Back to News

A Business Owner’s Guide to Understanding Brand Positioning in Marketing

Curious about brand positioning in marketing?

Did you know that 59% of people prefer to buy new products from brands they already know? Did you also know that a simple thing like color consistency can increase brand recognition by up to 80%?

How you present your brand can affect everything from brand recognition to conversion rate. The key is to establish a link between the essential features or benefits your audience is looking for and your company. That’s the core of it.

How you get there, unfortunately, isn’t always so clear-cut. In the sections below, we’ll delineate exactly what brand positioning is and how it affects your bottom line. Read on to discover more.

What is Brand Positioning in Marketing?

The concept of brand positioning first began back in the ’60s. Two successful advertising executives, by the name of Jack Trout and Al Reis, wrote their iconic book, “The Battle for Your Mind.” With it, they built a case for the benefits of establishing a connection between what consumers want and what your company offers.

That’s called your brand.

The idea begins with understanding your customers. What problems do they need to be solved? What are their wants and needs?

After you truly understand your customers, you can begin building a brand which specifically speaks to them. For instance, FedEx built an empire by targeting a single, specific need: When your package “absolutely, positively has to be there overnight.”

They redesigned their entire company using that slogan as a foundation. Here are a few more you may have heard:

  • Subway: “Eat Fresh”
  • Zurich: “Because Change Happens”
  • Superdream: “Normal Sleeps. Super Dreams.”
  • MasterCard: “For Everything Else, There’s MasterCard”
  • New York Times: “All the News That’s Fit to Print”

None of these brand slogans would have had the same effect if they didn’t target their audience’s specific need. They may not have worked at all. Remember, branding always begins with deep customer research.

Slogan vs Tagline

We’re focusing on these two elements because they’re the essence of your brand positioning. They’re your marketing mission statement and your promise to your consumers. It’s worth noting that although both tagline and slogan are often used interchangeably, they serve different purposes.

slogan encompasses what a company stands for, its mission, and how it’s helping its customers. Slogans may be different from one campaign to another. They can also be longer than taglines.

tagline is a catchy quip designed to evoke images of your brand. They tend to be more lighthearted. They also build associations between two things, one being your company.

Also, taglines are shown more often next to a company logo. They’re the cornerstone of brand awareness in your advertising campaigns. Slogans tend to project a long-term, overarching sense of your company’s values and promises.

So what makes a great slogan?

Slogans are at the heart of any branding strategy. Research has shown five elements that set great slogans apart:

  • They’re memorable
  • They include a key benefit
  • They differentiate the brand
  • They impart positive feelings about the brand

Great taglines carry the same key elements, but they’re often shorter. They also place more importance on memorable qualities.

We’ve also put together a list of other brand positioning tips. Read them over before you rebrand your business.

Ways Positioning May Benefit You

If you’re wondering what solid brand positioning may do for your company, we’ve listed a few below:

Sets You Apart

It’s your ticket to stake out a unique territory. One which your competitors can’t reach because your offer is unique. Determine which elements differentiate your company from similar companies and focus on those.

Laser Focuses Your Target

As we’ve mentioned multiple times, it all begins with research. Design your company around needs that already exist. In doing so, you guarantee people will want what you offer. That research will give you deep insight into how to approach consumers to tell them what you have to offer.

By using specific phrasing and aiming at particular problems, you can narrow your audience. That translates to higher conversion rates and lower advertising budgets.

Drives Services and Pricing

Positioning your business against competition will do two things. It’ll help you understand what services to offer. It’ll determine how you should price them. Are you a high-priced boutique? Or maybe a one-stop-shopping establishment?

Focus on what sets you apart. Use that to establish new services and create your prices.

It Guides Decision Making

When you establish your slogan, use it as a filter when making a decision. Will your choice lead your company closer to your brand positioning? Or lead further away?

Provides More Sales and Marketing Tools

Your sales and marketing teams can use that same filter. It’ll improve their communication with consumers. By explaining how you can satisfy their needs, you dramatically increase sales. It gives your teams a connect-the-dots strategy for approaching customers.

Putting Your Strategy to Work

Once you’ve done your research and developed a positioning strategy, it’s time to implement it. Start with your employees.

They must not only understand your position, but they must also express it in everything they do. Every decision they make. It’s easy to understand when you speak about client relationships.

Take note of all the ways your employees interact with clients. Ensure each touch point mirrors your brand position. Does it closely reflect your brand, or doesn’t it? That should be the basis for every communication.

Your message should be consistent throughout your channels:

  • Company name
  • Logo
  • Product name
  • All ads
  • Public relations
  • Customer relations
  • Email communication
  • Sales programs
  • Recruiting
  • Conferences
  • Sponsorships

It’s easy to see how sales and marketing teams can use your positioning. But what about upper-level management? Their focus on a ten-thousand-foot view of things. They don’t regularly connect with customers, so when do they use it?

The answer? Everywhere.

They’re no different than other staff. Your brand positioning should guide every decision they make for the company. Is it going to lead the company closer to that ephemeral, ideal positioning? Or further away?

What’s Next?

Now it’s time to make a decision. Is your brand positioning in marketing up to snuff? Or is it time to rebrand?

If you can’t decide, look first at the research you performed on your target audience. If it’s skimpy (most are), then it’s time to rebrand. If not, check whether your tagline and slogan meet the requirements above.

If you found this information helpful, take five minutes to browse our library full of other advertising articles.

So long and good luck!

facebook linkedin twitter instagram envelope