At this point, if you’ve read the first of this four part series, you should have gotten a sense of how others view your brand both inside and out. That means collecting insight from everyone, from your employees to your customers. Be sure to invite as many perspectives as possible. You want to get an honest view of your brand’s reputation from different sources and opinions, not just from people that only have nice things to say. This will help you get a genuine sense of your brand’s current reputation and position.
Once you’ve gone through the discovery stage and you understand the core purpose of your business you’re ready to define your brand positioning strategy. Your positioning strategy should be built on knowing what problem you are solving in the marketplace and the reason you’re motivated to resolve it. Remember, the marketplace is filled with competitors. Defining your brand will differentiate your business from the rest.
So, let’s step back a moment and introduce the three most important elements of the define stage; identify your position in the marketplace and focus on the direction you want to go next, build personas using a collection of your ideal customers, then create a brand story that resinates with the customers you want more of.
- Brand Positioning Strategy
- Brand Story
Before we can effectively create a brand positioning strategy, we need to understand why it is important to position your brand in the first place. For many small businesses standing out in a crowd is hard to do. Especially when they take the “me too” approach, as many do. “I can do everything they can do.” If there is no difference between you and your competitors other than price, you’re trapped in a commodity market that generally only goes in one direction — down.
Look, I think we can all agree that, in order to get from point A to B you have to know where you are in the first place. By understanding where your business currently lives in the marketplace you can effectively navigate your business into more favorable and profitable space. That’s where the competitive analysis comes into play. Starting with differentiating your business, creating a compelling brand story, making it relevant and believable, and making sure you can deliver on your brand promise (exceeding your customer’s expectations). All of this will drive your messaging and the creation of a tagline that is authentically aligned with your brand and the customers that want to buy from you.
So, get started! A simple Google search of your competitors should get you going. Other than price, what are they doing better than you. Do they have a clean, easy to navigate website that is mobile friendly? Are they explaining the benefits of their product or service clearly? Be honest with yourself. Where can you improve? Are you getting the kinds of customers you want?
Done right, the “Define Stage” will help you create language that is geared toward your ideal customer, initiating a conversation that ultimately will result in more sales but more importantly, more loyal customers.
As always, if you have questions — reach us anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org
Next Thursday we'll talk about the part everyone wants to jump to first — design.