6 brand positioning techniques for staking a claim in specific market segments
Brand positioning involves creating a vision of a product or business relative to competitors. As such, the messaging must be unique, focused and consistent. If not, you may be missing out on opportunities to distinguish yourself from the other guys.
The concept of positioning relates to how a product is perceived by customers relative to its competitors. It originated in the advertising industry as a way of identifying the product attributes that need to be inserted into the buyers consciousness.
For example, the product may be cheap, innovative, cool or high quality. Positioning helps provide a clear focus. Its essentially about influencing attitudes and perceptions about a product or company brand, rather than changing the product itself. Positioning improves performance by increasing awareness of a companys or products capabilities and by refreshing or reinforcing an existing brand.
The following six branding techniques are useful for achieving distinction or for effectively staking a claim in a specific market segment.
1. Understand the market. This involves finding a niche or part of the market where theres space to establish and maintain a profitable position. Not only does this require an understanding of the market, but also the key trends and factors influencing the market. This may require the recognition that in certain markets, at certain times, there are simply no attainable positions left.
2. Focus on the customer. When planning or considering the position of a product or business, its important to remain externally focused and consider how the customer will perceive and react/respond to the message or offer. In other words, which message will have the greatest impact on the customer in the way that was intended?
3. Manage timing. Positioning is often easiest when youre the first in a new market: the value of first-mover advantage. From this position, its possible to get to know the customer and to market in detail and then build a strong customer base and rapport with customers. Often, as a first-mover, the brand image appears responsive and innovative. For brands that are not first-movers, its important to choose the right moment to launch, ideally when the market leader is weak or quiet or both.
Next- Brand techniques 4 through 6
About the author
Luis Gallardo is a global brand and marketing leader and expert in the areas of strategic brand management, brand engagement, brand expression, marketing, communications, business development, and reputation management. Former managing director of global brand & marketing at Deloitte, Luis provided leadership to Deloitte's member firm network of more than three thousand marketing and communications professionals. Author of the book: Brands & Rousers, The Holistic System to Foster High-Performing Businesses, Brands and Careers. Luis is the founder of Thap Group, a multinational consultancy focused on brand, marketing and communications strategy, and he sits on the advisory board of several high-growth organizations.