By Sayan Mukherjee
One of my favourite definitions is: “A brand is simply a collection of perceptions in the consumers mind”, this comes straight from one of my favourite marketing gurus: The Marketing Network. So that being said, it’s also important how you position those perceptions (nothing like some nifty wordplay to start the day, eh?).
1: Your Brand is a Promise to Your Customer
Simply put, your brand says: “Hey, this is who we are, what we do, and what we provide you with.” In this situation, positioning becomes the core of the branding process. Successful (or unsuccessful) positioning can make (or break) a brand.
For example: Mercedes stands for luxury and class, while BMW stands for power and performance reflected in their slogan “The Ultimate Driving Machine.” While Rolls Royce is all about bespoke design and customization.
2: Find Your Niche, Don’t be a Cliche
In their market-changing book: Blue Ocean Strategy, W. Chan Kim & Renee Mauborgne spoke about the importance of creating ‘Blue Ocean Spaces’ or business areas that have low-competition. A market niche is one such example: find your niche and then focus your brand addressing it.
For example: a small-time business owner that sells autographed baseball memorabilia. They can brand around their expected market niche and use the plethora of marketing options available to make profits, as opposed to trying to compete on generic sports gear alongside the giants.
3: A Clear (Brand) Message for Consumers and Internal Teams
Brand Messaging is the one thing that ties together all the content created by, and positioned alongside your brand, including how you tackle customers, your internal teams as well as your competitors.
For example, Walmarts: “Save Money Live Better” is clear, concise and gives us an idea into their target audience, that positions it head-on against Target Corporations: “Target. Expect More. Pay Less.” These also give us an insight into their customer base, and the kind of value-addition that they’re aiming to provide.
4: It Aligns Your Sales & Marketing
While often used together as a Monolithic Term, Sales is one of the functions that works along with Marketing to drive the overall business. Positioning your brand properly allows your teams to have clarity at all ends of the Sales Funnel; i.e from leads to ultimate acquisition; and this is true for both B2B as well as B2C businesses.
If your brand positioning is clear, both the people you’re aiming for, as well as the people that work for you will know what, why, and what are the expectations set and this alignment goes a long way in driving excellence for your organization, equally applicable for MoM & Pop Stores as well as Corporate Giants.
5: Your Brand Positioning Dictates Your Strategy
If you’re positioned in a premium space; say custom-made suits; your profit margins are going to be much higher as compared to something like a generic T-Shirt maker. Thus, your profit margins are going to dictate your advertising budgets, and hence eventually: your marketing strategy.
For example: Roy’s Premium Officewear has a $500 Margin on Gentlemen’s Silk Ties so they can afford to spend at least $50 acquiring new customers (or even leads, depending on their scale). Whereas, a Sportswear Giant making $50 on a T-Shirt will have to use techniques such as Economy of Scale (basically targeting high sales volumes) to make the same profits. Alternatively, they may have to scale back on manufacturing costs, such as cheaper components, or relocate to cheaper manufacturing zones.
Now that we’ve covered the major bases, you should be ready to take your branding strategies to the next level. Find out how to use positive body language to influence your clients and increase those sales!
I’m Sayan, and I occasionally write for Indspire Me. I have an almost passionate penchant for wordplay, Dota, Age of Empires II, and marketing (and overusing the Oxford Comma). I’m an alumnus of the Delhi College of Engineering, and have worked in Google for over 4 years, so yeah I know some things about Google AdWords and Google Analytics.