The success of your brand is built on a lot of different things and brand positioning is of the most important parts of creating a successful brand. The way your brand is positioned in the competitive market determines the customers you want to go after, can influence how consumers feel about your brand, and the ability of your brand to fulfill their needs.
For most businesses, there is a specific place in the market that will maximize the audience. What if your brand isn’t in the right category? In other words, what if it isn’t positioned right?
There is no way you will gain customers or compete, right? That’s why knowing how your brand is positioned with a brand positioning test is helpful. Let’s dive deeper into the brand positioning guide and look for ways your business can find and improve brand positioning.
What is brand positioning?
A brand positioning strategy isn’t that old, we just need to go 50 years back to trace it. But, many marketers view the method of positioning as the basis of brand strategy, it’s about gaining a specific position in the mind of the target customer.
The meaning of brand positioning goes beyond just your company’s name, website, and advertising. What do you want your brand to be in the minds of your customers? Brand positioning is established with competitors and the landscape of the market in mind.
Who are your biggest competitors? How do you stack up against them? How is your brand different from theirs? You create a spot for your brand where it has clear value and differentiation. The opinions and way the brand fits in the market are clear when you run brand position testing.
You’ve either created the brand or have a lot of hands in the upkeep of the brand, so there’s no one better than you to express its value to the audience. It helps to shape and guide innovation internally and improve marketing strategies. This strategy helps you to find the right audience for your product.
What needs are satisfied with this product or service or what are the reasons you believe that your product will meet the requirements of the user? It’s a strategy that’s much more than just choosing a position in the market that you think is good. It’s considered the heart of marketing strategy because it provides clear directions for business activities for the organization to focus on in order to compete with other products or services in the market.
A few of the values a brand might want to portray to the audience are:
- Good value
- Leader in the market
- Different than others
- Admired or favored
Once you’ve positioned your brand in the market, only half of the work is done, next, brand experience comes into play. It is about the experience that customers will get from your brand, have you met their expectations? Brand positioning and experience go hand in hand.
Why is brand positioning important?
All in all, it’s not enough to just have a great product or service. You need an engaging customer experience across all of your channels for that advantage you’re trying so hard to achieve to really shine through and be noticed by your customers. Positioning is more of a daily commitment than a one-time event. But despite all the difficulty and commitment behind it, the results are well worth the work. – Forbes
Creating a visible difference between your product or service and competitors in the market is done with the help of brand positioning. As a brand, you have the responsibility to show people the value you have or why you should matter to them. Tell the world how you entered the market and what you offer that brings change.
It tells the world about the uniqueness of your brand, it’s a great tool to open the communication channel between the customers and a brand. Brand positioning can give direction to a brand and allow them to understand who is most likely to buy.
Every customer is looking for a product that gives them what they want and brand positioning can help find the users that are looking for your solution. It is up to you how you position your brand to meet their needs but running a positioning test will steer you in the right direction.
Sometimes the offerings are similar in two or more brands, but the differentiation might be the emotions of customers connected to the brand. Another main benefit of brand positioning is to create emotions in the minds of customers, you need to increase the levels of trust customers have in your business.
Steps to creating brand positioning
Creating the right brand positioning is a procedure that starts internally where you need to question yourself about who, what, and why before establishing your position.
Who is your target audience? What are the needs you are fulfilling? Why should your customers believe in your brand? First, you need to take into consideration the “Who” it’s where the market segmentation takes place. You need to do some research on the audience that might be willing to buy your products.
Once you have narrowed it down, you have an audience that is most likely to be interested in your business. Now your priorities and actions will focus on giving this audience the products, services, and features that they want most.
As the business grows, you might feel the need to expand the target audience and include a wider demographic of people. Next comes the “What”, what needs of the users are met by your brand? And “Why” is where you need to explain why your brand is the best option for consumers.
A significant amount of focus should be on the “why” it’s how you will make the target audience believe in your brand. Be true to what your brand is and what you have to offer to help create great brand value.
The brand positioning strategy should be reflected in every decision you make no matter what part of the business is making a decision. Share the insights with your HR, product, marketing, and communications teams. Once the product is done, communicate it externally and create excitement and trust in the hearts of your audience.
Examples of good brand positioning
In every market, there’s a leader and a challenger. The leader tends to stand at the top of the market in terms of giving out the finest services or products and a challenger is known for creating strategies to compete with the leader.
However, with alternative messaging, you can make your brand stand out in the market and that’s your key to success. Some of the most famous advertising campaigns are successful because of their great positioning. Here are two examples of effective brand positioning;
One of the most famous campaigns of Apple was “I’m a Mac” where the company personified their product offering outstandingly as they positioned the Mac as much cooler, more advanced, and more appealing than an ordinary PC.
The company was successful in positioning its brand and product exactly where it wanted to be. They were successful in positioning themselves as a more modern and easy-going alternative to Microsoft.
McDonald’s vs Burger King
Most of us are familiar with the rivalry between these two fast-food giants. The competition between them is a remarkable example of two styles of brand positioning.
In this competition, we have Burger King as the challenger and McDonald’s as the leader of the market owning majority shares. Burger Kind has been clear in its attempts to challenge McDonald’s, comparing its food to McDonald’s in ads and messaging.
The leader often doesn’t acknowledge the challenger and chooses to focus on the quality of their product. McDonald’s as the leader in the fast-food industry has not given any prominent responses to the competition because as soon as they acknowledge the competitor their status as the category king might be affected. They position themselves as the leader by maintaining their own brand positioning strategy.
Factors in brand positioning
1. Qualitative and Quantitative Research
Carrying out research surely takes a lot of time and money, so why not make it worth it? You collect both qualitative and quantitative research. Qualitative research is a subjective analysis that is more concentrated on non-statistical data and readable feedback that holds opinions and emotions.
Quantitative data is an objective approach that includes facts and statistics. When a business is looking to find positioning, they should receive both kinds of data to get the full picture.
Here are the parts of your business that affect the positioning;
2. Brand Image
Brand image is how the customers perceive or think about your brand in their minds. The image your brand portrays to the audience means a lot in positioning. It is how you create value and gain customers that become loyal.
3. Products and Services You Provide
What if you are a fast-food company and looking for space in the tech industry? Doesn’t make sense right? The products and services your business provides to the people are key players in understanding your brand positioning.
4. Consumer Expectations
Every consumer has some level of expectations when making a purchase. The services and products you provide will either match their expectations or they won’t. The expectations of customers from your brand will give a roadmap to where the brand should be positioned.
5. What Competitors Offer in Products and Services
There is no denying the fact that you aren’t alone in the market. There are always competitors. You need to take into consideration the services and products they provide. Without understanding your competitors you might lack differentiation and run the risk of releasing a product or service that the market has already seen.
Your price is always compared to the price of your competitor, never neglect this factor. The price of your product or service has a big impact on where the brand should be positioned.
If you have a premium product you will not have the same target audience as the dollar store. If you have a low-priced product your competitor won’t be Rolex. Consider the price point of the product to help identify and target the right users.
7. Consumer Perception
What does the audience think of your brand? You need to keep the consumer in mind in every part of the business. If your consumers hold your business to a high standard or on the other hand assume you are a low-cost option you will have different brand position strategies.
How to Improve Brand Positioning
As a business you do not want to constantly reposition your brand, it might change over time but finding the best position from the start and expanding with growth will save time and money down the road. Here are some tips to keep in mind to improve brand positioning and find it before launch.
Use Data to Inform Your Changes to Brand Positioning
Data is responsible for giving you confidence in the decision you make. It gives you insights into the market conditions and how the conditions might change in the coming future. Data also helps you understand your current and potential market segments.
However, you might be wondering where you can get great data without spending a ton of money or time. To get data on your consumers and brand positioning, Poll the People is a great place to conduct a test, it provides extensive and reliable data regarding your brand positioning.
Changing the brand position is surely a big decision to make. Tough conversations are part of the whole process. The leaders must communicate with each other and also convey the information to all the departments of the organization.
To make brand positioning successful, every suggestion should be taken into consideration. There shouldn’t be any communication barrier.
Have a Plan
You need to set clear goals and know what you want to get out of a brand position test. The plan acts as a framework to understand the success of your plan or if you need to go back to the drawing board. Keep on reminding yourself about the goals of your brand positioning test when you decided to improve or find the ideal brand position.
Back-Up Your Plan With Action
A plan on paper is great but you need to follow that plan to the end. If you ran the test, received feedback and data you need to make decisions according to what the audience told you. It’s time to take action. Remind yourself of the goals you set earlier and take the insights you have and create a great brand position.
Brand positioning is a process, like any other big decision a business goes through, but if you start before you launch new products, services, or concepts you will avoid a lot of risks. With the right tools, you can reduce the time it takes to successfully position your brand.
Brand positioning is essential to survive in a highly competitive market. To attain a unique position in the user’s mind, you need to invest your time and money in brand positioning.
Poll the People is a great platform for brand position testing. The platform has a number of templates that let you create an effective test. Poll the People has access to a dedicated user panel of thousands that gives you reliable feedback.
The best thing about our platform is a test can be created, run, and analyzed in about an hour. It has a number of features that allow any business to understand and optimize brand positioning. If you’re ready to get a read on where you are in the market and how you should be positioned, sign up!
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