If you’re wondering what makes businesses stand out, or how to do the same for your own, a good place to start would be brand positioning.
Brand positioning is about carving out a unique space in the minds of customers. Positioning lets people know how to think of your brand by creating a specific sense of what it brings for who. For instance, Netflix is positioned as a streaming platform for millennials who want to choose their programming, vs. a fixed news network for middle-aged people who want to know what’s happening in the world.
Positioning creates a consistent image using the 4Ps – price, product, promotion, and place – to show what makes a brand different. Think distinctions between cost-effective or premium; useful or luxurious; entry-level or premium. A well-positioned brand resolves these distinctions in the minds of its market and the general public.
There are things you can control and things that you can’t when it comes to positioning.
Having a clearly defined vision and mission statement as well as core values counts for internal factors that affect how people think of your brand. Likewise, does developing personality, voice, and style to communicate your product and culture.
However, no business can hold all the cards. Externally, there are market forces and trends that position you within an overall context. For example, the coronavirus outbreak has left an indelible mark on how business is done and how people think of commercial activity. You will also have autonomous customers and pesky competitors that may be vying for the same place in the minds of people.
Thankfully, there’s a statement you can draft to test how unique you brand position is. In his book ZAG, marketing guru Marty Neumeier presents The Onliness Statement, which is structured like this:
[Brand] is the only [Category] that [differentiation characteristic] for [customer] in [market geography] who [state need] during [underlying trend].
Papermint Group is the only branding company that cares about bringing vitality to the businesses of young people in the North Coast during the transition into the fourth industrial revolution.
The statement creates a clear image as to what the brand is about and states the aims of the business to guide the perception that should be created using various strategies.