To harvest success, seeds must be widely and deeply scattered. Brand positioning can be compared to this notion and, therefore, be better visualized. Desirability and enthusiasm come from this visualization, which is perceived by the consumer.
Brand management, strategy and brand identity form the foundation from which a successful and stable brand positioning is derived. There are too many brands on the market, so a strong brand requires a fixed competitive advantage!
Meaningfulness and implementation of strategy must be in balance for holistic brand development to work – creating a successful brand through a solid foundation of uniqueness (USP) and appearance (UAP).
Brand differentiation, which is memorable to the consumer, is what is achieved through brand positioning. What can I expect from a brand? What does the brand stand for? The more detailed and concrete the brand promise is for the consumer, the stronger its memorability. Only credibility and attractiveness will win over the target group.
Here, it is important to utilize strong associations, which outshine – and leave behind – the desirability of other brands or products. This component is essential to the brand and marketing strategy and should be continuously adapted to consumer needs.
In Holistic Branding we also talk about different points of view, the parameters of positioning:
- Rational benefit includes the quality of the brand, product and service – it must be true and definitively stand out against competitors
- Emotional attachment and brand loyalty to the brand, product and services (service)
- USP or unique selling proposition, what it is that differentiates the brand with competitors
- Values and norms
- Visual presentation elements such as design and their visibility
- Products and/or services that arise from specific elements of the brand
These are recorded and fixed in the mission statement of the brand strategy, i.e., the higher level. In addition, a slogan or claim can help convey this philosophy of the brand promise.
The perception of what the brand position embodies, with a certain image, carries a sense of the company’s purpose and represents the products and/or services in a positive way. The customer appreciates such an image and memorizes it accordingly – which, in the best case, results in word-of-mouth recommendations that are valued endorsements.
If a brand, product or service stands out from the competition through its USP, the positioning is correct, and the competitive advantage leads to brand loyalty and customer retention. The better this develops, the easier it is to win new customers and lead the brand to become the “love brand”, the “must have”!
Ask yourself how your brand, the product or the service in your offer achieves differentiation from the competition. How do I reach the target group with it and bring them to interaction or thereby increase my brand awareness?
The suitability of a brand, the product or the service follows the clear offer about it. Through quality, the satisfaction of consumer needs and clear brand identity, we also position the company, i.e., the company’s self-image. This requirement is underpinned by corporate design and corporate culture – practicing what we preach about our brand by living it, internally and externally. Only that which is convincing and comprehensible to the consumer supports the brand positioning and its foundation. Based on vital steps, brand positioning can be clearly derived.
Control instruments of the positioning:
Developing an active brand positioning is essential and is established from the needs of the target groups and not oriented to the market alone. This in turn serves to define the appropriate and unique selling propositions.
Analysis phase – by means of internal as well as external market research data / instruments, we develop the initial positioning situation as well as its framework, conditions and goals. The vision must be analyzed by carefully reflecting on each component’s environment, customers/target groups and market competitors.
Concept phase – the metrics from the analysis and their findings are translated into differentiating and independent characteristics and objectives for brand positioning.
Implementation phase – with internal and external training, product design, price adjustments, distribution and advertising, we communicate the brand position. Here, a clear brand profile is also created, which must be formulated very pointedly through condensation and reduction, a process of refinement.
With these requirements, we formulate conditions that lead to success to allow the brand positioning to be implemented.
Value proposition – this must be conveyed to the consumer in an authentic, genuine and relevant way.
Subjectivity perception – pointed toward the subconscious, this must be communicated and clearly remembered or valued by the customer/target group.
Comprehensibility – only a brand positioning that fits the company and meets its brand- and product-specific strengths- is successful.
All control elements are finally directed by a brand positioning strategy directed toward a certain target group – namely the one which was defined in the analysis and with which the positioning will resonate. Here it is important not to formulate broadly but to capture the desired consumer pointedly and succinctly.
Important tips for a successful brand positioning are two well-known rules: KISS (keep it simple stupid [or short]) and FTM (first to market), because the USP must be targeted for the right market. From this, the time horizon can be developed, which is critical for success in the definition of the positioning.
The degree of fulfillment through the clear communication of content and differentiated characteristics must be 100% coordinated. With prompt implementation of the brand, the product or service develops its own dynamism. Positive results follow, which includes the reduction of substitution risk by competitors.
IMPORTANT: Quality is paramount for a product or service to be better and appropriately differentiated from that of competitors. A strategy of being the cheapest or following a “Me too” positioning should be avoided. Only with ample investments can brand displacement of competitors function – it’s about preference formation by consumers and independence of brand identity.
By gauging the rational and emotional levels of consumers by verifiable and documented performance characteristics, the reasons for competitive differentiation become clear: Consumers with a rational based mindset seek value and benefit, which highlights the practical content of a product or service. On the other hand, emotional buyers are motivated by the satisfaction of their needs and the underlying sexiness of their purchases.
Overall, about 2/3s of buying decisions are made in favor of emotion. For this reason, “neuromarketing” becomes a successful tool to better target and implement marketing campaigns.
Brand benefits and their effects are characterized by quality, desirability, loyalty & fidelity (identification), trust, differentiation, diversity, attractiveness, sustainability, profitability and emotionality.
February 20, 2022