The Brand Positioning Process
Are you ready to create a brand positioning plan for your company? The steps outlined below will provide you with a clear path to your destination. Let’s do this!
It’s important to take as much time as needed in the final steps of this process to ensure that the end result is a well executed brand positioning statement that will create long term success for the company, so consider the following carefully.
1. Set a Clear Vision and Goals
Begin with your overall business goals. What do you want to achieve as a company? Your positioning is a critical component of your company strategy, since it influences how you generate growth and recruit the talent you’ll need to keep expanding. Sit down with your management team and make sure everyone has a clear set of priorities if you don’t already have them written down. That way, you’ll have a clear destination in sight while you’re writing your positioning statement.
2. Target Market and Competitive Research
Investigate your target market and competition. According to a research of professional services marketing, companies that have a deep grasp of their consumers and competitors are more than twice as likely to be high-growth companies (those that grow at least 20 percent year over year). This sort of inquiry is commonly referred to as brand research, and it is usually carried out by a third party to maintain anonymity and promote more candid responses from participants. Interviews with current clients, prospects, and reference sources are generally part of the process. It also includes a review of your rivals, including what they’re saying about themselves and how they’re perceived by your target demographic.
Brand research may also reveal strengths and flaws that were previously hidden. You’ll also discover which criteria are most important to potential clients during the selecting process.
And brand research is crucial to the following step’s success.
3. Recognize Your Differentiators
Determine your unique selling points. This is where your company’s objectives and brand research become marketing gold. Using your team’s insights, external views of your company, and a fresh knowledge of your rivals’ positioning, you’ll identify qualities that both differentiate you from the competition and are beneficial to prospective clients.
Strong differentiators must also fulfill three additional criteria. They must be:
3) relevant to your target audience.
Customers will frequently detect if a differentiation isn’t accurate and approach your company with mistrust if it isn’t true. As a result, you should be able to back up each differentiator with data. In your brand study, you’ll frequently come across proof (for example, a finding that “9 out of 10 clients refer us to others” is a useful statistic to underline a range of differentiators).
Some differentiators may be traits you discover via your study (“clients find us to be extremely flexible”), while others may be a niche you have previously developed (“we provide network security services only to accounting firms”). If your present differentiators aren’t cutting it, you may consider pursuing a new area of specialization or concentrating on a particular strength. While this strategy may seem idealistic at first, it may work if you genuinely dedicate your company to it and can demonstrate that you are following through.
4. Create a Positioning Statement
It’s now time to turn your differentiators into a compelling statement that explains your competitive advantage. A positioning statement is a short paragraph that summarizes your major selling points. It’s an internal document that shouldn’t be utilized verbatim on your website or in marketing materials due to its small size. Instead, think of it as a resource you can refer to whenever you need ideas for describing your company or persuading people to buy from you.
No strategy, no matter how well-intentioned, will be successful if it is not implemented properly. You’ll need the proper communications tools in place to support the new message you’re conveying. And it may need a re-evaluation of your whole marketing strategy. At the absolute least, your marketing materials and website should reflect your new positioning.
Consider how you’ll communicate your new positioning to the rest of the world as you build it. What has to be changed, what may be left alone, and what new components must be added in order to effectively market your business in alignment with your brand position.
Now that the research has been done, it’s time to start creating a brand positioning statement. We’ve put together a free download to help you get started.
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