Your brand is your promise to the world. It’s the common thread in every interaction current, and future fans have with you, and it lets them know what kind of experience to expect. But no brand can be everything to everyone, which is why brand positioning, the claim you stake within your market, is critical. Let’s take a deeper dive into what exactly brand positioning is and how you can identify and defend your unique position in your category.
Where Do You Stand in the Market?
Your brand positioning is the space your brand occupies in the market and consumers’ minds. It defines not just who you are, but who you’re not – and how you’re different from your competitors. If you’re a coffee roaster, maybe you’re more local, more limited edition, or more caffeinated than the rest. If you’re a clothing company, maybe you’re more retro, bolder, or more one-off than the others in your space.
The right brand positioning:
- Sets expectations
- Makes your brand distinctive (while respecting the parameters of your category)
- Shapes consumer preferences
- Builds brand loyalty and purchasing power
Typically distilled down to just three words, your brand positioning statement is critical to your business development, marketing, and sales efforts – and should always guide your band. Need an example? Take Everlane. Their three-pronged positioning is Exceptional quality. Ethical factories. Radical transparency.
Tip: head to your competitors’ websites, where you’ll often see their brand positioning highlighted on the “our story” page in a three-part graphic.
Defining Your Brand Positioning
Creating a winning brand positioning statement is critical to your business’s success. Whether you’re an existing brand re-thinking your positioning, or a brand new one figuring out your place in the market, consider:
- What your consumers want and expect
- What you do well – and differently
- What the other brands in your space are doing
Your positioning should:
- Be appealing and relatable
- Reflect your strengths
- Set you apart
- Be relevant to your category
A brand positioning statement is usually written as a three-word statement summarizing your key positioning points – e.g., hyperlocal, magical, on-demand – although you can expand it into a sentence or paragraph if you prefer. But the goal is to reflect a positioning that no other brand in your space can claim. If there’s overlap, narrow down your market or rethink your positioning until you have your own unique stake in your category. Always avoid the generic: every brand claims to be “innovative” and “customer-focused.” But similarly, don’t get too weird, or customers won’t know what to do with you.
Once identified, your brand positioning will underpin all of your branding and outreach efforts – so make sure it’s a winner.
The Best Brands Bend With the Market
The thing about markets is that they change. Your brand might be a standout competitor at launch, but as your niche becomes more competitive and crowded (or the copycats start to show their faces), it’s easy to get lost in the crowd. The trick is to stay deeply informed about not just your brand and its strategy but also what your competitors are doing and what kind of change is on the horizon. If you’ve evolved or the market has, it’s time to reposition and rebrand so that you remain a leader in your field. The brands that are willing to evolve in this way are the ones with staying power – they’re the coconut trees that bend, rather than break, in the wind.
Talk to Us About Your Brand Positioning
If your brand is struggling to find its place in the market or stand apart in a changing environment, you might need to rethink your brand positioning. Talk to the team at StellaPop about conducting a brand audit. We can help you identify your unique strengths and points of differentiation – and help you define a powerful brand position that will inform both your business and marketing strategies going forward.