Definition of Brand Positioning
Brand Positioning can be defined as the positioning strategy of the brand with the goal to create a unique impression in the minds of the customers and at the marketplace. Brand Positioning has to be desirable, specific, clear, and distinctive in nature from the rest of the competitors in the market.
Effective brand positioning enables a firm’s brand to be readily distinguishable from competing brands in the marketplace. Distinguishing the brand from other brands can be in terms of associated brand attributes, benefits to users, and/or market segment emphasis, among other factors. Effective brand positioning further emphasizes elements of superiority along one or more distinguishing dimensions which are valued by consumers.
Steps to create Brand Position
1) Identify the current standing
If the brand is new to the market, then this first step doesn’t apply to the new entrants to the market but if the brand is already an established player in the market and wishes to resurrect its Brand Positioning and the overall brand architecture, then it is vital for the management of the company and the branding department to carefully understand and identify the current positioning of the brand and have an analysis how is it working in the favour of the brand and its attainment of the overall business aims and objectives.
2) Identify the direct competition
The next step in the line of creating the Brand Positioning is identifying the brands in the marketplace that pose a direct threat to the brand. The brand needs to analyze and understand the core value, brand strengths, nature of products and services offered, ethos, and fundamentals of the competitive brands plus spot their unique selling propositions and the factors that make them different and unique in the market and in the minds of the customers.
3) Understand the standing of the competitor brands
The further step involves understanding the positioning of the competitor brands, basically figuring out their vision statement, mission statement, core values, brand fundamentals, and the entire brand architecture. It is very important to intricately study the positioning and brand strategies of the competitor brands in order to come up with the positioning that is unique and distinctive giving a competitive edge in the market.
4) Identify the uniqueness of the company
This step involves the in-depth introspection of the brand within and identify the core values, fundamentals on which the brand is formulated, strengths, value propositions, long-term vision, and the features and attributes that make the brand unique and different from the rest of the brands in the market offering the similar lines of products and services.
5) Develop the unique selling propositions
In continuation to the previous step, the next stage to the Brand Positioning encompasses developing the unique selling propositions depending on the features, objectives, attributes, core values, and strengths of the brand that will give the brand a unique and distinctive identity in the market and in the customer’s minds.
6) Formulate the messaging statements
Next on the line is working on the messaging statements such as mission statement, vision statement, and the tagline or the brand slogan that is attached with the official logo of the brand. All the messaging statements should be clear, crisp, and unique in line with the attributes and inherent nature of the brand.
Importance of Brand Positioning and strategy :
1) Market differentiation
The unique and creative Brand Positioning not only clears the clutter from the market but also gives the factor of differentiation to the brand as compared to its direct and indirect competitors. It makes the brand stand out in the market as well as in the customer’s mind with the unique selling proposition and the strong attributes of the brand getting ingrained in their minds working as a recall factor.
2) Justifies the pricing strategy
Yet another benefit of the Brand Positioning is that it helps the management of the company to justify the pricing strategy. If the pricing of the products offered by the brand is high owing to the feature of quality and class, and the Brand Positioning is formulated in such a way that showcases the factors of quality and class, the pricing part gets automatically justified in the minds of the customers. The same is applicable for the products that are reasonable and affordable in nature and the positioning strategy is planned and executed accordingly.
3) Competitive advantage
A strong Brand Positioning that tactfully and strategically highlights the core values, strengths, attributes, and the unique selling propositions of the brand enjoys the facet of competitive advantage that results in accomplishing the objectives of higher sales, increased market share, customer loyalty, attracting the new set of customers, and elevated profits.
4) Makes the brand more creative
There are quite many brands in the market offering the similar lines of products and services to the same target market and audience but it is the Brand Positioning that makes one brand different and unique from the other. And if the brand is able to come up with the innovative and novel positioning strategy and execution, the brand is adorned with the tag of the creative brand.
Examples of Brand Positioning strategy
Once the Brand Positioning is in place, the tagline or the brand slogan is attached with the logo of the brand too that aptly conveys the attributes and unique selling proposition in a creative and strategic manner.
Here are some brands which are perfect examples of Brand Positioning as they are the brands with the highest TOMA (Top of the mind awareness) in their industry.
In consumer electronics and white goods, the market is tough. However, these 4 companies are the ones which have the best brand positioning in the customer mindset.
In banking too, the market is tough and has a lot of players. However, when you talk of top class service and features and benefits, you will find that ICICI and HDFC are two companies with top brand positioning mindset.
Food and beverages
9) Coca Cola & Pepsi (Soft drinks)
10) Cadbury (Chocolates)
In Food and beverages, Coca Cola and pepsi are the two strongest players with top positioning for Beverages. For food based products, Cadbury has the top brand position in customers mind.
In the FMCG sector, stalwarts and big time players like HUL and P&G have a higher standing than any other. However, many a times, the customer will know the products of these companies rather than the parent company itself.
IT and technology
A sector which is predominantly dependent on western countries. IT and technology has three main players with top positioning. However, in the above order, TCS is in contention to take the number 1 spot and Infosys is slowly but surely leaving the top 3 ranking.
Brand Position is one of the crucial elements of the entire brand architecture and strategy as it conveys the values, ethos, vision, and the fundamentals of the brand and the overall company.
Marketers concerned with an effective brand position for their firm’s brands should seek to understand carefully the relevant dimensions along which their brands are able to be distinguishable and distinctive as a result of consumer evaluations of brands in the marketplace. Effective brand position is an important aim in a firm’s marketing strategy development and associated marketing mix management.