What is brand positioning? How to create a strong brand positioning strategy?
Brand positioning is an art. It’s how your product or service which you offer is positioned/placed/fitted in the brain of the consumers to make it different and stand out from the competition. It is the reason why the customers buy your product.
According to Philip Kotler – Brand positioning is an act of designing the company’s offering and image to occupy a distinct place in the mind of the target market.
Brand creates a bond between the customer and the business. It’s that friend of the customer who’ll always stay in their subconscious mind and will make them recall about the company whenever they hear about the any of its product or a particular feature which makes it stand out.
Colgate is positioned as protective.
Woodland is tough.
Coca Cola brings happiness.
Axe deodorants have a sexual appeal.
JOHNSON’S Baby products doesn’t harm the body of infants.
Brand positioning gives your product or the service you offer an edge over your competitors’ by making it stand out in a certain way. It’s up to you how you position your brand.
Brand positioning is the combination of what your product actually offers and how you design the promotional mix and tell the customers about its features. Both the actual features and the promoted features should have a correlation or the branding strategy may fail.
Deliver what you promise.
Characteristics of a good brand positioning strategy
The positioning strategy you decide should be relevant according to the customer. If he finds the positioning irrelevant while making the purchase decision, you’re at loss.
Your message should be clear and easy to communicate. E.g. Rich taste and aroma you won’t forget, for a coffee product, gives out a clear image and can position your coffee brand differently from competitors.
A strong brand positioning means you have a unique credible and sustainable position in the customers mind. It should be unique or it’s of no use.
The unique feature should be desirable and should be able to become a factor which the customer evaluate before buying a product.
The promise should be deliverable.
Points of difference
The customer should be able to tell the difference between you and your competitor’s brand.
Points of parity
Positioning require some common characteristics between you and your competitor. For example, both should deal in coffee products, etc.
The unique feature should be recognizable by the customer. This includes keeping your positioning simple, and in a language which us understood by the customer.
Validated by the Customer
Your positioning strategy isn’t successful till the time it is validated by the customer. He is the one to decide whether you stand out or not. Hence, try to be in his shoes while deciding your strategy.
How to create a strong brand positioning strategy?
Before you decide your brand positioning, ask yourself these three questions.
- What does my customer want?
- Can I promise him to deliver it better and/or differently than my competitors?
- Why will they buy my promise?
What does my customer want?
Not everyone in the market is your customer. You need to divide the market into ‘my customer’ and ‘not my customer’. This way, it’ll be easier for you to know what exactly is your customers’ wants are.
The division should be followed by you trying to be in your customers’ shoes. A good businessman speaks in the voice of the consumer.
Your research should not be based on secondary data. You should go out and look for what the customer actually wants, make the product fit those wants, and they’ll buy it.
Be Better and/or Different
If it’s not just you who is in the market, you’ve got to find a way to deliver your promise better and/or differently than your competitors. Make a brand which has a recall, which comes to the customer’s minds when they hear about the particular product category or the feature you’re offering. Every time I hear about girls being attracted by a deodorant, I get an image of Axe deodorants in my mind.
Give them a reason to buy your promise.
Your promise should be one of the factors they consider while buying the product. Use this trick
- Decide your product
- List its various characteristics
- Do a research, and
- Divide the characteristics into essential and add ons.
- Select only those categories, be it essential or add ons, which customers consider while making a purchase. (E.g. aesthetics, fragrance, taste, shape, cost, etc.)
- Find out what among these categories can you provide better than the competitors.
- Whatever you decide, don’t lose your focus from the essential characteristics. (E.g. Taste will always be most important characteristic which a customer consider while buying a food product)
- Provide your unique feature along with the essential characteristics.
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