Positioning Your Brand: common mistakes and how to avoid them

Positioning Your Brand: common mistakes and how to avoid them

Positioning your brand for maximum success can be hard in competitive markets. However, with the right strategy you can gain a competitive edge, and create a lasting impression. In this article you'll learn the common mistakes brands make and discover how to avoid making them.

Table of Contents

Positioning your brand is key when it comes to customer loyalty, recognition, and sales. It’s vital for creating trust with potential customers and providing value that makes them come back for more.

But many businesses get it wrong, leading to confusion among their target audience and damage to their reputation — luckily, this doesn’t have to be the case! In this article, I’ll provide actionable advice on how to successfully position your brand in the market and avoid common mistakes along the way.

What is Brand Positioning?

Brand positioning is a marketing strategy that focuses on how to best present your brand to potential customers. It’s about creating an identity that sets your business apart from competitors and resonates with the target audience.

To be effective, brand positioning must involve research and analysis of your industry, enabling you to identify who you are and where you stand within the market. Brand positioning involves understanding your unique selling points, what differentiates you from competitors, and how best to communicate these aspects to customers.

The goal is to create an association in consumers’ minds between your company attributes and their wants or needs when choosing a product or service. With a well-defined position, customers can recognise why your product or service has greater value than the competition for them in particular.

Successful brand positioning works by taking advantage of factors such as customer emotions, preferences, loyalties and perceptions when formulating a strategy. By creating an alignment of values between products/services and customers’ moving trends, expectations and culture, brands can build trust faster than ever before.

It’s important that branding becomes integrated throughout every aspect of business operations — from developing appropriate designs for packaging products to creating text-based content for digital campaigns. Long-term efforts in building brand recognition by staying consistent with all messaging should never be underestimated — it increases the chances of bringing like-minded individuals into the fold organically over time.

By clearly communicating a defined mission at all touchpoints throughout the customer journey (from website landing pages to direct mail), businesses increase user loyalty while at the same time attract new prospects based on common values shared through their message. This combination can aid businesses in outshining the competition — leading consumers towards more cost effective solutions they actually need rather than one they were tricked into buying based solely on price incentives alone.

The 8 benefits of brand positioning

Brand positioning is the process of creating a competitive advantage in the minds of consumers by positioning your brand in a unique way relative to your competitors. It helps organisations to gain recognition and credibility in their industry and can help them stand out from their competitors. Here are 8 key benefits of effective brand positioning:

1. Brand Recognition

By establishing a brand image that customers recognise it allows companies to stand out in their industry and form customer loyalty. Positioning can be used both online and offline through marketing materials, which make customers aware of the nature of the organisation.

2. Stand Out From Competition

By defining a unique position within an industry companies can ensure they stand out from the competition and be seen as an authority figure in their sector. Customers will remember a company for its position whereas if there is no defined brand image one runs the danger of blending in with rivals and being forgotten by customers.

3. Increased market share

Properly positioning one’s brand against its competition enables companies to capture more market share than otherwise would be possible. By tying certain aspects of the company itself to a potential customer’s needs, it turns into a win-win situation for everyone involved – customers get what they want, and businesses get increased market share.

4. Easier communication with customers

It’s easier for organisations engaged in successful brand positioning strategies to communicate their message effectively with customers when competing against other brands or within an industry than if their branding activities were undefined or absent altogether. Attaching a particular meaning or benefit to each party involved makes it simpler for the customer to remember what exactly the organisation stands for when searching for goods or services later on down the line.

5. Increased Buyer Confidence

Positioning increases perceived value by improving buyer confidence:

  • Customers perceive more value when they have trust in your product or service due to knowing what you represent;
  • A better reputation can drive sales through an increased respect for products and services;
  • Customers that enjoy associating themselves with brands they deem reputable, will often become repeat buyers or brand advocates.

6. Long term strategy

carefully crafted positioning statement helps clarify target markets, desired outcomes, focuses services around customer needs and drives brand direction. This builds clarity as to who to focus on when creating campaigns, avoiding wasting resources on inappropriate targets or those not likely to generate high ROI’s.

7. Enhanced goodwill

Branding is a powerful tool that can help businesses differentiate themselves from the competition and create an emotional connection with their customers. A successful branding strategy will develop goodwill within their target market and ensure customer loyalty.

8. Improved profitability

Taking steps to properly position your brand also helps to increase the long-term profitability of your organisation. Companies engaging in successful brand positioning can often:

  • command slightly higher prices; 
  • generate more repeat business; 
  • achieve a lower cost per transaction; 
  • gain higher customer retention rates; 
  • and capture greater market exposure.

5 common mistakes to avoid when positioning your brand

Positioning your brand incorrectly can be harmful in many ways, and there are a few common mistakes that often lead to failure. To make sure you avoid these pitfalls and present your brand in the most beneficial way, here are five of the most common mistakes to watch out for when positioning your brand.

  1. Not understanding your market: Every business needs to understand who they’re targeting before they try to position their brand effectively. Keep an eye on industry trends, changes in consumer behaviour, research competitors and target audience demographics to ensure you’re not missing any crucial facts or details about who’s likely to buy from your company.
  2. Not setting clear goals: When you understand your target market, it’s time to set some realistic yet measurable objectives for your branding strategy. Define clear goals for each stage of the branding process – from creating meaningful content and communications to developing sales strategies – so that you know exactly why, who, what and where results should come from.
  3. Creating messages without substance: A clever catchphrase or clever online advertisement won’t help if there’s no real message behind it once the consumer clicks through or actively engages with the actual offering. Create content that is interesting, informative and resonates with consumer needs rather than spots of irrelevant coverage across different niches where audiences may not even be considered prospects in the first place!
  4. ​​Disregarding consistency: If you want consumers to build trust in your offering then having a consistent approach across all communication channels is essential – it helps create familiarity as well as strengthen relationships through recognisable messaging points which activate recognition within certain contexts at times of decision making.
  5. ​​​Relying too heavily on trends: While keeping abreast of changes in popular culture can be beneficial when it comes to attracting new customers; just keep in mind that jumping on every trend could harm existing relationships given that current followers will undoubtedly expect more mature communication approaches as opposed those which fit around fleeting moments of relevance that come from rapidly changing social phenomenons such as hashtags/words etc.

Let’s explore how you can strengthen your brand positioning by applying certain strategies.

Identifying and understanding your target audience

Before undertaking any marketing campaign, it’s important to accurately identify and understand the target audience. Knowing who they are, what they want, and how they interact with your brand is essential for producing successful outcomes.

The first step in understanding your target audience is to create detailed buyer personas. Taking into account as much information as possible will give you a greater sense of who you’re addressing, like age, gender, income level, job title, industry and geographic location. Knowing these common traits or interests can help you create an accurate representation of your ideal customer.

In addition to analysing demographic data from surveys and polls, include insights from customer interviews and feedback on social media to determine reactions to previous campaigns or products.

Don’t just focus on the facts. Analyse the emotions that may have been mentioned. This gives you a much more three-dimensional view of the individual people behind the numbers.

Once you have researched everything related to the target audience such as their needs, preferences, and interests; it’s time to determine the most effective channels through which messages should be relayed. For example: will digital marketing generate different results compared to traditional channels?

Companies can maximise the ROI of their efforts across product development, pricing strategy and positioning campaigns by incorporating an understanding of target audiences into their strategic planning.

Crafting a unique selling proposition for your brand

A Unique Selling Proposition, known as a USP, is a statement that clearly articulates what makes your brand different from its competitors. It should be the core of your marketing and sales efforts and demonstrate to customers why they should choose your product or service over the competition.

Having a strong USP helps differentiate your business from others in your industry, driving potential customers to your brand and helping to increase conversion rates.

Crafting your USP

To create an effective USP, you’ll need to identify what makes your product or service different from, superior to or more desirable than other offerings on the market. This means doing research by asking current customers what they value about you most or surveying prospective customers about their needs or preferences. Take into account elements such as price point, customer service experience, product features, delivery speed and much more.

Once you’ve identified the unique aspects of your offerings, develop messaging around these points which resonates with both existing and prospective customers. Keep it simple so it’s easy for people to remember it; after all, if it’s not memorable then it won’t be particularly effective. Make sure each element of your message is persuasive enough that potential buyers take notice!

Promoting your USP

When promoting your USP ensure everything communicates the same message strongly. That’s how you turn prospects into paying customers who won’t mind paying more for something they believe is valuable.

  • Think like your customer or target audience;
  • give them reasons why they should purchase from you now;
  • Use powerful and persuasive copy, but keep it simple;
  • Be creative while crafting campaigns that showcase who you are as a company;
  • Use visuals such as images or engaging videos on social media platforms/websites to draw attention towards conveniently placed calls-to-action buttons.

All these measures will increase brand visibility & ultimately lead to more conversions.

Discover these branding resources to learn more.

Using the right messaging platforms

Choosing the right Messaging Platforms for your marketing campaign requires in-depth understanding of your target audience, business goals, and communication objectives. With so many available choices on the market, proper decision making can easily become an overwhelming process.

When choosing a messaging platform, consider its strengths and weaknesses. Consider various factors such as user demographics, message types (text, multimedia, rich media), platform compatibility, scalability, pricing plans, security level and other metrics that matter to your audience. Additionally, consider any emerging trends or current events that may influence or shape the messaging environment.

In addition to specialised features offered by each platform, analysing user behaviour is also essential for gauging success of each channel option. Segmenting users allows marketers to better understand their behaviours and interactions with each messaging platform. Through segmenting audiences based on age groups, device types used (i.e mobile or desktop), platforms used (Android or iOS), etc., marketers can identify potential opportunities faster which can make better decisions when selecting a messaging app option from the marketplace.

Customer demographics are important when determining which platform or channel will best suit your marketing campaign’s needs. Asking about what apps people currently use in addition to considering historical usage patterns such as peak conversations times and levels of engagement across demographics are key pieces of information needed when making this decision. With this knowledge comes an understanding of an audience’s habits so campaigns are designed around peaks to optimise results as much as possible.

Finally, measuring success metrics is also important when selecting the right messaging platforms for you business. Identify if open rates or response rates are more successful between different channels then adjust plans accordingly by increasing spending on higher performing channels while scaling back on those producing lower results. By regularly evaluating performance trends it becomes easier to determine where precious time and money should be invested in order to achieve maximum returns from investments made into these platforms

Measuring your success with analytics and metrics

Measuring your success with analytics and metrics can be a great way to identify the effectiveness of your brand positioning. By noting the KPIs (key performance indicators), you can gain insight into how well your brand is performing in terms of both reach and engagement.

Gathering data from surveys and focus groups can help you understand the preferences and interests of your target audience, which can be used to create messages that resonate with them. Additionally, tracking customer feedback on social media channels can provide valuable insights into how potential customers perceive your brand, allowing you to adjust your positioning accordingly.

Adjust and adapt your brand positioning strategy

Interrogate the facts, evaluate your options, and adjust accordingly. That’s the name of the game when it comes to staying ahead of the competition with a brand positioning strategy that evolves as trends emerge and strategies shift.

Start by engaging in an audit – inspect your messaging, look for cracks in your story, assess what resources you can access to reach different segments. What new tools do you need? Who do you need on your team? Be honest with yourself about where you can add value and why it’s better than anything else out there.

Then, take action to refine your process. Iterate based on data-driven insights and flexible research techniques (qualitative & quantitative). Get creative with experimenting with different strategies or messages across multiple channels until you find what works best.

At all times be mindful of how your brand is being perceived – keep tabs on industry shifts, customer feedback and competitor tactics. Set filters in place so nothing gets past you that parts ways with who you are as a company. By carefully adapting and responding over time to new information, you’ll set yourself up for continuous success.

Final say

Positioning your brand is an incredibly important part of running a successful business. Unfortunately, a lot of entrepreneurs make mistakes along the way. However, these mistakes can be avoided if you take the time to learn about effective brand positioning and how to ensure your message is having an impact. With the right approach, your message can resonate with your customers and help your business reach new heights.

Want to get feedback on your brand positioning? Check out my Branding Coaching services to book a strategy session with me.

You might also Like