Reasons Brands Fail: #3 Positioning Work Bypassed
Many, many brands have failed simply because the company didn’t first stop to think about where the organization fit in the marketplace. You need to know where you intend to stake out your claim in the market long before you can make relevant promises on what you will deliver.
Your brand positioning work establishes where in the market the business stands, and who you intend to serve. Is yours a price-value play? A superior-technology play? A service advantage? Determining your positioning naturally determines which services – and promises — you will provide to the marketplace. It is this promise of what you provide that makes your brand stand out from the competition.
Creating a Connection
Your pre-branding positioning work helps you determine your strategic placement in the market. That position needs to be strong enough to stand out from the crowd and above your competition. Ideally, you promise something unique, something your competition can’t provide; however, plenty of successful brands exist without claiming to be one-of-a-kind or unparalleled because they proactively manage their brand while others don’t.
Proper positioning requires an evaluation of your core function or service. It is a reflection of your organization’s strengths and commitments.
Positioning work is easy to overlook, even for marketing people enticed by the distracting shiny- object prospects of new logos, websites and trade show tchotchkes. Many times a company will say, “We already know what we do, we can skip this part.” Yes, you may know what you do, but you also must consider how what you do impacts your target audience – from their point of view. Does what you do solve a point of pain or bring the customer closer to a strategic growth opportunity? Would they be excited to find you and what you offer? Or does your company function as a commodity offering the customer can find most anywhere? Understanding the real and perceived impact of your product or service on your audience is necessary to creating a brand that resonates with them. Brands are all about the emotional connection that customers feel with your business, so you must take time to identify that connection and tie it into the product or service you provide.
Positioning is the platform upon which you will eventually create this distinct impression in your customer’s mind of how your brand is perceived when compared to alternatives. It turns the services or products you provide into something meaningful to the buyer. The human brain makes buying decisions in the area dictated by emotions, not language, and failure to recognize this reality undermines significant branding investments. Powerful positioning strategies help you capitalize on the emotional drivers of your target buyers.
Once you’ve figured out your brand position, it becomes the basis for building your entire branding experience, which is why it can’t be overlooked…unless you want to risk your branding investment.
Getting Help When You Need It
Does all this talk about brands and positioning get confusing when you try to apply it to your own company? Not to worry. Ward can help you identify a gap-creating position and brand strategies that resonate with your target buyers and influencers. Contact us today to learn more about our market positioning and branding services.