Set your brand apart through positioning

Every business aims to build and position their brand so that its target market can easily recognise and engage with it. When the brand is memorable and creates positive feelings with its users, it results in sales, making the business profitable and resulting in long term loyal customers. Achieving this however is no easy task.  It takes strategy and hard work to position a brand.

A brand is essentially the business’ identity with its customers since it defines the business. It can take the form of a logo, the business’ name, product quality or business strategy. Branding can give the business the edge to stay competitive in its market and grow, while representing value to the customer. To do this, the first step is to position the brand properly in its market. This involves the following steps:

  • Target market identification

You must identify your target market in order to design and present your brand to them in an appealing way.

  • Letting your market know about the product

Information about your product must be communicated to your market in such a way that it attracts them and motivates them to buy the product. The customer must understand why your product scores over the competition and its “unique selling proposition”. They must know why they want to buy your product / should buy your product.

  • Impacting brand perception

You may want to run a quick survey to find out your brand’s current position in the market. Design an improvement strategy to set it apart from the competition.  Positioning your brand in a specific segment will attract the customers your business wishes to reach.

  • Determine where your product should be placed in the market

To do this, take stock of your competitive advantage. You must also conduct a competitor analysis so that you can design your marketing message in such a way that shows the customer why they should buy from you and not from competitors.

  • Design the marketing message

It is important to remember that the meaning of the words you use to communicate creates a perception in the customer’s mind. This means learning the effect of words (and also colours and other images) on people and the emotions they can trigger, and using the right choice of words to advantage as this can influence the buyer’s thinking process.

To ensure that your brand is effectively positioned, a thorough understanding of the competition is critical. Often, creating an entirely new niche works best, since it may not always be feasible to compete with a market leader. An example is the motorcycle brand Honda, which made an entry into a market where the Harley Davidson brand was already well-established. Honda introduced mini-bikes aimed at pre-teens. Eventually, Harley had to reposition its motorcycle as a high-end bike for the serious adult biker. A strategy that works for the market leader need not necessarily be effective for a follower brand.

Developing a personalised branding strategy for your business can help you stand out in your industry and build a compelling brand. Positioning your brand is about conditioning your customer’s mind about how to perceive your product and telling them why you are better than competitors. Even though you may know your product is the best, this has to be communicated to your potential buyer through your marketing message, distribution and packaging to increase your market share.