The world of marketing is full of concepts and strategies that allow your brand to improve its reach to the world and increase sales. Among these concepts, Brand Positioning, probably one of the most crucial steps in your marketing strategy, can both dramatically improve your brand, but if done incorrectly, can have serious repercussions on your business.
What is Brand Positioning?
Brand Positioning is often the first thing taught in marketing education, proving the importance of this step in the marketing strategy process. In a way, brand positioning describes how your brand is different from competitors, and above all, it aims to enter the minds of consumers through its image and its products. In other words, without positioning, the company's marketing strategy cannot move forward and becomes paralyzed, starting with the marketing department and spreading to all other departments.
This is the starting point in the introduction of a product or service, the work done on this brand positioning must be thoughtful and ingenious, so that these products and services reach the consumer exactly as the company would like them to perceive. It is important to remember that brand positioning is not only about finding an original logo or a catchy slogan, the effectiveness of this process is noted by the differentiation you will benefit from, compared to your competitors.
However, being different is not enough to be the market leader.
The objective is to associate specific characteristics to the brand in the minds of consumers, credible, favorable, valuable, the best for the company to benefit. Thanks to this, two services or two products can have the same characteristics, but the brand positioning will make the added value brought by the brand and will be the factor to decide a price for these same goods or services.
Brand positioning is the roadmap because it will have an impact on marketing, communication, advertising but also on internal management and leadership.
How does one position their brand?
A brand positioning is a complex process that is not done by answering a single question, there are more or less varied steps that it is important to take into account.
Here are some examples of questions to ask yourself to start your positioning in the best way.
Take stock of your current brand positioning - You need to take stock of the current state of your operations. Are your products and services marketed in a way that differentiates you from competitors? Sales data crossed with your current positioning could provide valuable information for the redesign of your positioning strategy. Reconsider your targets, your values, what currently distinguishes you from others to make it your strength in your future strategy.
Identify and analyse your competitors - It is logical that after analysing your own business, you need to know what is being done elsewhere. It is therefore necessary to find out who you will be competing against in the market, and to draw significant advantages from them. For this, different tools are available to you and can be complementary. The market study, analyse all the companies from the same sector or offering the same product. Social media - many platforms are now dedicated to the research of products or services, B2B or B2C, use these tools to inform you of the market environment. Customer reviews can also be an indicator of who is sharing your market, look at what some of the other users are offering as an alternative to your products.
Once you have identified your competitors, look at what they offer, their strengths, weaknesses, digital presence, anything that might influence your decision making for your strategy.
Find your unique value proposition - As you compare your offerings with your competitors, find out what makes them different from yours, their weaknesses may be your strengths or vice versa. Find the feature of your offering that is most likely to create value in the eyes of the customer. This is the most important point in the reflection, what needs my offer meets and how I can increase its value in the eyes of the consumer.
Why should one position their brand?
It is important to position your brand because it must gain visibility, reach consumers and penetrate their minds, become the first choice when a need is present and your company can meet it. Effective positioning is obviously an important competitive advantage in the marketplace.
It is important for your company to realize a brand positioning, this will give it an important strategic advantage, a good basis for all the next marketing, commercial and communication actions, these are values that the company must transmit to the general public.
It is an important guide for your future guidelines and the prosperity of your company and hence rebranding is sometimes the best choice for the longevity of a company.
Recently, Facebook Inc., the family company of Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and Oculus among others, decided to change its positioning and rename itself “Meta”. This choice is well thought out and opens new perspectives for the group. The positioning of the conglomerate previously named Facebook became too much linked to social networks and had to differentiate itself because other social networks are beginning to emerge and take place on this market, like TikTok and Snapchat.
This new name "Meta" which means "Beyond" gives an image of perpetual evolution of the company by suggesting that there is and will always be more to build.
New name, new logo, new vision.
Indeed, with this rebranding Mark Zuckerberg wants to open the way for his company to the "Metaverse", a kind of parallel universe accessible via augmented reality equipment. This idea of a Metaverse has accelerated thanks to the technological innovations that the world is currently experiencing with the Blockchain, cryptoassets and NFT. If Facebook's cryptocurrency project (the Diem) has experienced some obstacles, the group's ambition to create its own universe continues to grow and this new positioning of the brand opens the way to this opportunity.
Since the announcement of all these changes, the group has experienced a growth of nearly 7% in the stock market, an important financial point knowing that the group was experiencing a decline of over 20% since September 2021.
The effects of brand positioning
Your brand positioning will have an effect on your brand and the reach it has to the general public. However, some mistakes can be made that can undermine your positioning strategy.
First of all, your brand can feel the effect of under-positioning, the added value of your offer is then badly determined and lacks clarity.
A narrow positioning can also lead to a failure of your positioning, your conception of the brand and its speciality is too narrow and puts your company at risk.
Moreover, we must not neglect the importance of technological tools that are becoming more and more important in the marketing strategies for companies. For example, SEO and SEM are perfect examples to illustrate the importance and effects of good positioning. If your brand is poorly positioned then the choice of keywords will be more difficult and especially less effective, people will be reached when they are not your targets and will simply lead to a high cost of your advertising and your presence on the Internet.
A brand positioning does not always have only defaults, it is also often successful, the message that you want to transmit to consumers will be intact and you will have taken place in their mind to become their first choice in response to their problem or their need, because they will have perceived the values of your company through your positioning.
For example, if you have chosen a positioning based on quality to stand out, when they have a need that shares your know-how, and they prioritize quality rather than price or quantity, they will think of you first. This gives you a considerable advantage in the market.
Your brand positioning with time
The world is changing at an uncontrollable speed, especially in these times of extreme digitalization, you need to be on top of new trends in your market. Incredible tools and technologies exist to help you be in constant evolution with time. Data!!! Whether it's external or internal. Use it, analyse it and expand it to continuously improve and refine your positioning. Re-positioning is not a weakness, if it is thoughtful, measured and relevant it can only put your brand back on a more virtuous path and towards positive results.
If your brand-positioning becomes obsolete, it's not too late, review your strategy and the vision of your company to ensure the sustainability of your brand. Change is scary, but a well-prepared change will be the key to the successful development of your structure.