Positioning and Branding Strategy.
Are you hitting the target?
Positioning simply is how you want people to perceive your company’s product or service. It is the first thought that comes to their minds when they hear about your service or product. To hit a target successfully is to understand how your offering can be set apart from other competitors. How your product or service can satisfy the customer in away that is desirable by the customer.
Another definition of Positioning ( as defined by whatis.com), is the process of identifying an appropriate market niche for a product, service or brand and getting it established it in that area .Working without a positioning and branding strategy is like shooting with a blindfold. You can’t really know if you hit a target or not. Positioning is to get into the customer’s mind and create an impression; this impression should serve the product.
The easy way to get into person’s mind is to be the first ( Positioning: the battle for your mind). Think about the positioning of those brands such as Johnson & Johnson, Microsoft, Harvard University, Apple, BMW. Each one has sophisticated positioning that associates with our emotions and trust. Lets think about Microsoft, when we hear this name we know that this name is worth the money, we can trust their software and it’s the name of the company behind the most famous operating system program namely Windows and Office. Same for Johnson & Johnson this brand provoke our childhood memories and our trust over generation. So when Johnson & Johnson are selling their talc powder for example of extra money we go and pay for it, not because of the special talc powder that they sell but for the name Johnson & Johnson and the whole experience that was initially created by their successful positioning.
The Question is how let your company’s product or service stands out from the crowd. Here the next stage is coming from an understanding of differentiation, which is what sets our product or service apart from its competitors. If you can’t be the first then you have to “THINK DIFFERENT” and propose a positioning statement that gets the perspective customers to think at your product or service differently.
As a big Apple fan myself and ios programmer, I was interested to know how Apple could stand out from many other products and competitors. I found in ( TIMES blog) where it explains how in 1984 Steve Jobs first unveiled MAC. Tim Bajarin stated that “my reaction was that MAC that is introduced by APPLE did not look like any PC vendors that was known at the time such as IBM and compaQ”. Apple positioning was being different. This difference came from “pillars” of Apple, which are Think different, at that time in 1984 and till this time definitely what sets them apart from the crowd is to “Think Different”. Apple lead the innovation of MP3 player, smartphones, tablets and more. And most importantly Apple brand positioning is their innovative sleek designs and products.
It’s helpful in creating the company’s positioning to ask those questions:
- First is to think about target market, To whom is this product or this service?
- Second is to think what are the problems that would be solved by our service or problem.
- Third is what are the other competitive product or service?
- Fourth how are we different from them?
Successful positioning is key to attracting more customers to your company. In other words the successful positioning is hitting the target.
More examples on positioning? (Here)
In the above link, the author explains some of the most famous positioning, Subway and their 6 grams of fat slogan, Dominions and their 30 minutes or free slogan, Timberland 100% waterproof slogan, Volvo safety slogan.
How to stand up as a start up? How to create your positioning as an individual?, this was explained by (Sean D’Souza ). For example, TimberLand shoes products have many qualities such as Hand stitched, 20% harder soles, warmest shoes and 100% waterproof. The company chose 100% waterproof for their positioning. Then they build their whole store around that. The point is you have to be specific in your positioning.
To be specific is very important in positioning and branding for instance, Dominos Pizza (30 minutes Or free). They could’ve choose their positioning statement something like very soon delivery but they chose to be specific. Simply because any pizza company can copy very soon delivery, then the positioning of Dominos in prospective customers would be no longer significant.
Positioning in digital media is to take your message across all the media and to leverage digital platforms for greater sales, brand awareness, and ROI. By across all media channels I mean everything that is viewed and can be shared over the Internet, from email marketing, Youtube ads to social media platforms such Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Instgram.
“Sticking with a strong story pays off for the likes of Nike, even in a multi-channel market”, Marketing Week
This is very important tip to keep in mind if you want to succeed in your positioning, you need to consider not only to be specific, but also, to be consistent especially if your first positioning is successful. The reason behind that people will remember your positioning over years and will have same impression every time they hear about your brand name. Example on that is Nike and their slogan “Just Do it” they didn’t change it for 14 years. Just Do it Campaign was a success and it produced a profit and ROI, (more details is in the Marketing Week ). Being Consistent is engaging the customer and at least promising the customer that you can depend on us for that!
For Digital media and Positioning. Its important to know that digital media adds more to the nature of your positioning, basically because if the company position itself at specific category and then somebody’s experience the opposite and then disseminate this on social media. Then as a company you should be engaged with social media and other media channels and confident enough to justify the reason behind this lack of delivery. For instance Volvo and its safety car positioning, if individuals experience lack of safety in their new line of cars then Volvo should justify this lack of delivery and at least stop manufacturing this specific line of cars.
Remember Positioning is to choose a specific consistent impression for your brand and to back it up in your products or service.
What is your favorite company and what is your impression about it? Is that consistent with their positioning?