Your brand positioning is the “space” that your services and solutions occupy in the minds of your target audience. The right positioning incorporates strong values and differentiators that are important to your customers. Brand positioning is important in deciding where you want to position your brand within its category and relative to the competition. Brand Positioning permeates virtually everything we do. It is the foundation to all communications and brand strategy. It is the disciplined thinking that guides the basis for building relationships between brands and customers.
Once you determine the way in which you can reach your market, the next thing to look at is how you are going to lure your customer to try your brand.
Here is a list of nine positioning types you can think of before deciding on which one you will attach to your brand:
1. Quality positioning
Perception of quality is probably one of the most important elements for a brand to have and can be combined with any of the other prompts below.
Quality, or the perception of quality, lies in the mind of the buyer. Build a powerful perception of quality, and you will succeed in creating a powerful brand. Al Reis and Laura Reis, authors of The 22 Immutable Laws of Branding say the best way to increase perception of quality is to narrow the company’s focus. When you narrow a product’s focus, they explain, you become a specialist rather than a generalist, and a specialist is perceived to know more, or be of “higher quality” than a generalist.
Another way to build the perception of high quality is to simply attach a higher price tag to your brand. Most people think that they know a high quality product from another, but in reality, things are not always as they seem.
Believe it or not, high price is a benefit to some customers. It allows the affluent consumer to obtain psychological satisfaction from the public purchase and consumption of a high end product. Of course, the product or service does need to have some perk or difference to justify the higher price.
2. Value positioning
Although at one time, items that were considered to be a good “value” meant that they were inexpensive, that stigma has fallen by the wayside. Today, brands that are considered a value are rising in popularity amongst consumers. Southwest Airlines is probably the best example of how a company has been able to offer discount prices and still keep a strong brand identity. In fact, most of the other major airlines have followed Southwest’s lead by rolling out value-priced flights under new, co-branded names.
3. Feature-driven positioning
More marketers rely on product/service features to differentiate their brands than any other method. The advantage is that the message is clear, and the positioning will be credible if you stick to the facts about the product. Unfortunately, feature-orientated stances are often rendered useless if the competition comes out with a faster or more advanced model.
4. Relational positioning
One of the most effective ways to create interest in a brand is to send out a positioning prompt that resonates well with potential buyers. For instance, Sketchers equates sneakers with cool and that characteristic passes to all who wear them. Apple computer, which was down on its luck in the overall computer marketplace, started asking computer users to liberate themselves from the PC camp and” Think Different.” These brands have achieved positioning based on who buys what they sell, not solely by what they sell.
5. Aspiration positioning
These are positioning prompts that offer prospects a place they might like to go, or a person they might like to be, or a state of mind they might like to achieve.
6. Problem/solution positioning
As the name implies, problem/solution prompts show the consumer how a sticky situation can be relieved quickly and easily with the brand or service. What problem/solution campaigns lack in imagination, they usually make up for in directness and credibility. For example, frozen meals cut meal preparation time to minutes. Detergents and cleansers also make good use of these prompts.
7. Rivalry-based positioning
By definition, positioning deals with how one brand is thought of compared to its obvious competitors. Therefore, the idea of a rivalry-based position might seem redundant but many campaigns take this approach. Laundry detergents, for one, are constantly going head-to-head to prove which one has the most power to lift stains.
8. Warm and fuzzy positioning
Underneath our capitalist driven needs to consume, we are still docile and emotional animals. As such, many marketers play on our feelings. In the book, Building Brand Identity: A Strategy for Success in a Hostile Marketplace, author Lynn Upshaw writes, “How people feel about a brand is oftentimes need- or desire based, which means that emotional or psychological approaches can oftentimes be very effective as positioning prompts.”
9. Benefit-driven positioning
Other brands base their entire positioning on the fact that they give back to the consumer. Discover credit card, for instance tells customers that “It Pays to Discover.” Use the card and get money back. Discover was among the first major credit cards companies to provide its users with a financial incentive for using their card.