Why brand positioning matters. Even if you’re just starting out.

Successful companies have one important thing in common: a really strong brand.

And a strong brand should be a priority for all businesses striving for success – even if you’re starting out  – and trust me, the proof is in the numbers.

Brands that are consistently marketed see an average revenue increase of 23%.

And we know that successful branding yields benefits, such as an increase in customer loyalty, improved image, and of course, an increase in client base.

But a brand is much more than a tagline or a fancy logo. To build a strong brand it starts with a brand position.

Brand positioning is the process of positioning your service, product or company a certain way in the mind of your customers. It’s about selling the concept or idea that will motivate the purchase. And, a good brand position is what will set you apart from the rest.

But it’s not always easy.

Positioning is one of the most ambiguous concepts and can be hard to pin down. That’s usually why many startups or businesses starting out don’t get it right. Well, at least not the first time.

A positioning strategy statement needs to be clear, concise, and uncomplicated. It has to take into consideration the customer’s needs. It should also provide a compelling reason why potential customers must buy your brand.

And this is why it’s so important…

A clearly defined positioning strategy statement guides all your marketing and marketing communications strategies. Without it, you’ll be executing marketing tactics like Facebook ads, direct mail or designing websites that are disjointed and misaligned.

In short, your customers will get confused.

3 steps to create your own brand position

Creating your own brand positioning strategy involves diving deep into the details of your brand and discovering what you do better than anyone else. How can your business, product, service stand out?

These 3 steps will be help you create a brand positioning statement that’s unique to your business.

1.Conduct competitor and customer research

If you’re currently marketing your product or service does your marketing stand out? Start by first considering your target customer and ask yourself three simple questions: Who are they? What is their core problem? How do you help them (and add benefit)? Doing an audit and understanding how you serve those potential customers is a perfect starting point.

Next, determine how your product or service is different from the rest in the market. It’s also important to understand the market you’re in and what you’re competitors are doing. The research you conduct will allow you to decide what you can do better and what will give you that edge.

Not sure where to start? Ask your customers. Ask your sales team. Or go to the Googles.All these different methods of gathering customer or competitor research will allow you to decide what you can do better and give you that edge.

2. Identify what makes your brand unique

Now that you have the research you can start to see key themes and trends in the data. You may start to see a repetition in key words or notice common benefits popping out of the data. As you start to compare your product or service, you’ll start to see where your product can stand alone. This is not about the how or the what. This is about the why. Why your company exists. If you haven’t watched the Simon Sinek talk about finding your ‘why’ you need to do so right now.

By figuring out your unique selling proposition (or why), will essentially make it easier for your brand to be unique and stand out. And let’s be honest, customers want brands that can speak directly to them.

The Cube noted that “48% of consumers expect brands to know them and help them discover new products or services that fit their needs.”

3.Create your position

Now the fun part (at least I think so). It’s time to take what you learned and create a brand positioning statement.

First, take what you learned (I find it the easiest to place all those benefits and key words from your research on a whiteboard in front of you) and start to draft a simple and compelling statement. It doesn’t have to be hard. BUT you do have to keep your customer in mind. You want to lead them in making their buying decision not tell them what to do.

According to The Cult Branding Company, “a positioning statement is a one or two-sentence declaration that communicates your brand’s unique value to your customers in relation to your main competitors.”

Remember, communicate the value of your brand and the rest will fall into place.

After you have the position statement, ask yourself, does it work?

Take the time to test the concept with your audience. They are always your best litmus test.

But here is the really, really  important part; ensure that is it reflected in everything you do.

Your positioning statement should be the heart of your business and it should be clearly communicated and reflected in every interaction with your customers. Leaders like Nike and Apple have exceptional brands because they live and breathe their positioning statements.

And guess what, so can you.