What is brand positioning?
The positioning of a brand is based on the perception of consumers. Think of it this way: if you ask a customer which brand is the standard in the smartphone industry, they’ll probably tell you it’s Apple. For coca, it’s Coca-Cola. For athletic shoes, you guessed it, it’s Nike. Why ? Because these brands have positioned themselves successfully in the minds of consumers.
Positioning is an important step in the journey of each brand, as it helps to establish the longevity and loyalty of its customers. An effective brand positioning strategy allows consumers to both have a positive perception of the brand in question, and even to prefer it over others. The key is to understand the place that your brand occupies in the market and to convince customers to have a good opinion of your business. And ideally, you will be seen as the top brands mentioned above.
When it comes to brand positioning, your goal is to be undoubtedly number one in your field of activity, such as Apple, Coca-Cola or Nike.
Here’s how you can make it happen.
Step 1: understand your customers
To position your brand favorably in the minds of consumers, you need to start by understanding them. Remember, the best brands seek to reach their customers on an emotional level. So, a good brand positioning strategy is about knowing the wants and needs of customers and then meeting them.
Ask yourself: who are your customers? What interests them the most? What can you do as a brand to meet their needs?
To better understand your customers, create a persona that sums up absolutely everything about your typical customer. Give him a name, age, annual income, marital status, etc., then try to dig deeper: the causes he loves, his favorite way to shop, other brands he loves. like, etc.
The more you can come to understand his deepest desires, the easier it will be for you to become his new favorite brand. Remember that persona whenever you wonder if your customers would like this or that.
Take Patagonia as an example. The company understands that its typical client is a fan of the outdoors and adventures, and that he is concerned about preserving the environment. Thus, she is firmly rooted in environmental activism, and shares information on climate change on her website. Her 4.3 million Instagram followers are probably delighted to contemplate the many images of mountains and landscapes that she posts on her account. The website even has an entire tab devoted to environmental activism, because Patagonia knows who its customers are and what they expect from their favorite brands.
There are many creative ways to get to know your customers. For example, you can add questionnaires to your website so that your customers have the opportunity to interact with you and give you feedback. This can help you understand who exactly they are and how you can improve your image with them.
Engaging with your customers is essential, and social media provides an easy way to do just that, through comments, polls, contests, and more. Use them to your advantage.
Step 2: develop your mission, not just its statement
Once you’ve identified your customers and understood their wants and needs, it’s time to develop your overall brand goal. This is your chance to go beyond a sleepy mission statement and give your brand a clear mission.
Start by determining what makes your brand different and unique. Create a list of adjectives that define and showcase your brand, then select the strongest among them to write your mission statement, tagline, ad, product description, or even a simple hashtag.
Also review your competition, so you know who you are dealing with and identify the best ways to differentiate yourself from them. If you are not in the best position right now, you may not always be. Creating your brand’s mission is to know where you are now and then identify where you would like to be in the future.
Take LEGO as an example: Since 1932, the brand has been famous for its toys, but in 2003, LEGO was fighting for its survival against the competition, at a time when iPads were the focus of consumers’ attention.
But LEGO persevered and reassessed its target audience to identify what they wanted and what they needed. The company stuck to its mission of “inspiring and developing the builders of tomorrow” and, with that in mind, embarked on the expansion of LEGO stores, in LEGOLAND, and in the Lego Movie franchise. This resulted in a remarkable increase in brand turnover, which more than tripled between 2003 and 2013. By understanding where they stand, the LEGO company was able to determine where they wanted to go and what the best way to get there was.
Step 3: embody your brand
Positioning your brand is not all about who you are and who you are targeting, you also need to be your own brand. That is to say that you, as a brand, must embody your mission, believe in your products or services, and have a real desire to achieve your goals.
Embodying a brand means that you must market yourself consistently across all media: advertising, packaging, signage… everything. This consistency prepares you for positive brand positioning, as it allows your customers to develop a clear understanding of who you are.
For this, it is essential to create elements of Branding well designed. Start by creating your color pallet, a good logo and an effective website, then focus on building a brand focused on content and customer relationships. For example, a blog can help you show who you are as a brand, as well as allow you to connect with your customers. So use it as an opportunity to engage with your target audience on a more personal level, using text, but also images.
Lush Cosmetics, for example, is a good example of successful brand positioning. The Canadian company is known around the world for its handmade cosmetics that are not tested on animals. The brand embodies its beliefs to perfection by using very little packaging, rewarding customers who recycle their bottles, and being very transparent about their opinion on animal testing.
From its bold window displays to the distinct fonts of its packaging, the result is an extremely cohesive, well thought out, and recognizable brand that has positioned itself favorably in the minds of consumers. Lush has thought through all the details carefully. For example, each of its bottles includes a sticker with a drawing of the employee who created the product in question. It is not at all conventional, but we identify with it completely. The positioning of the brand is based on a deeply human bond.
Position yourself as a leader in your sector
Brand positioning is a key aspect essential to the success of any business. We reviewed the main steps of the positioning process, including understanding its customers, developing its mission, and embodying its brand so that consumers have a positive perception and understanding of the company they is. Now it’s up to you to put these steps into practice for your brand.
Need help determining theyour brand identity ? Whether you’re just getting started or looking to reinvent yourself, our international community of designers are here to help.