Put simply, brand positioning is how a product appears in relation to other products in the market. It ensures that all brand activity has a focused, consistent approach. Positioning makes sure that: a brand is unique and distinctive in the marketplace; is sustainable and can be delivered consistently across all markets; helps an organization achieve its financial goals.
An individual’s perception of your brand cannot be controlled, but it can be influenced. In fact, brand positioning is something that will happen on its own. Your market will determine their feeling towards your brand and that of your competitors. But you can positively influence market perceptions through strategic actions. Brand positioning has 3 major components:
Positioning – the process of creating a brand image or identity that appeals to the target market of a product or organization
Re-Positioning – working to change the identity of a product relative to the identity of competing products within the marketplace
De-Positioning – attempting to influence of change the identity of competing products relative to the identity of your product.
To create a distinctive brand, it is crucial that you accurately define the market where your brand will compete. You must understand the product attributes that exist within the competitive space. It is critical to identify the differences and similarities between your brand and others in order to craft the right identity and image. A strong brand communicates its unique attributes, details and the reasons for purchasing your product over another.
When determining the unique value proposition of your brand you may choose one or more differentiating factors to distinguish your product from others that exist within the marketplace. The major positioning types include:
Target – focusing the brand’s marketing on a specific market segment such as; demographic, geographic, ethnic, or economic. To create success in target positioning, the target market has to see the brand as superior to other in meeting their needs.
Benefit – if a product or brand offers a perceivable benefit over other competitors. The impact of positioning by benefit will depend on the number of people that can reasonably appreciate this difference as well as the marketer’s ability to communicate the benefit.
Price – creating awareness by placing a product at the top or bottom of the competitive pricing scale. The brand image as well as profit margins can be greatly affected by this type of positioning strategy.
Distribution – utilizing a sales channel that is not used by competing brands or products. Having the first product of its kind sold in a particular market segment can cause people to see it as unique or worthy of special consideration.
Craig Johnson is the chief strategist and co-founder of Matchstic, a premier brand identity house. His Atlanta based branding agency helps organizations create passionate brands that are memorable, relevant, and lasting. Specializing in brand development through process driven solutions, Matchstic’s services include: brand audit, brand positioning and strategy, brand and product naming and brand identity development. Matchstic’s brand architects forge positive change and accomplish business objectives through creative thinking and smart design.