Brand Positioning Guidelines for Business Growth

Posted by Carolyn Crafts
Brand Positioning Guidelines for Business Growth | FullSurge

What can businesses do to stand out in a crowd?

The market has become extremely noisy, making it difficult to get your ideal customer's attention. But correctly positioning your brand and communicating your point of differentiation to your target audience can help you get noticed.

Every brand needs to have a meaningful, compelling, unique, and credible positioning for customers and any stakeholders interacting with it. Brand positioning is the foundation of any brand strategy.

Without a differentiated positioning, brands have little to no hope of being differentiated in the marketplace. This is because all expression and activation elements related to a brand should be consistent with — and informed by — the brand positioning.

What is a brand positioning statement?

Brand positioning represents the very foundation of brand strategy. While many companies might not formally define and document other aspects of brand strategy (e.g., brand architecture or brand experience), most at least articulate a formal positioning statement for their brands.

By definition, positioning is instrumental in achieving differentiation. It is the key to breaking the cycle of monotony. Without a unique positioning, a brand has little hope of establishing meaningful differentiation within its category.

A brand positioning statement describes what your business does and what differentiates you from your competitors. The promise component of a positioning statement, which typically represents a brand's primary point of difference, must be a customer-end benefit.

Your brand positioning is the fundamental strategic statement at the core of every marketing campaign. It will help you create messaging that establishes value in customers' minds. Your positioning needs to be unique, valuable, and yours alone.

How to develop your brand positioning statement

Your positioning statement creates clarity and consistency in the way the market perceives you. It provides consistency and continuity throughout all of your marketing and communications. Without a positioning statement to guide marketing efforts, a company can waste time and resources wandering without direction or focus.

Key components of a brand positioning statement include:

  • Target customer
  • Statement of the problem and your solution
  • Brand promise
  • Reason to believe

Target Customer

Identifying your target audience enables you to create products and services that address their wants and needs.

In today's complex and highly competitive marketplace, brands need to serve multiple audience segments—not just customers but also other important stakeholders. As such, the traditional model for brand positioning must evolve to reflect modern-day reality. Marketers need to define brand positioning holistically to serve a broader, more diverse stakeholder audience better.

Statement of the Problem and Your Solution

Understanding your target audience is vital. If you identify what your target customer truly needs, you can define your solution showing them that you appreciate their situation. Get their attention, and they will listen to what you have to offer.

Focus on the benefits to your target. Be clear on how your product or service benefits them and why their lives will be better once they do business with you.

Brand Promise

The promise is the distinctive payoff a brand provides to its intended targets. It should also represent the brand’s primary point of difference. While traditional positioning assumes the brand promise is a benefit (i.e., what the customer derives from purchasing the product or service), this need not be the case.

Many successful brands offer promises about a purpose (a “why”), a process (a “how”), or relevance to a niche audience (a “who”), independent of (or in addition to) a benefit (a “what”).

Regardless of which of these four types is chosen, the key is for the brand promise to represent something compelling about—and highly distinctive to—the brand.

Even though the promise needs to appeal to multiple stakeholder groups, it still needs to be single-minded, as referenced above. In other words, having multiple targets does not mean the marketer has permission to define multiple promises. Instead, the promise needs to be defined and articulated at a high enough level that it can be modified and applied for different target stakeholders—like an umbrella that covers multiple people.

Reason to Believe

It has become increasingly important for customers to engage with brands that go beyond making an income profit. They seek more profound connections with brands and look for a reason to believe in and buy into their offerings.

There is an emergence of generational cohorts, Generation Z, who are more socially aware, expect brands to have a purpose behind everything they do or say, from how brands interact and treat customers and employees to the kind of impact brands make in their communities.

Creating good messaging results from understanding your audience and what parts of your product or service are important to them. It does take time; however, going through the process forces you to focus your efforts.

Don't bypass this exercise. Creating a clear, defensible, differentiated brand positioning statement and supporting key messages ensures you speak clearly, consistently, and confidently to your target audience.

To do an effective job, it is often helpful to get an unbiased perspective to help you through their development. Our FullSurge brand consultants have extensive experience assisting clients in establishing a differentiated brand positioning that is meaningful to the customers they serve. Contact us to learn more.

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