5 Top Tips for Positioning Your Brand in 2020!
January 21, 2020
RACER's 5 Top Tips: Positioning Your Brand for 2020!
A three minute video on how to make sure your brand is positioned in 2020.
5 Top Tips for Successfully Positioning Your Brand
Your brand positioning is a vital part of your marketing strategy. Not only is it one of the ways you differentiate yourself and find your niche, but it also helps you hone your visual identity, define your messaging, and helps your team own your brand and what it stands for. With pressure on margins growing and more options on the market than ever before, it has never been more important! In this post, we cover our 5 top tips for successfully positioning your brand in 2020 and beyond!
If while reading this post you feel there is anything our team can help your business with, then feel free to get in touch with us!
Tip #1: Understand Your Position in the Market
Know your product, know your audience!
These two things will allow you to understand your position in the market. Without knowing your product, and especially the problems it solves, it’s going to be very difficult to position your brand correctly. You need to position yourself for the right audience, and you won’t even be able to get started on researching your audience before knowing your product through and through.
Ask yourself what your product’s or service’s main selling point is. Does it cater to any other problems you might not initially think of? Are there any other unique selling points (USP’s)? The better you know your product and the problems it can potentially solve, the easier it will be to understand your audience.
Once you know the problems that your product solves, the next step is getting to know your audience. Who has the problems that your product solves? Are there multiple distinct groups of people that will benefit from your product? Which groups of people are you going after and which ones might not suit your business as well?
All these questions can help you to understand your audience. Once you know this, positioning your brand becomes almost intuitive!
Extra tip: consistency, consistency, consistency!
Throughout this blog post, there are a lot of different examples and tips. However, none of these will be effective if there isn’t any consistency in how your brand is positioned. The more consistent, the better.
This isn’t to say that everything and everyone needs to be on-brand all the time, but at the right times and as much as possible. Guidelines work great for written communication and design, but when it comes to the people within your company, guidelines can only get you so far. As you’ll read in tip number five, it’s very important to create a culture and really live your brand. By doing so, you maintain good consistency without risking it turning into a robotic mess.
Want to learn more about brand positioning & customer expectations? - Check out our blog post on the topic!
Harrods vs Primark – The proof is in the, difference!
How can Harrods and Primark survive on the same street?
Simple: They understand their position in the market. One is a low-end store, the other a high-end store. They avoid the murky middle and don’t try to be everything to everyone. Primark is for everyone interested in inexpensive non-branded alternatives to the big brands. You won’t see them stocking expensive brands anytime soon, simply because it’s not in line with who they are as a brand.
Their website shows everyday people modelling everyday clothes. Sure, they serve a broad audience and given the importance of price for the audience they serve, it’s fiercely competitive. But that’s the brand position they chose, and it comes with scale and smaller margins.
Harrods is for the wealthy. They position themselves for the elite, and everyone knows they sell big brands that are often on the expensive end. This is seen from the products they stock to the photos they use, and everything in between. Harrods screams luxury, and that’s why you can safely say they have their brand position down to a science.
Harrods and Primark are almost identical if you’re purely talking about what they do. They’re retailers with physical stores selling directly to consumers. However, people perceive very few similarities when viewing their websites or visiting their stores. That’s how it’s done!
That being said, price isn’t the only way to position yourself in the market. Think of Dove compared to Lynx products. Or Netflix compared to the new DisneyPlus. They target different groups of clients within the larger audience, and that’s what allows them to flourish at the same time.
It’s real simple: People are going to buy from the store they like best. Some people love cheap & cheerful, others are out for bargains, and some just want the most expensive well-known brand to show off to their friends. If you cater to everyone, then the moment your clients discover a store that fits their values, they’ll go there.
Why buy a luxury handbag at a generalist store when you can take a selfie buying one at a designer boutique? In the boutique, you not only deal with staff that knows the industry like the back of their hand, but you also get more variety and a shopping experience tailored to you.
There are even different stores that people go to based on the mood they are in or the kind of product they’re looking for. By not positioning yourself strongly, you leave yourself vulnerable to competition and won’t be the first store that pops into a consumer’s mind.
You can learn more about why brand positioning is so important in your digital marketing here.
When you know where you’re positioned in the market, selling your products becomes easy!
Tip #2: Understand Your Brand’s OESP (Owned Emotional Selling Point)
All buying decisions are controlled by emotion, and that’s where your owned emotional selling point (OESP) comes in.
Do you know what emotions you are selling to?
Whether you’re selling B2B or B2C, an emotional decision is made somewhere in the buying cycle. By discovering which emotional selling point your product targets, you can drastically improve the effectiveness of your marketing campaign.
Tip: When working in a B2B industry, it’s common for business owners to make the mistake of trying to sell to a company, or aim their marketing at a company. It’s important to remember that people within the company ultimately make a decision, and therefore an emotional selling point is very important. It’s important to identify who the decision-maker is in a company, but also who influences the decisions too. Employees or even contractors & consultants that companies hire may be just as worthwhile to target.
To understand your brand’s OESP, sit down with your team and figure out what emotional problem your product or service solves. If someone buys your product, how will it improve their life?
Are you a car mechanic? – Then you don’t just fix cars, you keep people moving!
Here are some questions you could ask yourself to find your company’s OESP(s):
- What problems do my products solve?
These can be small problems or large problems. Often, products/companies solve multiple problems at the same time.
- What emotions does this problem make people feel?
Does it make people feel frustrated, angry, excited, frightened or a different emotion?
- What are people with these emotions looking for?
If the problem scares people, they may be more interested in being comforted than actually solving the problem. If it frustrates them, they want to be relieved of their frustration. These examples go to show that the emotion behind a problem is much more important than the problem itself.
By concentrating on finding your OESP, you have a far stronger position to market your product or brand from. You can then tailor your marketing to the right people with the right message. That brings us to our next tip...
Tip #3: Define Your Message
Can you tell people what you do in just three words?
In the example of the car mechanic, they keep people moving. “Keep you moving” being the company message. They could say “we repair all engine faults and offer MOTs” but “we keep you moving” is much clearer and an easier message to implement into your business.
A clearly defined message is easier to deliver and easier for your audience to remember.
Your message isn’t just important for telling your customers or clients what you do, but it also helps to position your brand and product. Pick the words you use carefully in order to ensure your message resonates with the right people.
“We keep you moving” has a different tone of voice to “keeping you on the road” or “relieving car problems”. By making sure your message gives off clear signals about your brand and speaks to the right audience is vital.
To define your message, start by finding your OESP. Once you have this, try to find an easy way to phrase it that speaks to your target audience. If you’re focusing on high-end buyers, make sure your message speaks to them. Going after the bargain hunters? Then make sure your message gets them excited!
Extra tip: If you’re struggling to define your brand message, try simplifying it even more. Your message doesn’t have to cover all of your services or all the reasons why you are better than your competition. It can be tempting to try to give as much information as possible, but it doesn’t have to cover everything. Keep it simple, engaging, and to the point. This will keep people engaged and ensure that your brand message is effective.
Tip #4: Hone Your Visual Identity
Your visual identity is what people notice first, before even reading a single word about your business. You don’t see Harrods putting up large fluorescent yellow and orange signs to try to get more people into their store. This wouldn’t be in line with their brand and the colours (as well as the marketing method) doesn’t speak to their target audience.
Even though we all know the expression “don’t judge a book by its cover”, first impressions are still one of the most important parts of any marketing you do. The colours, fonts, graphics, and other design elements you use leave a lasting impression with your audience. If the first impression isn’t just right, you don’t often get a second chance.
Extra tip: When putting together your visual identity, do some research on what different colours mean to different people. This post by Oberlo is a great place to start. It’s important to look at how colours make other people feel, as your own opinions may not be in line with the opinions of others, and colours may not be interpreted the same way. There’s also a good chance that you are not part of your company’s target market, so it’s important to take these factors into account.
Sit down with your team and evaluate your visual identity. Carry out some competitor research and market research to see what the current state of the market is and how you can differentiate yourself. Once you are confident in your position in the market, it’s just a matter of tweaking your visual identity to match it.
Don’t hesitate to reach out to a graphic designer if you need help with this. Remember that your brand is everything!
Tip #5: Help Your Team Own Your Brand
When your whole team owns your brand and portrays the right message to your target audience, you’ll reap the maximum benefits from your marketing campaigns. There’s nothing more pleasant for a client than being sent the same “vibe” from the first contact right the way through to the after-payment care. If the company values and core message resonates with the client, you can be sure they’ll keep coming back and spread the word.
Work together with your team when defining your brand position. This helps to get everyone on the same page and makes it much easier for your team to own your brand. Also write it down so that everyone can read it when needed. Both the written version as well as the company culture that this creates will make it almost intuitive for new employees & even contractors to pick up. Before you know it, your clients will even start owning your brand.
Waitrose is a great example of this. They target high-end customers, and these customers own their brand for them. Everything from the clothing employees wear to the company messaging is in line with their brand. This results in both employees and customers who own the brand and thereby spread the word.
Be proud to represent your brand yourself, and your team will follow suit!
This goes beyond core company messaging, and when everything is in line with your brand position, great things happen.
Are your team sticking to your visual identity and brand positioning?
We always like to recommend two vital documents to ensure your team does stick to your visual and brand identity:
1. Brand Positioning Statement
Your brand positioning statement defines your core company values and messages. It serves as a broad guideline and prevents anything that’s completely off-brand if followed.
2. Visual Identity Guidelines (Brand Guidelines)
The “visual bible for your brand”, this document includes your brand colours, fonts, imagery, and do’s & don’ts.
Extra tip: Your business processes are often a big part of your brand positioning. Even as an SME, there are many guidelines you can implement easily to leave a better impression that’s more in line with your brand positioning. These guidelines can create consistency within your company, even if it’s not always the same person answering the phone or writing an email. Here are some easily implemented ideas that might give you some inspiration:
- Answer calls in a consistent manner
Even though people can’t see you smiling, the tone you use when answering the phone is different when you smile. Don’t believe us? Check out this article by Bradenton.com. If phone calls are rushed or the person answering the phone doesn’t portray your brand properly, this could result in a negative first impression.
- Start and end emails in the same fashion
A five-bullet-point list of things to add to emails, as well as how customers and clients should be addressed makes a huge difference.
- End & start contracts or services consistently
If you’re a contractor or service business, it’s very easy to create a few guidelines for how you end work with clients, as well as how you start working with clients. These are important moments in your relationship with them, so leaving a good first or final impression that’s in line with your brand positioning is important.
- Create guidelines for social media
If your company uses social media, some general guidelines can help maintain consistency on the different social channels. This can be done with just a few bullet points, while still allowing the posts on social media to follow the social media channel’s own brand.
Positioning your brand correctly and then maintaining consistency is a vital part of your overall marketing strategy. Follow these five tips to get better results with your marketing and create more sustainability in your business.
Struggling with anything mentioned in this blog post? Get in touch with us and one of team will be glad to discuss how we can support you in reaching your goals.
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