brand positioning

Brand positioning is an important tool that helps to clearly articulate why your brand exists. Brand positioning will ultimately define how your clients view your brand and why they choose your brand over others in your market.

Brand positioning is the key to brand strategy, it is not what your customers see, but how it makes them feel. Brand positioning will become the essential ingredient in your long term business objectives, aligning your team and creating clear and relevant communication with your customers.

In order to distill your brand’s positioning, you must first decide…

  • Who is your ideal target audience?
  • Who are your main competitors in the market?
  • What makes you different and what will ultimately make your target audience choose you over your competitors?

At Brand Matters, we have worked with a vast number of organisations in crafting and defining brand positioning statements that set the course for a strong brand strategy.

We’ve recently launched The Brand Distillery Workshop. This one-day workshop is designed to extract the true essence of your brand by harnessing the expertise of our brand strategists and the business intelligence that sits within your team.

Defining your brand positioning is about finding clear and ownable space within your market.

For example, can your brand own any of these positions in the market?

  • The best quality or premium option
  • The best value or well-priced option
  • A challenger or disrupter
  • Most trusted or established
  • The leader in the field

There are several options for positioning and your brand strategy should define your objectives before you can establish your clear and ownable brand positioning.

By way of example, Ferrari would not go after the position of value; consumers are not choosing to buy a Ferrari because of the excellent value it represents. They are choosing instead to align themselves with the prestige and quality that is inherent in the Ferrari brand positioning.

Once you establish the clear space in the market that you can realistically own, your brand strategy should set out how you go about doing this. Pinpointing a brand positioning that is achievable and believable is critical in your brand strategy. Once you establish this, it will impact every business decision that is made, and keep you on track to delivering on the expectations of your target audience.

You will need to examine the gap between your brand positioning and the current market perception. Brand research can assist you in getting a true understanding of where your brand is now in the eyes of consumers/clients.

Once you have established the gaps, your brand strategy should set out your approach to close those gaps.

Bringing your brand positioning to life

Once you have established and agreed on your brand positioning it is important to determine the ways in which this positioning is brought to life. It should be evident during every interaction your customers have with your brand/organisation.

Brand positioning affects everyone within the organisation – it is not just a function of the marketing team. Everyone within the organisation should know what the brand positioning is and have it in mind throughout the day to day context of their roles.

As with any communication, there should be close and continued monitoring of your brand’s positioning and proof points, as well as brand tracking to ensure it is resonating with the market.

Once you’ve decided on your brand’s positioning, this becomes your foundation when you build the brand experience across your entire marketing and communications strategy.

Brand positioning will feed the other elements of brand strategy

The key elements of your brand strategy include your brand story, customer and employee value propositions, your brand’s visual identity and the tone with which you communicate with your team and customers.

Defining these elements based on your strong positioning and then carefully executing them across all touchpoints is crucial in creating an emotional conection with your customers and building your brand equity.

The importance of brand research in formulating your brand strategy

Brand research will help uncover insights about your customers, competitors and the market. The answers and insights uncovered through the research process will help develop your brand strategy.

Whether it’s an extensive exploration with consumers and businesses, or leveraging and interrogating existing knowledge through desk research or in-depth interviews, there is a range of brand research options. Feel free to contact BrandMatters, we can determine the right-sized research program depending on the complexity of your brand challenge.

Is your brand positioning crystal clear?

At BrandMatters, we’ve helped reposition brands, create and establish new brands and reaffirm existing brands within their existing market position.

Now is a great time to get clear on your brand strategy goals and defining your unique positioning is the first step. Get in touch with our team, we are passionate brand advocates who thrive in solving complex brand challenges.

 

What is brand positioning, and why is it so important?

Brand positioning (also known as a brand essence) is the distillation of all the elements that exist in your brand. It’s a single thought that ties everything together, it is the distillation of your purpose, your values, your archetypes, your propositions.

As such, senior leaders should use it to guide decisions, marketers should use it to guide the tonality of brand communications, designers should bring it to life visually, HR teams should use it to guide recruitment. In short, every touchpoint of your brand is consistent and single-minded with the brand positioning as the beacon.

Where all other elements of your brand strategy say, ‘what you do’, your brand’s positioning expresses the ‘how you do it’.

At BrandMatters, we see brand positioning as the “red thread” that binds an organisation – the most critical, single organising thought that ties everything you do together.

A strong and well-defined brand provides several immediate business benefits:

  • It delivers cut-through in cluttered categories, enabling your brand to stand out.
  • It gives customers a reason to choose you over the competition.
  • It helps validate customers' choice.
  • It enables you to charge and sustain a price premium.
  • It allows you to build trust with key stakeholders.
  • It will help you attract and retain the best employee talent.
  • Ultimately, a strong brand positioning creates clients who are disinterested in alternatives.

Why do you need a strong positioning?

A strong positioning sets the distinctive position your brand can adopt within its competitive environment. It enables your target audiences to tell your brand apart from others in the market. It specifies and expresses your brand’s point of difference – how it is unique and compelling.

There are a few other key components in a strong positioning:

  • Consistency – Every interaction a customer or employee has with your brand should bring to life this single governing idea. As such, they walk away with a single impression made up of hundreds of moments that have been created with one thought in mind.
  • Efficiency – Making decisions inside any organisation can be time consuming. Your brand positioning will ensure every single person, from a customer service representative to a HR director is empowered to make decisions because they understand your way of doing things.
  • Clarity – Brands are complex, the way you express and go to market with your offer evolves and changes, but how do you remain clear on who you are, and are not? A strong brand positioning is your stake in the sand, whilst propositions and communications can evolve, advertising changes and your mission alters as you achieve more and more, your uniqueness, your DNA, your essence remains and serves to give clarity as to who you are for your staff and your customers. 

How strong is your brand’s positioning?

There are many ways to evaluate the strength of your brand’s positioning, but we find it easiest to look through four lenses, asking yourselves whether your positioning is credible, relevant, differentiating, and sustainable.

  • Credible – Is it an achievable stretch for the business and will stakeholders buy into it? Does it align to the needs and expectations of defined customers/clients? Does it work across short term and long term objectives? 
  • Relevant – Is it relevant to all customer segments?
  • Differentiating – Does it enable any first-mover advantage in the category? Is it claimable and therefore ownable prior to additional entrants arriving in the market?
  • Sustainable – Is it suitable as your brand enters new/different markets? Will it encourage new product/service development? Does it challenge and invigorate current employees and the concept of change internally?

What is the role of brand positioning in your wider brand strategy?

Your brand’s positioning informs your wider brand and business strategy, the platform from which organisations can set the strategic rationale for all corporate decisions.

It feeds into your brand’s proposition; the succinct summary of what key benefit your brand offers to customers; then informs and leads the narrative and personality of your brand. This includes your brand story (the who, what, when and how that makes your brand different, including reasons to care), key messages (to externalise your positioning through tactical communications), tone of voice (the language that expresses your brand’s personality) and the elevator pitch (the 30-second description of your brand that succinctly articulates your business).

Your brand positioning will also dovetail to bespoke customer and employee value propositions, helping to articulate the value of your brand and what it brings to clients, customers and employees alike. A strong brand positioning will help ensure there is greater clarity and consistency in these propositions.

The final core component that brand positioning informs is in your visual identity, especially in brand logo and visual expression systems. Ensuring these are also aligned to your positioning will provide your brand with all the tools to differentiate itself in the market and build a sustainable and growth-orientated business moving forward.

Introducing BrandMatters' Brand Distillery Workshop – Building engaging and emotionally relevant brands, all in one day.

When looking at the brands that we engage with, either in the consumer or business world, one thing becomes clear. A strong brand, one that attracts the brightest and best, is so distinct and single-minded, that even when the logo mark is covered, the experience and tonality is so distinguishable that you identify it immediately.

That’s the power of brand positioning. With a single and ownable brand positioning, you will have carved out a brand that delivers that clarity of intent at every touchpoint. If you remove it, it becomes hard to create that consistency of experience.

At BrandMatters, we truly believe in the capabilities of a strong brand positioning in driving organisational growth. It’s one of the reasons why we have developed an entirely new, comprehensive one-day workshop aptly named ‘The Brand Distillery’, where we set out to engage your people to uncover this critical component of your business.

This new solution is designed to deliver the most important aspects of your brand and more, in a single engaging, collaborative session with your employees. In our experience, getting your people aligned in an interactive workshop environment delivers the nuance that binds the outcomes of the session to them, ensuring the results resonate for years to come.

If you and your organisation would benefit from a solution such as The Brand Distillery Workshop, reach out to the team at BrandMatters. We can put together the right approach for your business to enable you to achieve this essential component of your brand and business strategy.