This article will cover the advantages of brand positioning and the risks of getting your positioning wrong. You can learn the key principles and benefits of brand positioning in marketing.
What is brand positioning?
Positioning is the mental association that someone has with a brand or product. Brand positioning can be defined as the process of influencing the mental image and perception of your brand among prospective customers. A great brand positioning strategy can guide your marketing strategy, define brand messaging pillars, help craft your brand value propositions and reiterate your brand purpose.
What makes a good brand positioning?
A good positioning strategy will have some principles in common:
- Built on factors that are important to the consumers
Good positioning should highlight traits that are deemed important by the customer. There is no point in highlighting fast delivery if the consumer doesn’t see that offering as valuable.
For example, a courier company like FedEx might base its positioning on speed and guaranteed next-day delivery. The same might not be as effective for a high-end luxury car company that does custom designs.
Unique Your brand positioning should set you apart from all your competitors offering the same product. Analyze your consumer wants, what your company provides, what competing brands offer, and what you can deliver that your competitor cannot.
Dominos delivering pizza under 30 mins plays a crucial role in differentiating the brand.
Consistently deliver on the brand promise.
Your brand positioning is successful only when your customer starts associating your brand with your differentiators. You’ve to consistently deliver on your promise and infuse your positioning and brand purpose into everything your brand does.
Your positioning must focus on unique selling propositions that your competitor cannot easily replicate.
What are the benefits of brand positioning?
Following are the benefits of having a strong positioning in marketing.
Showing your target audience exactly what you want them to know about your brand makes it easy for them to remember the benefits of buying from you. Soon your customers will start associating your brand with your positioning. This brand recall and clarity will be useful when your customers consider the various options available to them.
Example: Volvo has become synonymous with the word safety because of a well-crafted positioning.
A powerful brand positioning will give you the advantage of building a loyal customer base. People who find your differentiators important will become your brand advocates.
If there is no differentiation, every company would say the same product features on every marketing collateral. It would be very difficult for the target market to tell the difference and make a choice. To sell your products, you need to communicate your value. If you’re a skincare expert, people want to know how your products will make them look better. Your brand should differ from your competitor.
Compete on factors other than price
Although competitive pricing is one of the positioning strategies you can use, it might not always be the best option. It’s essential to compete on factors other than price. It’s important to remember that you can still find the same product cheaper elsewhere. But when you focus on other factors like quality, service, and customer care, you become hard to replace.
Example: south-west airlines specialized in short-haul flights knew they couldn’t compete on price alone because that’s not a sustainable advantage. So they used reliability and witty messaging to differentiate themselves.
Emotional appeal marketing
Good positioning invokes an emotional response from your target audience. Even in a data-driven world, we still rely on emotions to make a purchasing decision.
Example: Coco-cola is a fine example of a company using emotional marketing. Their positioning, product designing, and ad campaigns are carefully crafted to influence their customers.
The outcome of good positioning is a compelling customer-focused value proposition. You need to communicate the value you offer to your customers. You must be clear about what benefit they’ll receive by purchasing your product. You can do this by telling them about the benefits and features of your product.
Consistent brand message and identity
If you’re clear on your positioning, then your brand elements and brand message will be on point to support your positioning. The consistency makes it easier to command your place in the market.
Direction for your marketing strategy
The positioning statement can be a document that your marketing department can refer back to when working on the marketing strategy.
Disadvantages of brand positioning
Risk of straddle positioning
Straddle positioning is when brands try to own two frames of reference (set of products/attributes you’re compared against) and end up not owning either. For example, a brand might try to hold both luxury and performance frame of reference and end up in a ‘ no-man’s-land’ where they don’t get accepted for either of those traits.
Positioning requires you to make strong choices.
That’s not to say it’s impossible.
Example: BMW has done an excellent job of owning both luxury and performance frame of reference with their statement: “The ultimate driving machine.” They spend a lot of money on ad campaigns and other marketing mediums to get the word out. Smaller brands are better off trying to own a single positioning angle.
Wrong positioning can mean failure to capture the market.
There is a risk of failure if your positioning is not built on traits and values that are important to your customer.
Risk of being associated with negatively correlated attributes
A negative correlation has always been one of the challenges of brand positioning. Customers have a negative correlation with specific traits. When you choose one positioning, ensure that the negative correlation won’t put off your target customer persona.
|Low price vs High quality|
|Taste vs Low calories|
|Nutritious vs tasty|
|Powerful vs safe|
|Strong vs refined|
|Ubiquitous vs exclusive|
|Varied vs simple|
|Efficacious vs mild|
FAQs about positioning
What is positioning in marketing?
Positioning is the act of consciously designing your company’s offering and image to occupy a distinctive place in your target customer’s mind. The outcome of the process is a positioning statement, which will then translate into all brand elements.
What is the importance of positioning?
An effective positioning gives a company a distinct and meaningful position in the market and it is a more effective and cost-efficient way to get a company’s product and services to the target audience. It is more likely for a company to succeed if it is able to offer a differentiated and more meaningful product or service than its competitors. A company’s success is closely tied to how it positions itself in the market.
What is the purpose of market positioning
Brand positioning is about creating a unique and memorable place in the mind of customers. Brand Positioning is the way a company differentiates itself from its competitors. It helps a company carve out its niche in the market and develop a brand position that will be hard for competitors to break.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of positioning?
A strong brand position makes marketing messages more memorable, leading to higher loyalty. The emotional connection that the brand makes with consumers will boost engagement levels, as customers are more likely to be invested in companies who are bold enough to stick out from the pack. Finally, a consistent message makes the customer’s shopping experience easier, because they already know what you’re about.
There are only disadvantages when you get your positioning wrong. It doesn’t matter how much market research you do, there’s always a risk of unclear positioning.
A strong brand position gives you the opportunity to create a unique space in the market. A clear, cohesive brand positioning that resonates with your audience can help you stand out in the market. Brands can align their messaging, brand stories, designs, personality, and brand elements to own a single frame of reference. The long-term benefits of a powerful brand positioning strategy make an essential page of your marketing playbook.