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Ever noticed how you ask for a biro when you need a pen, ask for coke when you want soda, speak of a jacuzzi when you want to refer to hot tubs, and Jeep when you talk about compact cars? These are names branded and popularised by these companies and they have become generic over time due to proper brand positioning.

By positioning themselves well through advertisements, these brands shape the perception of users, which helps create a successful business.  

Branding Overview

When introducing your business to the public, it is important to do it in a strategic manner, hence the need for branding.

Branding is the process of expressing a unique selling proposition, and promoting a good perception of products and services of a company in the consumer’s mind. It incorporates components like design, logo, theme, and feel that agree throughout the brand’s promotion in order to boost sales, and promote brand trust and loyalty.

Branding includes the process of product production, packaging, acceptance, and product consumption.

It also involves creating a brand promise, building a perception based on this promise, constantly letting the promise known through your brand message and doing it repeatedly towards your target audience.

 

What is Brand Positioning?

According to Kotler, “Brand positioning is the act of designing the company’s offering and image to occupy a distinctive place in the mind of the target market’’. 

Positioning sets your brand aside from competitors and its place in consumers’ minds.  

A positioning strategy involves highlighting the brand with its tone, colour, and message in a way that the brand wants it to be perceived by the customers. This helps the customer think about the brand when they need that service and improves their trust, loyalty and need for your brand. 

The most important thing about brand positioning is the target audience. The target audience is the end user of the product/service. A brand’s positioning has to involve the needs of the user and the understanding of the market/industry the business is in. 

Importance of Brand Positioning

To position your brand is to set your brand up for success. While this list is inexhaustive, the functions of brand positioning include: 

  • Control of brand reputation and perception: Your brand sends a message through its feel and look. Taking charge or control of that perception by placing the right strategies in place is a must for brand success.  
  • It improves brand visibility, customer loyalty and a need for consumers to stick with the brand. It also makes the brand to be perceived as credible, distinct and reliable.
  • It creates clarity for users, expresses the unique selling point and shows the brand’s vision.
  • It helps you know your stance in the industry and also the public perception of the brand. 

 

How to Position Your Brand to Attract Your Target Audience

Effective brand positioning is the perception of the brand as better, special, and reliable to its target audience.

To properly position your brand for better perception and the target market, you need to put the following options in place: 

1. Know your current status

Analyzing the brand stance is important so as to be able to figure out what to do better. 

Even if nothing has been done with the brand positioning yet, a positioning already exists, and in order to create a better one, there is a need to figure out where the brand is through its users’ perception, audience, market strength, consumer needs, brand value, promise and identity.

2. Identify your Unique Selling Proposition

The unique selling proposition of a brand is what sets it apart from competitors. It also highlights the problem your brand is solving for its users. 

What makes your brand better? Why choose you instead of your competitors? This selling point answers these questions that reflect in customers’ treatment, product packaging, brand tone or feel. The USP will communicate your brand, and help attract those who are in need of your service. 

3. Identify your audience’s needs

A brand needs to listen to consumers’ needs to thrive. This helps the brand tailor products specifically to consumer needs thereby increasing visibility and attracting the proper audience.

While positioning your brand, the needs of your audience should be included in your plan and in everything your brand expresses in the market. 

4. Create your positioning statement

Your statement gives an overview of your brand stance, services, target and market. This statement also expresses the vision behind the brand. However, it is different from a mission/vision statement. 

A vivid positioning statement helps you focus and streamline all your marketing to align with your brand needs. Writing a proper statement involves: 

  1. Knowing the history of your industry and what you are there to fix, add or change. 
  1. Knowing your target audience: This includes the demography, age, sex, location, habits, and preferences. This helps you know your users’ expectations. This is done using buyer personas. 
  1. Using words that send a clear message: This helps people relate to the brand more and easily grasp the message. 
  1. Analyze your brand’s perception: This is how others see the brand and the beliefs held about the brand so you know if you want to strengthen or change the beliefs. 
  1. Proofreading: It is important to be careful about putting the message blandly. Constantly proofread your statement to check for conciseness and clarity.

Brand positioning statements have a popular format: 

“For (target audience) who want to (needs been met), (business name), provide (brands unique selling point) because (specific thing business does to provide the needs)”

A great brand positioning statement is that of Apple which says: 

“For individuals who want the best personal computer or mobile device, Apple leads the technology industry with the most innovative products. Apple emphasizes technological research and advancement and takes an innovative approach to business best practices- it considers the impact our products and processes have on its customers and the planet” 

This statement gives an overview of what the brand has to offer. It is concise, straight to the point, and expresses the brand’s vision and ideals. 

When writing your brand’s positioning statement, make sure to be specific for reference purposes. Include the benefits the business has to provide, and also create it in such a way that it offers a premise for taking any action on the business.

Conclusion

Building a brand positioning statement requires adequate knowledge of why it is important and what it entails. You have to understand your target audience’s needs. You also have to understand competitors and the market to be able to put your brand in the right place.

 

Rodiat Ajuwon 

 


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