What do others think of you and what do you want people to think of you? These are the aspects you need to address in order to create a brand strategy around achieving your aspired Brand Positioning. As part of this week’s Anatomy of a Brand series, we discuss the importance of defining your Brand position.
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Anatomy of a brand: create a unique brand position for positive returns
Brand positioning: know your roots
Most businesses know which audience they want to connect with, but achieving that can be a whole different thing. The biggest challenges arise when what you think you do/are and what customers think, start drifting in different directions.
A brand survey can be a good way to establish where you are. For a really simple version just ask the your employees – if they come back with lots of different ideas of what you’re about and what you offer, you can bet that’s how customers feel too.
If you’re a new business, research the market sector thoroughly to understand who does what and where there’s potential.
Now you know that, your brand needs to find or strengthen its position. Look at your competitors. What do you offer that they don’t, and what do you do better? This should be the core of your brand positioning.
Do you offer top quality or cheap and cheerful? Do you offer a unique product or experience? A ‘buy in bulk’ option or free delivery? Working out your unique selling points (USPs) will help you find where your brand sits or needs to sit in order to resonate with your ideal customer.
No one expects the same experience when they shop in Waitrose as when they shop in Aldi because both have positioned themselves at different ends of the food retail market. But the offering is clear and customers know what they are buying into as everything is tailored to the position. Make sure other elements of your brand reflect this too with concise and clear brand guidelines.
Use your brand positioning to build a strong brand equity with customers
Strong brand positioning relies on customers being able to make an emotional connection with a brand so, where possible, your brand needs to solve a problem or fulfil a need.
Why does pretty much every 10 year old in the western world want an iPhone? They don’t need one but they want one. Ask them why and you’re unlikely to get any insightful reasoning. This is because Apple have hit the holy grail of brand positioning. The Apple brand evokes passion for its products, loyalty to its brand and, so, a fervour for whatever it does next.
The origins of this are fairly simple. In the 90s, Apple positioned itself as the provider to creative industries, where the intuitive products were more aligned to the work. But they also looked great in an industry where aesthetics are important. By the time the iPhone was launched, it not only offered new functionality but had filtered its position of producing aesthetically pleasing user-friendly goods into the mainstream. And they’ve never looked back!
Changing customer perceptions
If you position yourself as one thing and your potential customer base think of you as something else, you’ll never reap the rewards. The longer this discrepancy is left unaddressed, or the more severe it is, the longer it can take to realign.
Orange was not the new black
In the 1990s, Sunny Delight marketed itself as a healthy alternative to the dominant colas, despite only having 5% fruit juice. It worked and they reached 3rd in the best-selling drinks market.
But, when a news story surfaced of a child turning yellow after drinking too much, sales halved by 2001 and it was only just scraping a place in the top 50 best sellers.
Despite repeated attempts to rebrand itself, even taking its recipe up to 70% fruit juice, this revised brand position was fixed in the mind of consumers and the brand is very rarely seen on shelves these days.
Finding and retaining good positioning can be challenging but it really does pay dividends. Identify, connect and review periodically to gain and maintain a healthy position to support the long term growth of your brand. Let us guide you.