Standing out in a sea of competitors is a challenge for any organization in a faster moving, over- communicated market place. Proof? Check out the blitz of messages you are receiving every day in newspapers, magazines, flyers, TV, radio, the internet, on the roadside, wherever you turn there is another commercial. How can your customer possibly notice you in such a cluttered environment?
But some businesses do stand out, and get your attention. Why? Whether it’s the Business name or the name of a product or service, a clear brand positioning statement is a precondition for success.
Positioning is another way of expressing why your business/product /service is different to all others. But it’s more than that. Unfortunately just being different is not enough. It is necessary to be relevant and salient. The positioning of your brand must be relevant to the market needs, and salient in the sense that it satisfies a compelling persistent need.
The majority of businesses do not think about this when they start out, and pay initial lip service to positioning their brand, and over time may develop and chisel away at making it relevant. The key is “what does your brand do for me to satisfy all my senses?”
The Positioning statement
The positioning of your brand is how it appears in relation to other products in the market, and is that one descriptive sentence or slogan or image the brand is known for.
It is the core salient benefit that first comes to mind about the product, and that sets it apart from competitors. For example:
- For the brand Volvo, that one thing is “Safety.”
- For car rentals, Avis “tries harder.”
- A new yogurt-based drink that provides essential nutrients might be positioned as a nutritious meal-replacement product.
- BMW – The Ultimate Driving Machine.
Brands can be positioned against competing brands on a perceptual map which defines the market in terms of the way buyers perceive key characteristics of competing products.
Trust and promise delivery
Rule #1: If your company, product or service doesn’t live up to their brand promise, new customers will not sign on, and loyal customers may quit. Simply put, your brand experience must follow through on the promise—in fact, it would be best if it actually over-delivered.
Rule #2: Create a positive emotional connection with your customer through the brand experience. Starbucks coffee is not about a good cup of Columbian. It’s an emotional experience shared with others.
Rule #3: The entire organization is a perpetual reinforcement of the brand values, and it’s positioning and is continually reinforced by everything that is done every day by all departments, individuals, and stakeholders, from senior executives to customer service, research and development, finance, manufacturing and even your business partners.
The Bottom line (no pun intended!), your brand is the most important asset in your business. Get the positioning right, and then live it every day.