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Brand positioning

Brand positioning

The basic approach of positioning is not to create something new and different, but to manipulate what’s already up there in mind, to retie the connections that already exist

– Al Reis

Have you ever thought about why shopkeepers strategically position the products on the shelves in the shops? Well, it is done to make those products stand out from the rest. The same concept is applied through brand positioning in marketing. This explanation covers all the important concepts of brand positioning.

Brand Positioning Definition

Brands face fierce competition in the market these days; customers can find alternatives in every product category. As a result, marketers need to establish a clear brand identity to attract potential customers. This is where brand positioning comes into play.

Brand positioning means creating a unique and clear brand identity in customers minds.

Customers have a variety of options when it comes to buying a product or service. Thanks to the Internet, they have loads of information too. This makes creating a solid brand position more challenging than ever. Marketers must develop a unique brand position so that customers will think of that brand when making a purchase decision.

Red Bull has a strong brand position in the market. When you think about action/adventure sports, there is a higher probability that Red Bull will be one of the names that will come to your mind. It communicates its brand position by associating itself with action sports. Its influence can be seen in sports such as Formula One, Ice Hockey, and Football.

Brand Positioning Red Bull brand positioning StudySmarterFig. 1 - Red Bull Brand Positioning

When a brand can position itself uniquely in customers minds, it leads to increased profitability, market share, and sustainable customer loyalty.

Brand Positioning Strategy

A marketer needs to develop a brand positioning strategy to create a brand position. It helps a brand take a space in the market and differentiate its products from competitors.

A brand positioning strategy is a marketing strategy that enables a marketer to differentiate the brand from competitors and influence the perception of the target audience.

Designing an effective brand positioning strategy is integral to the success of the whole marketing plan. The focus is to meet marketing objectives by establishing a clear brand identity. This requires careful planning, comprehensive analyses, and accurate execution.

There are four steps in designing a brand positioning strategy:

  • Understand your brand first – The process of formulating a brand positioning strategy starts with understanding your brand. The qualities of the brand and the value it could offer to the target audience.

  • Identify target audience’s preferences – Analyze the preferences of the target audience, i.e., the buying patterns exhibited during the purchase process. Marketers could do it by examining the customers’ data.

  • Identify and analyze the competition – Identify the competitors and analyze them. Determine their strengths and weaknesses. Focus on what problems they solve and how they solve them. Once you have identified these aspects of your competition, compare them with your brand.

  • Develop a brand positioning statement – Once you know the preferences of the target audience and the strengths and weaknesses of your competition. You can finally develop the brand positioning statement.

A brand positioning statement describes the function of a brand, the value it offers to the customers, and what makes it different from the competitors.

Types of Brand Positioning Strategies

Marketers position the brand based on how they want it perceived by the target audience. There are four common types of brand positioning strategies. These strategies determine how a brand wants to compete in the market:

Cost-driven positioning – When a brand can offer similar product or service features as its competition at a lower price, it should opt for cost-driven positioning.

Value-based positioning – This type of positioning is based on offering value to the customers. The value could be based on price, quality, or convenience.

Competitive positioning – Based on directly comparing the brand with its competition. Its focus is to convince the target audience that a particular brand offers a better solution or more value than its competitor.

Quality-driven positioning – When a brand claims that it offers the best quality products in the market, it is positioning itself based on quality. Such positioning aims to tell the customers about the quality of a product or service. For instance, Apple positions itself on delivering quality that others cannot match in the market.

Communicating Brand Positioning

Once the brand positioning is created, it is equally important to communicate it to the target audience. Customers are exposed to various brands daily. Therefore, retaining information about every brand is challenging. It is a part of the marketer’s job to ensure that the brand positioning is consistently communicated across all marketing channels.

Engaging messages – Marketers need to make sure that the message represents all the critical information about the brand’s position without boring the audience. When the communication has clear and engaging messages, it is likely to influence consumers’ perceptions.

Reinforce brand positioning – The purpose of communication is also to reinforce brand positioning. If a brand is offering value to the customers, it needs to be communicated to them time and again. For instance, Nike’s brand positioning revolves around taking action to turn your dreams into reality. They reinforce this idea through all the communication activities.

Integrated communication approach – Take the integrated approach in communications. It means all marketing communication channels should send out the same message. It is also about aligning the communication activities with the brand positioning. The integrated communication approach makes customers more likely to connect with a brand’s positioning.

Brand Positioning Examples

There are tons of brand positioning examples available on the Internet. We discuss the brand positioning of Facebook and Google below.

Brand positioning example: Facebook

Its mission statement is about “making the world more open and connected.” It has certainly delivered on its promise by creating a virtual community. People can connect with each other, build their virtual images, and advertise using this platform. Even though it has faced competition from other social media platforms, it is still the leading social media platform. With its acquisition of WhatsApp and Instagram, Facebook is now a part of one big Meta family.

Brand positioning Facebook mobile app StudySmarterFig. 2 - The Facebook mobile app

Brand positioning example: Google

Google’s brand positioning revolves around the idea of organizing information and making it accessible to all. When we think of the Internet, we think about Google – thanks to its wide range of products for the Internet. People use Google’s services every day, from Google search engines to Google maps.

Brand positioning - Key takeaways

  • The role of marketers is to create a distinctive place for the brand in the market.
  • Unique brand positioning could increase profitability/market share and sustainable customer loyalty.
  • Designing an effective brand positioning strategy is integral to the success of the whole marketing plan.
  • A brand positioning strategy is a marketing strategy that enables a marketer to differentiate the brand from competitors and influence the perception of the target audience.
  • Brand positioning needs to be consistently communicated across all marketing channels.

Frequently Asked Questions about Brand positioning

Brand positioning means creating a unique and clear brand identity in the minds of customers.  

Cost-driven positioning, value-based positioning, competitive positioning, and quality-driven positioning are the types of brand positioning.

The goal of brand positioning is to establish a clear brand identity to attract potential customers.  

The 3 levels of brand positioning are:

Product attributes, product benefits, and beliefs and values

The elements of brand positioning are:

Awareness, relevant differentiation, and value. 

Final Brand positioning Quiz

Question

Brand positioning is used to establish a clear brand identity to attract potential customers.

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Answer

True

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Question

Define brand positioning. 

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Answer

Brand positioning means creating a unique and clear brand identity in the minds of customers.

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Question

For marketers, the main task is to create a distinctive place for the brand in the market so that customers think of that brand when making a purchase decision. 

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Answer

True

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Question

Effective brand positioning could lead to 

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Answer

Increased profitability 

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Question

Define brand positioning strategy.

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Answer

A brand positioning strategy is a marketing strategy that enables a marketer to differentiate the brand from competitors and influence the perception of the target audience.

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Question

The process of designing an effective brand positioning strategy is integral to the success of the whole ______ plan.

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Answer

Marketing

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Question

Through brand positioning strategy, the aim is to meet marketing objectives by establishing a clear brand identity in the market.

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Answer

True

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Question

Define brand positioning statement 

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Answer

A brand positioning statement describes the function of a brand, the value it offers to the customers, and what makes it different from the competitors. 

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Question

Name the types of brand positioning strategies. 

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Answer

Cost-driven positioning, value-based positioning, competitive positioning and quality-driven positioning 

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Question

When a brand could offer similar product/service features as its competition with less price, it is called a _________ strategy. 

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Answer

Cost-driven positioning

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Question

_____________ is based on directly comparing the brand with its competition.

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Answer

Competitive positioning

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Question

 When a brand claims that it offers the best quality products in the market then it is positioning itself based on _____. 

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Answer

Quality

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Question

Why communicating brand positing to potential customers is necessary? 

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Answer

Customers are exposed to various brands daily; therefore, it is difficult for them to retain information about every brand. It is a part of the marketer’s job to ensure that the brand positioning is consistently communicated across all marketing channels. 

Show question

Question

What is an Integrated communication approach? 

Show answer

Answer

It means all marketing communication channels should send out the same message. It is also about aligning the communication activities with the brand positioning. 

Show question

Question

When the communication has clear and engaging messages, it is likely to influence consumers’ perceptions. 


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Answer

True

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