Brand Positioning: How to Choose a Positioning Strategy for Your Brand

Take control of your brand's perception through effective brand positioning. Highlight uniqueness, differentiate from competitors, and forge strong brand associations in your audience's mind.

Have you ever considered how much influence you have over how your brand is perceived? That’s what brand positioning allows you to do. It puts you in the driver’s seat of defining how your audience will view your brand.

By strategizing effectively, brand positioning highlights your unique offerings to create a special connection with your audience. It differentiates your brand from the competition and establishes a strong brand association in the minds of your customers.

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When properly executed, brand positioning allows you to:

  • Create a clear and coherent perception of the brand among your audience.
  • Create the right associations and triggers so that your potential customers can recall your offer when they need it.
  • Speak to the audience about their specific problems in a language they understand.
  • Convey the key ideas and values of the brand that consumers share.
  • Establish a strong connection and build trust with your target audience.
  • Highlight your offer among similar ones.

A brand with clear positioning becomes more noticeable in the market. Customers are more likely to quickly understand it, remember it, and make a purchase or complete another conversion.

Types of Brand Positioning Strategies

Brand positioning is a critical aspect of your marketing strategy but how you achieve your brand positioning will depend on various factors. This includes things like your business goals, your target audience, the competitive landscape, and the industry you operate in. It’s helpful to understand how the different strategies can help you achieve your objectives. Here’s a quick primer on how the various approaches to brand positioning work:

Consumer Positioning

If you’re selling products targeted at a specific segment of people, you’ll likely find this strategy to be the most relevant. Typically, consumer positioning is most effective if you can clearly identify your potential customers by a specific set of parameters or a particular characteristic, as you would when targeting your advertisements.

Product advertising is then aimed at this category of people, creating specific connections and associations that form a memorable link with your brand in the minds of these consumers.

Brands tend to appeal to a particular audience. Consumer positioning allows you to highlight your unique selling features to your target audience, making it stand out from the competition and positioning it as the ideal choice.

Competitor-Based Positioning

When you operate in a crowded market, you’re constantly jockeying for the lead position. You need to clearly explain why you are the best choice and what distinguishes you from your competitors.

Competitor-based positioning means identifying the weaknesses of your opponents and positioning yourself as a better choice. Identify what needs (like quality, service, delivery conditions) your competitors cannot satisfy, and demonstrate that you are better suited to meet these criteria. By presenting yourself as a solution, you’ll establish that you’re different from the rest of the market and persuade consumers that you are the preferred choice.

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Category-Based Positioning

If your brand is developing an innovative product or service, offers unique features, wants to establish a new market, or is introducing an improved solution to consumer problems, you should position yourself as a leader in a certain product category.

This strategy requires demonstrating that you are offering your target audience a new, more convenient, status-oriented, and beneficial way to solve its problems with your particular product. By doing so, you are improving the product category as a whole, while persuading consumers that you’re the leading choice in the product category.

Beneficial Positioning

Beneficial positioning demonstrates what benefits a potential buyer will get by purchasing your product. The strategy is aimed at convincing potential clients using rational or emotional positioning to persuade them to buy your product.

In fierce competition, companies try their best to offer unique advantages. But when many companies offer the same benefits, it can be challenging to establish yourself as the strongest leader. Beneficial positioning is most suitable when you represent a certain group of products, work in an area of low competition, or are creating a new market.

Price Positioning

Traditionally, consumers consider goods from a rational-emotional perception and may give varying degrees of consideration to a decision. For example, a buyer will clearly spend less time choosing a pack of napkins or a pizza for dinner than a mortgage loan or an expensive piece of jewelry.

Price positioning should account for how much consideration a consumer is likely to give to price, and adjust the approach accordingly. Bearing this in mind, business owners have three options when price positioning:

  • Offer cheap goods. It makes sense to compete for the lowest price if you are working in an economy segment with overpriced products. You can also target consumers who don’t want to overpay or those who do not care much about quality or will be satisfied with the level of quality you are offering.
  • Offer more value for less money. Here, the emphasis is on discounts and promotional offers.
  • Offer more opportunities for more money. This approach is effective if the target audience expects a high level of quality and is willing to pay more for durability, personal service, or prestige.

Prestige Positioning

This strategy implies that consumers may be purchasing not only the product but also the prestige, luxury, and special treatment associated with the product. It also assumes that they will be willing to pay for it, targeting affluent and discerning customers.

By associating your brand with premium qualities and exclusivity, this strategy works well in the luxury segment. This includes all kinds of goods and services from cosmetics and food to vehicles and insurance. A company can either exclusively offer luxury items, or incorporate them into a wider product portfolio, creating an aura of sophistication and desirability. Examples include business class seats on a plane, organic fruits, and vegetables, selected coffee varieties, or exclusive fabrics.

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Choosing the right brand positioning strategy requires a solid understanding of your target audience, your product or service’s unique value proposition, and your industry’s competitive landscape.

Successful brand positioning can help you carve out a unique space in the market and in consumers’ minds, eventually driving business growth and profitability. Therefore, it’s essential to evaluate your brand’s strengths and uniqueness to select a positioning strategy that best amplifies your unique value proposition.