Positioning is a key factor in defining and differentiating your brand. Even if, like us, you don’t specialize in a specific industry or product, there is still some fundamental idea that you can position your brand to own in the hearts and minds of your audience. There is something unique about every company, whether it’s their culture, approach or product/service offering. So how do you decide where to place your stake in the ground, and how do you best communicate that to your audience?
Establishing Your Brand Positioning
The first step is to begin to narrow down what is unique about your brand and company. You can start with an internal analysis, but we would recommend starting instead with your customers. There’s a reason they chose you over your competitors, and finding the common ground in their motivations will give you a good starting point.
If you’re just launching a new product or brand, it’s best to start with your brand promise. What are you promising to offer your customers? What is unique about what you will be offering or how you’re offering it? What is your “Why”? If you don’t have an existing answer, be sure to find one as your brand promise is another fundamental you’ll need to get started.
Communicating Your Brand Positioning
Sometimes you’ll have an opportunity to place your position front and center. Your logo/tagline, your website, storefront, brochure, About Us video, etc. should build on your positioning as a cornerstone. But even in your product-focused ads, your weekly social posts and your conversations with customers, that brand positioning should always be layered in.
This means that your first audience is actually: you! Ensuring everyone on the team fully understands and lives your brand positioning and promise will ensure all of your communications support it. Make sure to onboard new team members and regularly reinforce your position. If someone is doing a great job, celebrate that with the whole team. If anyone is falling behind or going off-script, take the time to re-educate them.
For your marketing materials, it’s also important to keep your brand positioning present. If, for example, you offer a range of IT services across a broad variety of industries, it can be tough to differentiate yourself. You’re everything to everyone in theory – but what makes you different is your technicians. They are the friendliest, most patient, most supportive – and they can communicate clearly with non-IT people! So, an ad or email communication about what you offer should always be written at that level. It should carry that tone and be understandable by anyone. Then when potential customers see your tagline/positioning statement, it will ring true.
Branding goes beyond marketing. Your brand is built and diminished with everything you do – from your emails, packaging and website to your invoicing process and interactions with partners and vendors. Establishing and keeping your brand positioning consistent can do a tremendous amount of work to lift the effectiveness of your marketing and close the loop with sales.