Brand positioning is the place that you want your “brand” (company) to occupy in the minds of the people in your market place. Determining your brand position is a crucial part of Strategic Marketing thinking. You need to be clear about what you are so that others can be clear too.
No one likes uncertainty. When we can’t “file” a person or company easily in our minds, being able to easily say what they are about, we are less likely to engage with them. Less engagement means less sales. Less sales means trouble.
When I help organisations determine their marketing strategy, I always facilitate a session to uncover their desired brand positioning.
These are the key questions I ask:
1. What do you want to be known for?
What are the three words your ideal customers say to describe your organisation?
2. What don’t you want to be known for?
What are the three words your ideal customers say about your organisation that make you cringe?
3. How do you want the influential people in your industry to describe you?
When someone says to a respected person in your business network, “what’s such and such like?” how do you want them to respond? This is typically slightly different to what customers might say. It is normally about your performance in the market place e.g. They are the best in the business; they are solid and reliable experts; they are innovative ground-breakers.
Once we have teased out and agreed answers to these three questions, we then test them.
4. How realistic is the brand position you want to occupy?
Positions like, “We want to be the top UK accountancy firm” might not be realistic if you have one regionally based office. However, “Top accountancy firm in our region” might be achievable.
5. Does this desired brand position fit in with your mission, vision, values and objectives?
If your mission is to provide steady, reliable advice then a brand position which places you as fast and exciting won’t chime well. If your values are cheap and cheerful, then wanting to occupy the position in the market place of “expensive and exclusive” isn’t going to happen. These are extreme examples but they show how the position you want to occupy in the market place has to fit with your other strategic considerations.
By the end of the workshop, my clients always come away knowing exactly how they want the market place to describe them. They have a list of words and a description. Once they have decided on the brand positioning they want, we can then start to make it a reality.
Further useful blogs on brand positioning:
Kara Stanford is an award-winning Strategic Marketing Consultant based in Hampshire, England.
Contact her if you would like her to help you have clarity around your brand positioning.