Brand Positioning-Carving A Space For Yourself In The Minds Of Customers
Brand positioning is the place that a brand occupies in the minds of the customers vis- a- vis that of the competitors. We can think of a ladder inside the minds of the customers and the rungs of the ladder as the brands. Dr. Philip Kotler defines brand positioning as “the act of designing the company’s offering and image to occupy a distinctive place in the mind of the target market”. Brand positioning thus differentiates your company’s product from that of the competitors by way of functional attributes, product quality, prices and most importantly the way the consumers perceive your company and its products. This consumer perception is shaped by the positioning by creating brand associations in the minds of consumers so that they perceive your brand the way you want.
Objective Of Brand Positioning
Positioning is not about creating something new or different, but to manipulate the mindset and to re-tie existing connections (Al Ries & Trout).The objective of positioning is to place the brand into the minds of stakeholders; customers and prospects in particular at the position you want, depending on your resources and brand identity. It’s the rational and persuasive reason to buy the brand in highly competitive target markets (Kotler & Keller). Therefore it is essential to understand and to know the position a brand owns in the mind of a customer instead of defining what the brand stands for. To position a brand efficiently within its market, it is critical to evaluate the brand objectively and assess how the brand is viewed by customers and prospects (Al Ries & Trout).
A brand positioning strategy therefore involves creating brand associations in customers’ minds to make them perceive the brand in a specific way.In order to create a desired positioning for your brand, you need to understand the needs and wants of your customers, understand what your company’s and brand capabilities are and to understand how the competitors are positioning their brands. Then you need to make a brand positioning statement that resonates with your customers, can be delivered clearly by you depending upon your resources and one that is different from your competitors. The final thing you need to do is to reflect this brand positioning in everything that is related to the brand.
Positioning should be able to capture the heart and soul of the brand and communicate it effectively to its target market. According to Al Ries and Trout, the secret of a successful position is to balance a unique position with an appeal that’s not too narrow. Organizations should look for manageable smaller targets which deliver the appropriate and unique value proposition rather than a bigger homogeneous highly competitive market. Its success is captured by the willingness to sacrifice a minor role in the total market in return for leadership in specific oligopolistic market segments (Al Ries & Trout).
Brand Positioning And The Differential Advantage Created In The Customers’ Minds
Brand positioning ensures that all activity related to a brand has a common aim; is guided, directed and delivered by the brand’s tangible and intangible benefits to be bought; and it focuses at all points of contact with the customer.In order to create a distinctive place in the market, a niche market has to be carefully chosen and a differential advantage must be created in the customers’ minds. Brand positioning is a medium through which a company can inform its customers what it wants to achieve for them and what it means to them. Brand positioning, eventually,forms customers’views, opinions and perceptions. Brand positioning is the key to a proper marketing strategy whereby it can explain the brand in detail along with the unique selling proposition of the brand, the similarities and dissimilarities with the competitive brands and the reasons for customers to buy that brand.