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Brand Positioning

Brand positioning refers to “target consumer’s” reason to buy your brand in preference to others. It is ensures that all brand activity has a common aim; is guided, directed and delivered by the brand’s benefits/reasons to buy; and it focusses at all points of contact with the consumer.

Positioning creates a bond between the customer and the business. It’s that friend of the customer who’ll always stay in their subconscious mind and will make them recall about the company whenever they hear about the any of its product or a particular feature which makes it stand out.

Examples of Brand Positioning

  • Colgate is positioned as protective.
  • Patanjali can be trusted as it is fully organic.
  • Woodland is tough and perfect for outdoors.
  • Coca-Cola brings happiness.
  • Axe deodorants have a sexual appeal.

Characteristics of a Good Brand Positioning Strategy

  • Relevant: The positioning strategy you decide should be relevant according to the customer. If he finds the positioning irrelevant while making the purchase decision, you’re at loss.
  • Clear: Your message should be clear and easy to communicate. E.g. Rich taste and aroma you won’t forget for a coffee product gives out a clear image and can position your coffee brand differently from competitors.
  • Unique: A strong brand positioning means you have a unique credible and sustainable position in the customers’ mind. It should be unique or it’s of no use.
  • Desirable: The unique feature should be desirable and should be able to become a factor which the customer evaluate before buying a product.
  • Deliverable: The promise should have the ability to be delivered. False promises lead to negative brand equity.
  • Points of difference: The customer should be able to tell the difference between your and your competitor’s brand.
  • Recognizable Feature: The unique feature should be recognizable by the customer. This includes keeping your positioning simple, and in a language which is understood by the customer.
  • Validated by the Customer: Your positioning strategy isn’t successful until the time it is validated by the customer. He is the one to decide whether you stand out or not. Hence, try to be in his shoes while deciding your strategy.

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How to create a strong brand positioning strategy?

Before you decide your brand positioning, ask yourself these three questions.

  • What does my customer want?
  • Can I promise him to deliver it better and/or differently than my competitors?
  • Why will they buy my promise?

What does my customer want?

Not everyone in the market is your customer. You need to divide the market into ‘my customer’ and ‘not my customer’. This way, it’ll be easier for you to know what exactly is your customers’ wants are.

The division should be followed by you trying to be in your customers’ shoes. A good businessman speaks in the voice of the consumer.

Your research should not be based on secondary data. You should go out and look for what the customer actually wants, make the product fit those wants, and they’ll buy it.

Be Better and/or Different

If it’s not just you who is in the market, you’ve got to find a way to deliver your promise better and/or differently than your competitors. Make a brand which has a recall, which comes to the customer’s minds when they hear about the particular product category or the feature you’re offering. Every time I hear about girls being attracted by a deodorant, I get an image of Axe deodorants in my mind.

Give them a reason to buy your promise.

Your promise should be one of the factors they consider while buying the product. Use this trick

  • Decide your product
  • List its various characteristics
  • Do a research, and
  • Divide the characteristics into essential and add-ons.
  • Select only those categories, be it essential or add-ons, which customers consider while making a purchase. (E.g. aesthetics, fragrance, taste, shape, cost, etc.)
  • Find out what among these categories can you provide better than the competitors.
  • Whatever you decide, don’t lose your focus from the essential characteristics. (E.g. Taste will always be most important characteristic which a customer consider while buying a food product)
  • Provide your unique feature along with the essential characteristics.

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