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Defining Brand Positioning

And why it matters

Brand positioning has become one of those trendy phrases that design agencies use to convince clients of their marketing expertise. Kind of vague, sounds useful and cutting edge. Perfect!

Anyways, time to explain exactly what it is and why it’s one of the useful buzzwords. Brand positioning refers to the unique imprint your brand makes on the mind of anyone who comes into contact with it. What does interacting with your brand feel like? Is it blunt and humourous like Dollar Shave Club’s brand? Is it motivating and uplifting like Red Bull’s? How about simple and friendly like Google? These companies have done a great job of positioning their brand because they’ve caused an association with their branding material and a certain feeling or combination of feelings. Brand positioning is about differentiating your company and distilling what makes you unique into consistent marketing materials, taglines, and a positioning statement.

To effectively position brand, the first two steps are as follow: 1. Find your target market (most of you have probably done this I’d hope) 2. Find what makes your service or product different from your competitors, and how that will give you an edge in your market (only a little harder ;) ). This difference should make up the core of your value proposition, and is very important to figure out when creating marketing material. Once you have those steps completed, combine them to make a brand positioning statement. A brand positioning statement looks something like this:

For [target market], [your company] is the best [ whatever your service/product is] because we are the only ones who [unique attribute]

In practice, it can look like this gem from Volvo

- “For upscale American families, Volvo is the family automobile that offers maximum safety.”

Notice how this statement specifies the market, product, and unique attribute clearly and concisely. For more knowledge on perfecting your brand positioning statement, check out this article.

The next step in your brand positioning journey exists in a tagline. A tagline is a short blurb that captures the premise or tone of your company and product. It’s meant to capture people’s attention and really resonate with them emotionally. If you can create that positive association between your brand and someone’s emotions, you can sell your product before they even know what it is. You’re relating to their struggles, desires, and feelings. It’s much easier to trust a business that you feel can relate to you and has your experience at the core of their business strategy. Some good examples of taglines:

  • “Heineken refreshes the parts other beers cannot reach”

Notice how you recognize each company just by the tagline? Now that’s brand positioning baby! Taglines tend to be more informal and playful then brand positioning statements in the name of memorability.

Before you move one from the positioning statement and tagline, double check and make sure these two fragments of your marketing strategy are consistent with one another. Positioning your brand simply doesn’t work if you try to position it in too many places. Especially when your starting out, don’t try to overextend yourself into too many markets. Only when you begin to scale and come up with multiple product offerings it might act as an opportunity to expand into another market. If you aren’t focused with positioning efforts it won’t have the desired impact on your customers.

This brings us to the final step: Projecting your brand’s position in all the marketing material you produce. Using your brand positioning statement as a guide for your marketing decisions really helps in this. It keeps you focused and makes sure the message is simple and clear for your customers. I’ve touched on this earlier in the article but I want to reiterate: !important The most important part of executing brand positioning strategies is consistency. If you don’t have consistency in the image you put out into the world, people won’t trust your company to deliver consistent results. So when you are devising a tagline/positioning statement/marketing material, triple check that the messages are completely in alignment with each other.

So, now we know brand positioning can be a potent way to touch your customers emotionally and breed trust for your company. If used correctly, brand positioning can effectively guide the creation, design, and wording of all your marketing materials. This reduces a lot of effort in putting these materials together, and increases the chance you will get your message to your target market without any confusion or misinterpretation.

Thanks for reading! If you enjoyed it, please leave a few claps to show. If you would like consulting on positioning your brand, hit up our crew at davincidigital.co ;) We love this stuff, and would love to help your business succeed through our expertise.

Social Impact + Marketing + Design. If you need marketing or design for your social impact venture, hit my line at adam@emote.design.

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