This post was written by littleBIG Marketing Strategist Kate Thompson, a superstar when it comes to summing up what a business needs at the brand, strategic and tactical levels.
You may have noticed marketers love a bit of jargon (I can hear our Creative Director’s eyes rolling here). There’s your brand identity, brand essence, your benefit ladder, your USP, your TOV. And if you’ve ever Googled any of these terms after a meeting with a passionate marketer you will see each one has a myriad of definitions! It can be overwhelming.
Here at littleBIG we like to keep things simple, but effective. A key place to start when building your brand is identifying your brand positioning. So what exactly is that?
Put simply, “brand positioning” is the process of positioning your brand in the mind of consumers.
Who you are, what you do, who you do it for and why it is better, special and different. You could think of it like an elevator pitch to answer “why is your brand different from the others and why is it the best choice for the customer?”.
More than ever, consumers are bombarded with advertising messages and a host of brands to choose from. Since most of your competitors probably offer similar products and services, to truly stand out you need to consistently deliver a positive, memorable experience each and every time consumers think of or interact with your brand (from your Facebook page and recruitment to answering the phone and advertising). Your brand positioning is the tool with which to do this.
Not to be confused with a tagline (which is a customer facing expression of your brand), brand positioning will help you and your team make the right marketing and operating decisions for your business – drive your marketing strategy, determine customer messages, keep communications focused and consistent and ultimately leave a long lasting positive, credible impression on customers. Your brand positioning is the key pillar of every communication.
Let’s look at some world famous examples:
• Target: Style on a budget.
• Volvo: For upscale American families, Volvo is the family automobile that offers maximum safety.
• Home Depot: The hardware department store for do‑it‑yourselfers.
And their taglines:
• Target: Expect more. Pay less.
• Volvo: For life.
• Home Depot: You can do it. We can help.
Don’t make the mistake of trying to come up with brand positioning on your own! To do this effectively, you need to discuss your brand with your employee, customers, and other stakeholders, and do robust research on your competitors.
Closer to home, the littleBIG team have worked some wonderful brands like Winemakers of Rutherglen, Absolute Care & Health, Preston Market and Australian Blueberries to develop their brand positioning.
We like to work through the brand’s objectives, offering, target audience, competitors, brand pyramid, essence and unique selling proposition in an informal, collaborative workshop. Our team then do further research and distill this into a simple, clear document that outlines the brand story, essence, key messages, tone of voice and unique selling proposition.
This will set the tone for all communications going forward so that all key stakeholders have a clear understanding of what is required to successfully communicate the brand to consumers/market.
It can seem overwhelming to try and develop a brand positioning. But actually, once you have that clarity it will simplify and provide certainty to your marketing decision making. Without certainty, you default to the status quo. To actively position your brand means you have to stand for something. Only then are you truly on your way to owning your very own position in the mind of your customer.