The mind has its systems to differentiate products and services, as well as the experiences that are lived with them. It is the brands that are responsible for intrinsically providing a method of classification, differentiation and identification that allows the customer to simplify their purchase decision processes. In them, positioning is primarily responsible for determining how the brand will be perceived. It seeks to enhance its difference, frames it within a specific category and even facilitates the establishment of a price segment.

First coined by Jack Trout in 1969, they attributed to positioning what “advertising does to the product in the mind of the potential customer.” Over time, the concept expanded beyond advertising and revolutionized branding after Trout, along with Al Reis and Kotler published their bestseller “Positioning, the battle for your mind.” Since then, it has become the foundation of brand strategy, detached from advertising campaigns, and consolidated as the foundation that feeds the essence of everything the brand represents.

Brand positioning is the strategic process that leads to Achieve a privileged space in people’s minds, whether they are customers or not. The challenge is to create a single impression, clear and homogeneous enough to be associated with something specific and desirable for which the brand wants to be recognized and identified. Although the first step to achieve this is the result of a whole strategy, the reality is that it will happen whether the brand has been proactive in transmitting that idea, or not. Therefore, it is vitally important to pay attention to brand positioning since an effective strategy will maximize customer relevance and distinctiveness with respect to the competition, increasing brand value.

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How to develop a brand positioning?

The positioning strategy includes three main stages:

  1. Determine the Current Position

This is an introspective work of initiation. It involves identifying what our values are, what moves us. It also includes knowing the competition and their situation, pointing out functional features, highlighting what matters to customers and why.

  1. Choosing the desired position

It is necessary to analyze what differentiates the brand from the competition, what it does best both at a tangible and intangible level. The distinction should be significant enough to affect preference on the part of your customers.

In the main needs of people we find a great basis to identify a possible path:

    • Physiological: health, satisfaction of basic needs, better appearance, comfort, pleasure
    • Safety, being safe from discomfort: pain, risks, anxiety, doubts
    • Belonging: being part of a group, friendships, family, intimacy
    • Esteem: success , influence, recognition, respect, trust
    • Self-realization: Possibility to express one’s own individuality, to improve oneself
  1. Develop the strategy to reach the desired position

Each case is different, but it is worth considering the development of the strategy based on the main methods:

    • Positioning by attributes. It is based on the main advantage of the company.
    • Positioning by user. It targets a target audience or a specific audience segment.
    • Price positioning. Emphasizing the care of the customer’s economy. Setting an affordable price for the same quality.
    • Positioning against the competition. By way of a clear comparison against competitors.
    • Positioning by quality. Presenting the brand as a manufacturer of high-quality products.
    • Prestige positioning. Same as quality positioning, but in this case emphasizing prestige and image.

At this point, the position is articulated through a statement. The brand positioning statement is a short strategic document that specifies the value that the brand will bring to a certain market segment. Unlike a slogan or a claim, positioning statements are prepared for internal purposes and reflect the competitive advantage sought. Although it may have an aspirational point, it cannot be so far removed from reality that it loses credibility. There are 6 factors that will determine its success: it has to be relevant, credible, achievable, sustainable, differential and focused.

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As we’ve seen, the brand positioning statement starts with an inside job. It is necessary to ask who it is aimed at, what is the need it meets and the benefits it brings, to end by detailing why they should believe it. You can see it in this frame of reference with an example:

    • Target: For those who are proactively concerned about their health
    • Category: X is the brand that offers an alternative to traditional snacks
    • Benefits: with tasty biscuits that combine the best of nature,
    • RTB: providing the healthiest energy in a respectful and sustainable way.

To conclude, it should be noted that this is only the beginning of the journey, it is part of the brand strategy where other aspects such as territory, purpose, personality, behaviors… All of this must be permeated in the brand’s image, both from its corporate identity, as well as the design of its products/services or the focus of its experiences.

The challenge is significant, there are many concepts and elements intertwined. But in any case, once you truly understand the customer, everything else is simple.

 

Carlos Puig Falcó
CEO of Branward