If you’re in the marketing industry, then you know a thing or two about branding, and how valuable brand positioning is in your industry.
Brands are bait in the marketing industry, they act as hooks to lure people into buying their products or skills, but the fact is that we need ‘stuff’ and ‘services’ to keep our 21st century lifestyle alive. There’s no shame in needing things, and neither is there a problem with promoting the items your brand is selling. A brand’s position in the marketplace is what keeps it strong and keeps the interest peaking.
But what is brand positioning exactly? How does it help the brands we represent as marketeers or entrepreneurs? Why is it so important?
What is brand positioning?
Kotler defines brand marketing as “the act of designing the company’s offering and image to occupy a distinctive place in the mind of the target market”, and by this he directly speaks about the way our niche consumers view our brand in relation to our competitors in the market.
If you think about it, as a brand executive, copywriter, SEO specialist, designer, developer or even social media manager, brand positioning is the mantra marketing experts follow on a daily basis. It’s the ultimate goal that will achieve all KPIs, targets and ROI (Return on Investment) for the brands they represent.
Brand positioning strategies work on giving consumers, converted or otherwise, the full picture. Translating the ethos of a brand, hoping it will relate with its direct target market, resulting in actions taken by the prospective or return client. But why is it so important?
Why is brand positioning important?
Brand positioning, or market positioning as it is sometimes referred to, shapes consumer loyalty and requires CRM (Client Relationship Management) to be at the top of its game.
The game in marketing is to rank as high, if not higher than your competitors. The growth of a brand relies on client interactions and develops only if marketing strategies and brand positioning is high.
Now, most of us would think that this is all to do with SEO keywords, firing us up on the SERP (Search Engine Result Page) list, and of course, that plays a vital role, but there’s more to it. Brand positioning is greatly related to your visual tone, your copy used, the CTAs that you power your content by and the flow in which everything works together as a whole.
This omnipresent approach should apply to all social platforms, websites, online stores, in-store campaigns, all the way down to your email marketing and CSR. They should all sync in together for continuity and instant recognition.
Let’s take a small scale candle making business as an example. The company is run by 3 or less people and their end product is luxury candles – but they’re got a principle: sustainability.
Now while the artisans’ final goal is to create profit for the company, the standing of the brand does not fall into its competitors’ markets effortlessly. Since sustainability is their primary goal, their brand positioning would be targeted towards consumers with an eco-friendly audience.
From the company’s candle (final product), to their marketing strategy (social media) and their company ethos (sustainability), every aspect needs to work together seamlessly. It would be contradictory to produce such products in bulk – this is not sustainable due to expiration of products. It would go against their beliefs if they used plastic as a storage material – so they use reusable packaging. All the while promoting this on their social platforms, websites, in-house marketing campaigns all the way to their bulk delivery service, enforced to reduce their carbon footprint.
This is brand positioning. In this case, the artisanal candle company’s market position is within the bracket of artisan produce focused on environmental factors. That’s their market, that’s who they want to attract.
So how do you decide your brand positioning approach?
This is not a simple task, but if your product or service hones in on your beliefs and makes use of your expertise, the mission statement you create for your brand should come to you eventually and should also be translated naturally and honestly.
Step 1: understand your consumer, paint the perfect picture of your brand’s pillars of success, evaluate your competitors in the market.
Research your consumers’ habits by following hashtags on Instagram, see what overseas competitors are doing for their campaigns and look into your local competition market by reading reviews, purchasing their products perhaps and even conduct some A/B Testing if you feel the need to do so.
Step 2: identify what you can offer to the market, show your consumers how you fill the gap, let your viewers know why you’re different/better than your competitors.
Standing out from the crowd is not only a money issue. Everything sensory plays a major role when it comes to brand positioning. Does your product look good? Is your service efficient? There are so many factors to consider.
Step 3: take this identity to just manufactured, the needs of your consumers and the pain points of your competitors and carry this vision across all your platforms.
Be bold. Be you and always remember what you stand for.
Finding your way into a market can be challenging, and the start of your new business venture might take some time to kick off until you build the customer loyalty you’re looking for. The golden rule here is not to give up!
There will be ups and downs, learning curves and changes that you will need to implement with your clients’ needs in mind and your brand positioning strategy leading the way towards success in the industry.
If you need guidance on brand positioning techniques that will take your brand to the next level, contact 4Sight for expert advice on branding, marketing and client reach. Our team of professionals have built brands such as start-up concepts and even big company names, and taken them to a new level.