attributes. This includes looking at the following elements:
- What the brand stands for right now
- The benefits it provides
- Analyzing the source of authority
- How your customer associates with the brand
- How do your customers feel about associating with your brand
A point-wise analysis of the elements detailed above will help you understand the brand attributes and what elements can be highlighted better or removed from the brand positioning strategy to develop a positioning strategy for the brand.
It’s better to know who you’re pitted against than shooting in the dark. Identify your competitors by using online and offline mediums.
Conduct Competitor Analysis
Now that you know your competition, conduct a deep competitor analysis, including product/service analysis, SWOT, marketing analysis and brand positioning strategy definition for these brands. This will help you get a clear picture of the work required in the steps ahead.
Identify Your USP
After the brand attributes have been identified and the competitor analysis is done, zero down on the brand’s unique selling proposition or USP. In simple terms, USP is what sets your brand apart from everyone else in the market. It can be about quality, price, personality elements or superior customer experience. You can focus on any one or a mix of these elements to derive the USP of any brand. Not having a USP won’t give reasons to consumers to opt for your brand. On the other hand, standing for a USP has the potential to create a loyal set of consumers for your brand over a period of time.
Create A Brand Positioning Framework
The brand positioning process starts to take shape now through a brand positioning framework. This framework explains how your new positioning strategy will transcend from being a big idea to day-to-day operations.
For instance, if you expect your brand to be seen as fun and happy, it should convey the same values at all touchpoints: store design, office layout, social media content, blogs or employee attitude. The brand positioning framework allows you to cover the changes expected across multiple areas of the business.
Develop A Brand Positioning Statement
To draw up a positioning statement, you must understand the following:
- What are you offering to the customer?
- Who are you targeting?
- What is the most important brand attribute?
- Is the brand attribute quantifiable and long-lasting?
Answers to all these queries will help you develop a positioning strategy for your brand. A brand positioning statement is a short statement that explains your brand’s unique value to existing and prospective customers.
Test Your Brand Positioning Strategy
It’s one thing to develop a positioning strategy. Launching it and seeing if it works is a different ball game altogether. It’s important to test your brand positioning strategy with a small set of consumers and gather feedback. Listen to what these consumers say, incorporate it in your positioning strategy and figure out a sweet spot for your brand in the marketplace.
Conduct A Full-Fledged Roll-Out
Once you’ve tested the brand positioning strategy and made the necessary changes, prepare for a full-fledged roll-out. This would include creating an emotional connection with consumers. This can be done by creating and delivering real value to your current and prospective customers. Another way is to ensure that all your customer touchpoints carry the same positioning elements for which you want the brand to be known. Always consider that a full-fledged roll-out of the renewed brand positioning strategy will require a sizable commitment to the marketing budget to create an impact.
These nine steps can help you develop a positioning strategy. With these, you can unravel interesting facets of your brand, which you can apply to your marketing strategy.
You can analyze the marketing ecosystem variables and strategize effectively with the Select a Strategy pathway. This pathway helps you understand the foundation of a good strategy for expansion, strategy and positioning products. If you want to learn about such concepts in a structured and analytical manner, explore the Select a Strategy pathway today.