Have you ever thought how people perceive your brand image by customers? Do you have a strategy to make it more appealing to your customers?
Brand positioning is the action of being strategic about your brand image. It is ensuring the perceived image is delivering a message that is valuable to consumers.
In this article, I will take you through some of the aspect that I find are important when trying to position your brand.
1. What Is Brand Positioning?
The brand positioning is the key message that determines who you are as a business and what you stand for.
By key message, I mean a trademark, a promise, and the type of relationship you want to build with your customers.
This key message is tactical as it aligns to the target customer.
But, more importantly your brand position is whatever your customer thinks it is.
If you try to position, your brand to mean something and the customer think of something else means the customer wins.
2. Why Is Brand Positioning Important?
Brand positioning is important as it helps align the brand image to the customers desires. This makes you more persuasive under business development team needs to nurture and close more sales.
Effect brand positioning will boost a firms visibility over the competing landscape. This increasing your chances on brand recall and recognition in the eyes of the consumer.
3. Attractive Character
A good brand tells a story, outlined in a tool called the attractive character.
3.1 Attractive Character Model
A good brand positioning will contain all the following parts:
4. Three types of Business Positioning
There are three types of positing in a business are strategic, brand and products positioning.
- Strategic positioning – this is the strategic part of the business ideal position in the market against the competitors position against what people are looking for in your products.
- Brand positioning – this is the tactical part of the business within the messaging. What story we tell our consumers, the identity we have the brand image we own and personality we possess to reflect our strategic position in the market.
- Products positioning – these are the benefits we offer to our customers also reflected in the product messaging which reflect the customers wants and needs with that product.
5. Positioning Statement
When we form our brand position, we need information collected from the strategic positioning. The positioning statement highlights everything you need to know to position your brand.
It is essential to have a positioning statement as it ensures the brand position is focused as possible to the target audience, it has the essentials to be industry standard and is unique enough if gives a person a reason to purchase from you.
A positioning statement has three essential parts.
5.1 Constructs Of A Positioning Statement
- Target segment – It has a very clear target segment even if it is not just that person who uses it. This is what do they want.
- Point of difference – what makes your brand different in the market that other companies. The point of difference makes you unique but also an expert where other businesses will find it hard to replicate. This means it must be defensible, whereby you have the resources to deliver but other companies may not.
- Frame of reference – also known as point of parity, these are the things that are required which are shared with other brands.
5.2 Example of a Positioning Statement
6. Bipolar Scales Of Brand Positioning
Whenever a positioning exercise takes place, there are measures that take into account the targets customers wants and needs.
This can be quite hard to do, as you need to have conducted market research to understand the measures attributes.
The market research exercise is simply getting feedback from your target customer and forming a persona of whom your brand message will target.
Therefore, you have to go out and speak to your audience and understand who they are.
Once you have known what is important to your customer you can lay these attributes our on a perception map.
7. Tools Of Brand Positioning
7.1 Perception Map
From the perception map, you will form primary attributes and secondary attributes, which will be incorporated into the brand image, brand personality and brand identity when forming your brand.
8. Evaluating Brand Position
To note: The above data is my perception only. As discussed a brands identity is how customers perceive it. It would be required to get this data from customers and the public to get a most accurate depiction by conducting additional market research.
As you can see from the below image I predicted the behaviour of the target audience in the long-term values playfulness, family and eco-friendly and so we could map these out for analysis.
According to John et al (2014, p 256) positioning requires aligning within the trend of the industry else an organisation could be left behind. Making it essential to use measures that are trending in today’s society.
This provides justification behind my measures.
I choose eco-friendly axis as a main measure because there is a massive trending demand to more affordable eco-friendly vehicles, which would be by miles per gallon over emissions released.
In addition, Volkswagen brand is a very sensitivity subject within the US culture, after the emissions scandal (VW market share has declined as a result).
After conducting quick research, I found that average market age is 25-39 which have common factors of playful and exploration according to the golden age of youth study.
7.1 Conclusion Of Volkswagen Brand Position
Tracy b (2014) because he suggests consumers always have 1 reason to buy and 1 reason not to buy which is general through the segment.
Before Volkswagen took the hit from the scandal it was rated high in the codes of ethics, accordingly, the re-positioning will restore its ethical profile.
In order to win this segment, they need to be perceived slightly more playful and extremely eco-friendly.
As you can see in this example Volkswagen is in need of re-positioning to fit the trend.
The brand position determines the messaging, due to your business is in the market.
Although, to determine this we conduct some analyse using a perception map.
The information we gather that goes into the perception map is from market research that is formed into a positioning statement.
We can then form our brand messaging using the ideal character model.
This will feed directly into our brand identity, brand personality and brand image to form our brand.