Building your own brand is no walk in the park especially when you’re still pinning down how you can effectively position it in an ever-aggressive market.
We understand your pain-points: aside from pushing for the right budget allocation to fund your marketing campaigns or adopting the latest content marketing technologies to help you reach potential markets, you also need to ensure customer loyalty by fulfilling your brand promise.
What Is Brand Positioning Anyway And Why Is It Important?
The Branding Journal quoted marketing author Philip Kotler in identifying brand positioning as the “act of designing the company’s offering and image to occupy a distinctive place in the mind of the target market.”
It is what makes your brand unique among other brands, creating an instant recall from the public when they hear, see, feel, or experience your product or service. It’s what keeps you apart from your competitors and gives you leverage to win in a competitive market.
So, imagine if you mess up in building the image you want to sit in your customers’ minds. Not only would you lose your customers, you also won’t attract the ones you want to reach if the messaging isn’t right.
Creating A Successful Brand Positioning Strategy
To help you make the right branding strategy that not only helps you win customers but also keep them loyal to you, here’s what you need to do:
1. Create your own brand identity
The first step to any marketing strategy is to define your brand—this creates the experience you want to give to your existing/target customers and encourage loyalty.
To do this, know what your company stands for by heart, putting into consideration the products and/or services you offer to customers and why it matters for them to purchase from you. Write down how you think about your company, then align it with where you want your brand to be moving forward.
2. Set a definite target audience
The only way for you to know if you are on the right track with your campaigns is if your market is responding well to it. So before kicking off any marketing initiative, make sure that you know your audiences by creating a buyer persona.
Choose a specific demographic to target, know what they are doing, their interests, and their psychographics. Just remember that your target audiences may change their buying behavior from time to time, especially when the seasons are shifting. Make sure that your refine your strategies based on the segment that you want to tap.
Once this is already marked, that’s the time you can engage with them effectively to get sound results.
3. Know what your competitors are doing
Spying on your competitors is not a bad thing; just don’t get too caught up with their activities and forget to prioritize your own brand.
What you have to do is conduct a comprehensive competitive analysis for your company to determine what opportunities you can tap, which your competitors are missing out on. This will also help you know what your barriers to growth are and give you the chance to address them in the soonest possible time.
Know what your competitors’ campaigns are—from their website and social media accounts, to marketing tactics such as discounts and customer reviews. Research on your top 5 competitors and conduct the same analysis for each, so you’ll know where the gap is in the competition and come up with a way to position yourself in a way that fills that gap. This bring us to the next point.
4. Identify how you are doing compared to the competition
Knowing your strengths is just as important as knowing your weak points. Coming from the point above, sometimes the best way to know your strengths and weaknesses is to check how your competitors are doing—what makes their campaigns click and why their brand sticks to their target audiences.
One way to do this is to conduct a SWOT analysis to help you identify your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats in the playing field.
Some of the questions you need to ask yourself are: what are the tools your competitors are using to generate leads, how do they boost online customer engagements, and how do they drive sales from their marketing campaigns? Know what your competitors’ best points are, as well as the tools they use to make their branding strategy work.
Just like with any other brand, your competitors also have rooms for improvement. Know what areas lack expertise—is their customer service bad, are they badly managing their social media platforms, do they lack management skills, etc.
With their current marketing strategies, do you think that they are on the right track? Know what campaigns work for them, as well as how much of the industry pie they are capturing. How much more of the market share are they likely to get with their current brand direction?
Pin down what your competitors are worrying most about before they close the books and head home.
5. Leverage your unique selling proposition
Identifying your own brand’s unique selling proposition (USP) lets you stand out from the others. It’s what makes you you. It’s your own brand identity, differentiating your brand and what you have to offer.
By creating your USP, you help customers know you better and stick to your brand, because they found something in you that they would never find elsewhere.
6. Create your positioning statement
You know what makes Nike and Coca-Cola very distinct from the others? Sometimes, not even mentioning their brand but hearing the words “Just Do It” or “Taste the Feeling” already gives you the notion that the campaign is led by these giant brands.
That’s where an effective positioning statement comes in: by creating your very short statement, you encapsulate your brand and its promise into words that are relatable to customers.
To do this, look at your buyer persona and the needs that you can provide. List down your product/service’s benefits that matches specific customer needs. Based on those data, write a statement that encapsulates what you want your customers to think when they think of your brand.
A positioning statement, when done right, instantly creates laser-focused sales message that your marketing team should know by heart, making it easier to create campaigns that generate great results.
7. Refine your brand identity
Finally, strengthen your brand by putting customers first. Once you’ve pinned down who your target customers are, wrap yourselves around the challenges they are experiencing and how you think your brand can help them address their woes.
A strong brand identity establishes its credibility in the market, taking this reputation with them wherever the brand logo goes. Some ways to refine your brand strategy is knowing how you’re doing in terms of your digital marketing campaigns, making sure that your employees are aligned with brand goals, and establishing that you are hitting the right targets.
Creating a brand image that’s very distinct to you may entail hours of work, but it’s also hours of progress. Just remember, a simple and clear approach to delivering your brand message will go a long way in improving your stand-out factor, so don’t overwhelm yourself with a lot of options. Dig deep into what you believe your brand is and work with it.
Do you find these strategies effective? Let us know!
Aaron Chichioco is a digital PR / business columnist. He has a vast experience in overseeing daily operations of several online businesses since 2011. He is currently employed with grit.ph. You can follow Aaron on twitter at @Aaron_Chichioco
Image Credit –
Photo by Sebastian Pociecha on Unsplash