You've heard a million times about brand positioning, but do you know exactly what it is? I explain it to you in this article.
If I mention hazelnut and cocoa spread, what's the first one that comes to mind?
As I imagined: this is because, as a brand, Nutella has created its own clearly defined space in people's minds and knows how to distinguish itself very well from the competition; its positioning, in a nutshell, is definitely unique.
This concept, called brand positioning, is the basis of a sound and effective marketing strategy.
And I'll tell you, if you've never thought about it, you might want to start doing it!
Oh yeah, because it doesn't matter what you sell or offer, how big and structured your company is, whether you have none, fifteen or five hundred employees. What matters is that your brand has its own clearly recognizable identity in the eyes of the public.
To grab customers and not risk being "one of many," you have to strike people's imagination and convince them that you are the answer to their desires.
In a nutshell: you need to position your brand in the marketplace.
It is the first step on the road to authority: it allows you to become a firm and reliable point of reference (I have also talked about this in this article, Authoritativeness: how to get it in 4 steps).
Said like that, it sounds easy, but how to go from theory to practice? What exactly does it mean and how does brand positioning work?
Let's look at it in detail.
What is brand positioning
Literally "brand positioning," brand positioning is that marketing strategy that allows you to be perceived as different (and preferable) in the eyes of your audience and to occupy a well-defined place in your market.
It includes the key qualities and values that set you apart; it is effective if perceived as favorable, distinct, and credible.
It is a bit like making your way through the crowd to be noticed and valued-if you do it intelligently, you will be able to stand out without being overwhelmed.
In this way you facilitate your users' buying process: when a problem or need arises, they will immediately think of you or your brand as a solution, more or less consciously. You help them recognize you immediately and connect with you, as well as be loyal to you.
So you have to pay attention to everything that communicates something about you or your brand and has a touch point with the audience: not only the specific features of the product/service or the need it fulfills, but also complementary services, communication, distribution channels, image, customer experience, and brand identity.
It is finally based on a value proposition (value proposition), a kind of statement or promise about what your unique and recognizable trait is, which causes you to be chosen among all the other contestants.
Why brand positioning is important
The reasons why brand positioning is critical to the success of your business are clear to you by now, but here's a quick recap:
#1 It makes you look different from others: people will choose you because they perceive you as the main solution to their problems.
#2 Makes it easy to choose your audience: if you give them the answers to the questions they are looking for, they will not speculate too much and will be quicker to trust and buy.
#3 Confirm the value and justify the price: effective positioning allows you to communicate your authority, and as a result, people will also be willing to pay high prices for your products or services.
#4 Provides a competitive advantage: strong brand positioning highlights your core values and strengths and thus results in achieving your goals of increased sales and customer loyalty.
#5 It is a stepping stone: testifies to your company's expertise, professionalism and creativity, making your brand unique and innovative.
How brand positioning works
Okay, now that you understand what it's all about and why it's critical to your success, you're probably wondering: how do you create effective positioning?
It all starts with an analysis of who you are, what your competitors offer and, most importantly, what your potential customers want.
The real challenge is to make it lead to real business results and resonate with your target audience.
Here are some suggestions to help you along the way:
Study the playing field: ask yourself who you are and who your competitors are; compare them to see how they position themselves and what role you can make your own; understand where you stand so you can present yourself as different from them and attract customers' attention.
Understand what your audience wants: ask people what they need, remembering that they always buy for one of these three reasons: solve problems, fill needs, acquire skills; you can base your value proposition and make sure that your promise is attractive in their eyes and resonates with them.
Identify your strengths: Identifies the capabilities and potential of your company and brand, your distinguishing feature that makes you unique from those offering a similar product or service; in short, become aware of what your trump card is and enhance it 😉
Be authentic: remember that you can never solve all the world's problems or please all the people; focus on what you have to offer, be authentic and sincere in what sets you apart, put yourself forward for the things you do best and put your money where your mouth is.
Create your own Brand Positioning Statement: as Marco de Veglia explains very well in his bestseller "Zero competitors" (I talk about it in this article), is the most important step, allowing you to have a real manifesto of your business, diverse and attractive; it is a statement, a kind of slogan to go with your name or that of your company. Make it concise and effective; mine, for example, starts like this: "Valerio Fioretti is the web marketing specialist for small and medium-sized enterprises".
Adjust accordingly: the remaining challenge is to reflect this chosen positioning in everything you do, yet not be afraid to change; if you find a flaw based also on feedback from your customers, adjust your messages accordingly.
I suggest you read the book by my friend Marco De Veglia, the father of brand positioning in Italy: "Zero competitors" - you can find it on Amazon and in bookstores..
So what do you say?
Basically, as you may have guessed, it's all about the concept of uniqueness.
And I will tell you, a little bit it takes courage to give yourself clear boundaries: often people think that this can penalize, when in fact it is really the key to success.
If you want to get everywhere, you risk not getting anywhere.
If you are aware of your positioning and say it out loud, you will instead manage not to drown in the sea of sharks that is the market, whatever product or service you offer.
So all you have to do is ask yourself what sets you apart from others and how you can effectively communicate that to your audience, perhaps even leveraging the Persuasive copywriting.
Occupying a clear place in people's minds will enable you to conquer your niche and be rewarded.
You just have to get to work!