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What is brand positioning – and why you should be doing it

Brand positioning is an essential exercise for businesses to sell and market their product to the right people. Read how in the blog post.

Jon Davis · June 9, 2024
What is brand positioning – and why you should be doing itWhat is brand positioning – and why you should be doing it

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Brand positioning is the strategic process of defining how your business is perceived in the minds of your target market.

It’s not just about having a presence, it’s about carving out a unique space that sets your brand apart from the competition. Brand positioning is important for differentiating a brand from its competitors, establishing a unique identity, and effectively communicating with the target audience.

It’s the concise explanation of why potential customers should choose you, and how you solve their specific problems in a way no one else can.

For marketing professionals, understanding and executing effective brand positioning can lead to increased brand awareness, improved customer loyalty and a significant competitive advantage.

This blog post will delve into the concept of brand positioning. We’ll explore its importance, the elements that define it, and practical strategies for developing a robust brand positioning framework.

Understanding brand positioning

Definition and importance

Brand positioning refers to the process of positioning your brand in the minds of your target audience.

It’s about defining what your brand stands for, how it’s different from competitors, and why customers should choose you over others.

This strategic endeavor is crucial because it shapes all your marketing efforts and influences how your audience identifies with your brand. Brand positioning is the foundation of a brand strategy, guiding all marketing and communication materials to ensure consistency and authenticity.

For B2B companies, effective brand positioning is vital. It helps create a clear and compelling image in the eyes of your target market.

A well-positioned brand can command higher prices, foster customer loyalty and drive sustained growth.

By differentiating your brand from competitors, you can build a strong market presence and establish trust with your prospects and customers.

Key elements of brand positioning

Understanding the core elements of brand positioning is essential to creating a successful strategy.

The first component is the target market. Identifying and understanding your target market involves detailed research into the demographics, psychographics, needs and pain points of your potential customers.

Knowing who your audience is and what they value allows you to tailor your messaging effectively.

Next is your competitive advantage, which is what sets you apart from the competition. It could be superior product quality, exceptional customer service, innovative features or cost-efficiency. Clearly defining your unique selling propositions (USPs) helps you communicate why customers should choose your brand.

Lastly, a brand positioning statement is a concise description of your brand's unique value and position in the market. It should clearly articulate who you are, what you offer and why it matters.

A strong positioning statement serves as a guiding light for all your marketing efforts, ensuring consistency and clarity in your messaging.

Developing a brand positioning strategy

Conducting market research

Creating a strong brand positioning strategy begins with in-depth market research. Understanding your target market and audience is crucial to developing a strategy that sets you apart from competitors.

Gather insights directly from your target audience through well-designed surveys. Ask about their preferences, pain points, and what they value most in products or services similar to yours. A well-executed customer service positioning strategy can help build strong customer relationships and loyalty by addressing these needs effectively.

Conduct focus group sessions to delve deeper into consumer attitudes and perceptions. This qualitative research method can uncover nuances that surveys might miss.

Monitor social media to understand what your target audience is talking about. Social media management platforms can help track relevant conversations and trends.

Conduct one-on-one interviews with existing customers to gain a deeper understanding of their needs, motivations and experiences with your brand.

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Analyzing competitors and identifying market gaps

Study your competitors to identify their strengths and weaknesses. Analyzing competitors' brand positions can help you understand how they strategically place themselves in the market, revealing opportunities for differentiation. Look at their brand positioning, marketing strategies, product offerings and customer feedback.

Perform a SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) to understand where your brand stands relative to competitors and identify market gaps you can exploit.

Segment the market based on demographics, psychographics and behavior. Identify underserved or niche segments that your brand can target effectively.

Using data to inform your brand positioning strategy

Use CRM tools like Capsule to gather and analyze customer data. Look for patterns and trends that can inform your positioning strategy.

Stay updated with industry reports and market research studies to understand the broader market trends. Incorporate relevant insights into your strategy.

Set benchmarks based on your competitors' performance. Use this data to identify areas where you can differentiate your brand.

Creating a brand positioning framework

A well-defined brand positioning framework is essential for achieving a successful brand positioning strategy, and maintaining consistency and clarity in your marketing efforts.

To start, define your brand’s core values. These values are the fundamental principles that guide your brand, reflecting what your company stands for.

Identifying these values ensures that your brand’s messaging aligns with the beliefs and preferences of your customers, encouraging deeper connection and trust.

Next, craft your brand promise. This promise is a commitment to your customers, clearly stating the unique benefits and value they can expect from your brand.

It should be concise and compelling, differentiating your brand from competitors and providing a clear reason for customers to choose your products or services.

Finally, create brand guidelines that document your brand’s visual and verbal identity.

This includes guidelines for logo usage, color schemes, typography, tone of voice and messaging.

Consistent application of these elements across all marketing channels and touchpoints helps reinforce your brand’s identity and ensures that every piece of communication is aligned with your brand’s positioning strategy.

Examples of brand positioning frameworks

Apple's brand positioning framework is centered on its commitment to innovation and premium quality, which has helped it stand out in the highly competitive technology market. Apple products are designed with a strong emphasis on aesthetics, functionality and user experience, creating a loyal customer base that values the seamless integration of hardware and software.

Nike's brand positioning is built around the themes of performance, motivation and the spirit of athleticism. The brand inspires and empowers athletes of all levels to push their limits and achieve their goals. Nike’s marketing campaigns often feature world-class athletes and the motivational slogan ‘Just Do It,’ which resonates with the brand’s audience by promoting a message of determination and resilience.

Tesla's brand positioning framework revolves around its leadership in sustainable energy and cutting-edge technology. The company has successfully carved out a niche in the automotive industry by focusing on electric vehicles that offer high performance, innovative features and environmental benefits. Tesla's commitment to sustainability is reflected in its broader mission to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy, which appeals to environmentally conscious consumers.

Crafting your brand positioning statement

A brand positioning statement is a concise description of your brand’s unique value and the place it occupies in the market.

This statement should clearly define your target audience, describe who your brand serves and identify the specific market category in which your brand competes.

It should also outline your brand promise by detailing the unique benefits your brand offers and providing evidence or reasons why your audience should believe in your value proposition.

When writing a compelling brand positioning statement, keep it succinct and to the point. Be specific and avoid generic claims, focusing instead on what truly sets your brand apart. Make sure your statement aligns with your brand’s core values, ensuring consistency and authenticity in your messaging.

Testing and refining your statement

Once you’ve crafted your brand positioning statement, it’s essential to test its effectiveness and refine it as needed. Several methods can help with this, which we’ve listed below.

  • Stakeholder feedback - Share your positioning statement with internal stakeholders and gather their feedback.
  • Customer surveys - Conduct surveys to see how well your statement resonates with your target audience.
  • A/B testing - Use A/B testing on marketing materials to determine which version of your positioning statement performs better.
  • Internal reviews - Regularly review the statement with your team to ensure it remains relevant and effective.
  • Customer interviews - Engage directly with customers to understand their perceptions and whether the statement aligns with their experiences.

After the steps above, you can then refine your statement based on these insights, ensuring it remains aligned with your brand’s goals and customer expectations. Regularly updating and iterating your positioning statement keeps it relevant and effective in a changing market.

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Implementing your brand positioning strategy

Internal alignment and communication

For your brand positioning strategy to be effective, it must be embraced internally by your entire organization. Ensuring your team understands and supports the brand positioning is crucial for maintaining consistency and authenticity.

How to help your team understand and support the brand positioning

Conduct regular workshops and training sessions to educate employees about brand positioning. This helps ensure everyone understands the core message and values.

Use internal newsletters, intranet updates and team meetings to reinforce the brand positioning. Make sure the brand message is consistently communicated across all internal channels.

Integrating the positioning into company culture and values

Align your brand positioning with your company culture. Ensure the values and behaviors promoted internally reflect the brand’s external promise.

Encourage leaders to embody the brand values and positioning in their actions and communications. Leadership plays a key role in setting the tone for the rest of the organization.

External communication and branding

Your brand positioning strategy must be communicated consistently across all external channels to ensure it chimes with your target audience and builds a strong brand identity. Brand positioning is a foundational element of an effective marketing strategy, guiding innovation, marketing, commercialization, and sales strategies.

Consistent messaging across all marketing channels

  • Unified messaging - Make sure your brand message is consistent across all marketing materials, including your website, social media, email campaigns and advertising. Consistency helps build trust and recognition.
  • Visual consistency - Maintain your brand’s visual and verbal guidelines across all platforms. This reinforces your brand’s presence and makes it easily recognizable.

Harness social media and digital marketing to reinforce brand positioning

  • Content marketing - Use content marketing to tell your brand’s story and communicate your value proposition. Blog posts, videos, infographics and case studies can all reinforce your brand positioning.
  • Social media engagement - Actively engage with your audience on social media. Share content that reflects your brand values, respond to comments and messages, and participate in relevant conversations to build a strong online presence.
  • Email marketing - Use email campaigns to deliver targeted messages that align with your brand positioning. Personalize emails to address the specific needs and interests of different segments of your audience.

Examples of successful external communication strategies

Slack maintains a consistent brand voice that is friendly, professional and helpful across all touchpoints. Their external communications, from social media to customer support, reflect their commitment to making work simpler and more productive.

Mailchimp uses creative and humorous content to communicate its brand positioning as a user-friendly email marketing service. Their playful tone, combined with educational resources and customer success stories, helps them stand out and appeal to small businesses and entrepreneurs.

Dropbox positions itself as a convenient and secure cloud storage solution for both individuals and businesses. Their external communication strategy includes targeted advertising, case studies showcasing productivity improvements, and collaborative projects with influencers to demonstrate how their service enhances workflow efficiency and data security.

Measuring the success of your brand positioning

Key performance indicators (KPIs) to track

To determine the effectiveness of your brand positioning strategy, it’s essential to track relevant KPIs. These metrics provide insights into how well your strategy is performing and where adjustments may be needed. We’ve listed some relevant KPIs below.

  • Brand awareness - Measure brand awareness through surveys, social media mentions and website traffic. Increased brand awareness indicates that your positioning suits your target audience.
  • Brand sentiment - Monitor customer sentiment through reviews, social media comments and customer feedback. Positive sentiment suggests that your brand positioning is effective and well-received.
  • Customer loyalty - Track customer retention rates and repeat purchase behavior. High customer loyalty indicates a strong brand positioning that fosters trust and engagement.
  • Market share - Analyze changes in your market share to assess how well your brand is performing relative to competitors. Increased market share is a sign of successful brand positioning.
  • Sales growth - Measure sales growth to evaluate the financial impact of your brand positioning strategy. Rising sales figures indicate that your positioning is driving business growth.

Using analytics tools to monitor performance

Use Google Analytics to track website traffic, user behavior and conversion rates. These insights help you understand how well your brand positioning is attracting and engaging visitors.

Platforms like Facebook Insights, Twitter Analytics and LinkedIn Analytics provide data on engagement, reach and audience demographics. Use these tools to monitor the effectiveness of your social media efforts.

Tools like SurveyMonkey, Typeform and Net Promoter Score (NPS) surveys can gather direct feedback from customers. Analyzing this feedback helps you understand customer perceptions and identify areas for improvement.

Case studies of successful brand positioning

Looking at case studies of companies that have successfully positioned their brands can provide valuable lessons and best practices to apply to your own strategy.

For example, Patagonia has positioned itself as a leader in environmental sustainability and ethical business practices. Their commitment to environmental activism, high-quality products and transparency has earned them a loyal customer base. Patagonia's brand positioning strategy includes impactful storytelling, eco-friendly initiatives and strong advocacy for environmental causes.

Airbnb’s brand positioning focuses on creating unique travel experiences and a sense of belonging. By leveraging user-generated content, personalized marketing and a strong community focus, Airbnb has established itself as a trusted and innovative travel platform. Their strategy includes consistent messaging around unique stays and local experiences.

Spotify has successfully positioned itself as the leading music streaming service by offering personalized experiences, a vast music library and innovative features like Discover Weekly. Their brand positioning strategy involves using data-driven insights to tailor recommendations and create a unique listening experience for each user.

Best practices to apply

Successful brands maintain consistent messaging, visuals and customer experiences across all touchpoints.

Prioritize understanding and meeting the needs of your target audience. Personalization and customer-centric strategies drive loyalty and engagement.

Continuously innovate and adapt your brand positioning to stay relevant in a changing market. Embrace new technologies and trends to maintain a competitive advantage.

Clearly communicate your unique value proposition to differentiate your brand from competitors. Make sure customers understand why they should choose your brand over others.

By implementing these best practices and learning from successful brands, you can strengthen your own brand positioning strategy and achieve greater success in the market.

The role of Capsule CRM in brand positioning

Capsule CRM offers a suite of features that can significantly enhance your brand positioning efforts and support your strategy.

We help to streamline market research by centralizing customer data and providing insights into customer behavior, preferences and trends. This allows you to make data-driven decisions and tailor your positioning strategy to meet market demands.

Capsule CRM enables seamless communication with your team and customers. Its tools for email marketing, social media integration and customer relationship management ensure that your brand message is consistent across all channels.

We also provide robust analytics tools to measure the impact of your brand positioning efforts. Track key performance indicators (KPIs) such as customer engagement, lead conversion rates and campaign performance to continually refine your strategy.

Effective brand positioning is essential for standing out in a competitive marketplace. By understanding your target audience, developing a strong positioning strategy and continuously adapting to market changes, you can ensure your brand remains relevant and compelling.

Ready to elevate your marketing efforts? Trial Capsule CRM free for 14 days and discover how it can transform your brand positioning and drive business growth.

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