What Is Brand Positioning? (With Benefits And Tips)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 25 April 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

A company's long-term growth is closely linked to its ability to build a successful brand and position it in the market. Positioning a brand effectively can shape brand value propositions, determine customer messaging and drive competition and marketing strategies. It can also leave a strong and lasting impression on customers. In this article, we discuss what is brand positioning, look at some strategies and understand the components involved in brand positioning.

Related: What Is Brand Personality? (With Importance And Types)

What Is Brand Positioning?

Understanding the answer to "What is brand positioning?" can help brands curate positioning strategies and focus better on the target audience. According to the definition, brand positioning refers to the process of influencing the minds of prospective customers to offer a desired product or service. With a good brand positioning strategy, brands can craft their value propositions, define the marketing strategy and reinforce their brand purpose.

Related: What Is Brand Strategy? (6 Components And Its Importance)

Brand Positioning Process

Any company wishing to implement its marketing strategy effectively requires identifying and following a positioning process. Here are the steps involved in positioning a company:

Identify the target audience

Marketing professionals require identifying their target audience, along with a strong understanding of their needs and preferences. Individuals have a diverse range of interests, needs and preferences. It is necessary to conduct market positioning studies to discover how members of the target market perceive the competition's products or services in the relevant dimensions. Dimensions of services can include expensive, cheap, fast, quality, specialised and generic.

Determine the competitive advantage

Identifying competitive advantage is an important step in strategic positioning. Competitive advantage is a quality capability or attribute that allows a brand to outperform the competition. Here are some of the ways a company can gain a competitive advantage:

  • Technology-based competitive strategy: A company can gain a competitive advantage if it uses innovative technologies for producing its goods, managing its customer relationships and improving internal relations.

  • Brand awareness: Building brand awareness can boost market shares and sales, tap into new audiences and improve brand perception. This method can take time to reach a certain level of popularity and outperform competitors.

  • Adaptability competitive advantage: Companies that are able to adapt to the market, economy and other changes in an increasingly unstable and unpredictable environment often become more competitive.

  • Differentiation: Differentiating one company from another can enhance competitive advantage and rely largely on branding. This involves narrowing the target markets and providing offerings to each group.

  • Benefits: Brands that offer their customers unique benefits that their competitors cannot often have a competitive advantage.

Related: What Is Competitive Advantage? (Definition And Types)

Define positioning strategy

An effective positioning strategy requires a deep understanding of the market, identifying how a company is different from its competitors and recognising the market conditions and opportunities. Marketers can create a perceptual map of dominant brands to identify opportunities. This positioning map illustrates how consumers perceive brands competing in a marketplace using two key factors. A brand can create its own niche and create positioning opportunities using the map and looking at areas where there are few competitors.

Product positioning, perceptual positioning, competitive positioning and situational positioning are four types of positioning.

  • Competitive positioning: This involves comparing a brand's product with that of its competitors.

  • Product positioning: This involves brands aligning the features of their products to the needs of their customers.

  • Situational positioning: Putting a product in a situation involves positioning it as a solution for the specific needs of the target customers.

  • Perceptual positioning: In perceptual positioning, marketers create some idea or perception about a target market for their audience.

Communicate the positioning strategy

After the necessary preparation to define the positioning strategy, the brand can develop and deliver a focused communications campaign. This involves communication activities that can either involve a small number of focused channels or a broad audience. A few of the common activities are newsletters, media relations, content marketing, events, advertising, social media and promotions.

Ensure that the communication materials reflect the point of view of the target audience by seeking feedback. This can serve to portray the brand in a positive and professional light. The key messaging collection can serve as a guide for content creation for everything from content marketing to event topics. Using effective communication campaigns, a brand can remind its audience of the benefits it offers.

Related: Types Of Jobs In Social Media Marketing And Their Duties

Test the effectiveness of the marketing positioning

Choose several potential concepts to use in a brand's marketing materials and test them. Compare and evaluate the results obtained from each marketing piece, including high revenue numbers and high customer satisfaction. Be sure to include the changes and efforts of those campaigns which were successful in future marketing materials.

Market Positioning Statement

A positioning statement describes how a brand's product differs from similar products on the market and how it fulfils the customers' needs. It conveys the underlying vision and objectives of a company, along with the unique reputation that they hope to achieve for their brand. Any marketing plan needs a brand positioning statement to differentiate a product from its competition. It is important to follow a few simple steps when creating a positioning statement, which includes:

  • Find the target group that the company can target.

  • Put together a list of the customer needs the brand intends to meet.

  • Describe all the advantages of a product or service that is tailored to meet the needs and wants of a particular customer segment.

  • Assess the company's positioning statement for clarity, simplicity and consistency.

  • Communicate the positioning message consistently in every aspect of what the business does for the target market.

Related: Customer Satisfaction: How To Measure And Tips For Improvement

Benefits Of Brand Positioning

Here are some of the benefits of brand positioning:

Brand recall

In marketing, brand recall is the probability that a consumer can immediately recall the name of a brand when presented with its product or service. As part of brand awareness and positioning, brand recall measures a consumer's ability to recall a brand name and increases the likelihood of repeat purchases. An effective marketing funnel includes factors that reflect the first stage of the buyer's journey, including brand recall. It is important to know that consumers are more likely to recall a brand's products based on their superior quality and reliability.

Related: What Is Inside Sales? (Including Advantages And Disadvantages)

Emotional appeal

Marketing success depends on the customers' final decision to buy a brand's product. It is a combination of logic and emotion that determines whether a buyer chooses the offering over a competitor's. A well-crafted positioning creates an emotional connection with the target audience. Brands often use persuasion using emotional appeals to arouse emotional responses or feedback from their target audience. An emotional appeal can target specific audience experiences to make emotional decisions or respond emotionally.

Brand loyalty

Every company strives to establish loyal customers who would buy new products or services because of their previous positive experiences. Building strong brands requires consistency and alignment. A brand's positioning is the ideal way to achieve this alignment. The positioning of a brand can help the business grow, increase revenue and allow it to command a higher price than competitors in the market.

Related: What Is Brand Identity? With Elements And How To Develop It

Value-based marketing

Marketing that is based on customer values and ethics is called values-based marketing. In addition to providing a product or service, the strategy emphasises building a genuine connection with customers. Building trust with the audience is easy if a brand uses a good positioning strategy and shows that it lives by its values.

Tips For Brand Positioning

Here are some of the tips brands can follow to position themselves in the market:

Display your value

It is important to show your value when positioning your brand. Clearly communicating what your company can do to solve a specific problem for your target customers is a vital part of demonstrating your value. Make contact with your customers more easily by relating your brand messaging to their specific problems.

Identify the company's strengths and weaknesses

It is important to understand the full extent of a business's strengths and weaknesses to avoid missing out on opportunities or losing out to competitors. By identifying a business' strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats, a SWOT analysis evaluates its strategic position.

Strengths include a business model's strongest points and points of differentiation. Weaknesses comprise the weakest parts of a business model, the shortcomings in the internal team and the weak spots in the sales funnel. Opportunities refer to potential leads, investors and new target markets. Threats include potential competitors and negative market developments.

Related: SWOT Analysis Guide (With Examples)

Define the core benefits of your offerings

Brand positioning requires communicating the brand's benefits to consumers. Understanding these benefits and how the target market expresses them is crucial. Be sure to identify relevant rational and emotional benefits and to use the right consumer language before conducting a positioning test.

Related: How To Create An Effective Brand Marketing Campaign

Explore more articles