Brand positioning is a crucial element in creating a successful marketing strategy. It involves creating a unique identity for a brand in the minds of consumers that sets it apart from its competitors.
Businesses can use several levels of brand positioning to create a clear and compelling image for their brand. Some companies like Netflix uses social listening tools insights to get more detailed insights about their customers.
Each level focuses on different aspects of the brand, such as its functional benefits, emotional associations, experiential qualities, or cultural impact. Remember, when customers buy from brands, they are putting their trust in them.
According to 2022 survey from Salsify, 46 percent of consumers in the United States would pay more to buy from trusted brands. So, understanding these different levels of brand positioning is critical to creating a marketing strategy that resonates with your target audience and creates a loyal customer base.
In this blog post, we will dive into the different levels of brand positioning and how they can be used to create a successful brand strategy.
But before diving into the different levels of brand positioning, we’ll highlight some of the fundamentals of brand positioning as well as the various types of brand positioning available.
Let’s dive in…
What is brand positioning?
As the name itself indicates, "brand positioning" is a method of positioning your brand in the minds of potential customers. However, brand positioning is entirely different from branding, which entails designing a fancy logo or determining a unique tagline.
Brand positioning strategies are essentially used to set a company apart from other competitors in the industry. When a brand is recognized as favorable, valuable, and credible by the consumer, it is said to have effective brand positioning.
The combination of those three elements should be unique to every business, and your customers create a mental space for you. This is essential because for brand positioning, more than just being unique in the market is needed.
According to brand positioning expert Will Barron of Salesman.org, "You get the chance to position your brand when you do something extraordinary."
There are different types of brand positioning, each with its own unique strategy and approach for implementation. We will help you learn more about them.
Top 5 types of brand positioning
A well-positioned brand can differentiate itself from competitors and establish a loyal customer base. Below is an in-depth look at types of brand positioning you can leverage:
1. Value-based positioning
The first brand positioning strategy is a value-based positioning strategy, in which the brand positions itself based on the value customers derive from consuming the brand's offers and becoming a buying customer.
Simply put, this type of brand positions the brand based on its value proposition. This value frequently relates to customer-centric tangible benefits, such as getting the work done, making things more accessible, and so on.
2. Customer-service positioning
Customer service is another brand positioning strategy that positions your brand based on customer service. Companies in industries known for inattentive customer service benefit from emphasizing their friendly customer service to differentiate themselves.
The most obvious advantage of this strategy is that excellent customer service can help justify a higher price point. Apple's products, for example, are expensive, but the company's support staff is friendly and quick to respond.
3. Feature-based positioning
Feature-based positioning is a fantastic positioning strategy that positions your brand based on the number of features it has. This positioning strategy is helpful in an industry with very similar types of products, like the smartphone industry.
When there is a lot of competition and the products are all the same, companies usually position their products by focusing on product-specific features like price, quality, or other micro-features that vary depending on the product sold.
This type of positioning is also known as Unique Selling Point (USP-based) positioning.
4. Price based positioning
Price-based positioning is another type of positioning that works based on price. A company or brand uses this strategy to present its product or service as the most affordable option.
Whenever you try to position your product as the cheapest on the market, you can attract a large customer base because no one wants to spend more money than necessary. Offering the lowest price is a simple way to convert prospects.
Remember, this type of positioning also comes with a few risks, including giving the prospect the wrong impression of lower product quality.
5. Problem and solution-based positioning
A problem-and-solution-based positioning strategy is one that focuses on the one-stop solution to a problem. Companies must identify and resolve customer issues in order to market their products.
This type of positioning is the best solution for those companies that are offering solutions to their customers' problems. Most customers prefer the product that provides the best solution.
This is not the end of the possibilities for brand positioning. There are more brand positioning strategies available in the marketing field. These strategies aim to provide an effective way to position your brand in potential customers' minds.
Now let’s look at the various levels of brand positioning.
Different Levels of Brand Positioning
The following are the different levels of brand positioning that can help you to create a better position in your customers' minds:
Comparative is the first level of brand positioning that involves comparing different products or brands to create a competitive edge and highlight their value. It involves placing a white-label value brand next to the most expensive brand name.
Tthe label includes a comparison to Brand X to demonstrate to potential customers or clients that the products are similar, but the brand value offers lower prices than other competitive products.
After comparing, differentiation is another level of brand positioning that focuses on unique features that cannot be duplicated. This level of positioning ensures that the product will stand out from the competition.
Barilla’s Pronto pasta is the perfect example of this level of positioning because it focuses on its uniqueness. While the company in the pasta aisle is the most competitive,
Pronto has a unique selling point—it does not require draining. The brand highlights this focal point on the product's packaging to let users know about this quality.
Segmentation is the third level of brand positioning that focuses on the particular needs and desires of the target audience. This level of branding is most helpful where there are a vast number of target audiences.
A company uses brand positioning to divide its target audience into different segments or groups. The groups are formed based on factors such as age, financial status, and so on.
For example, Bayer offers both bottles of tablets in grocery stores and smaller on-the-go packs in convenience stores. This allows them to target both consumers buying for future use and those who need immediate relief.
4. Product Attributes
Product attributes are another level of brand positioning. Remember, product attributes are features of a product that describe it. This can include the size, shape, or color of the product.
At this level of brand positioning, the emphasis is on the product or service attributes. This level of brand positioning is less effective than other levels on this list because anyone can copy the attributes of any product.
Moreover, customers do not consider attributes a priority in choosing a product. But they are interested in knowing what attributes can do for them.
5. Product benefits
Product benefits are another significant level of brand positioning because they can increase the chance of a better position for your brand in the brains of your target audience. It involves focusing on the benefits of a product or service.
Most customers like to know the benefits of the product more than other aspects. Many of the biggest companies, like Volvo, Singapore Airlines, and others, are perfect examples of the product benefits.
6. Strong belief and value
Another potent level of brand positioning is strong belief and value, because it helps you get a higher position in your target audience's mind.
This level of brand positioning is more robust than other levels of brand positioning because it gives the potential customers a reason to have blind trust in the brand.
This level of brand positioning involves a focus on building strong trust with the target audience and making the brand's value appear higher in front of potential customers.
Tesla, Apple, Maruti, and many more are excellent examples of this level of brand positioning. These companies have loyal customers who can pick their products or services simply by seeing their names and trusting the product is of the highest quality.
Tips to Develop a Strong Brand Positioning
Some top tips and easy methods to build a powerful brand positioning include:
1. Determine your customer's need
The first step in developing a brand positioning is to identify your product or service's potential customers. Only specific people in the market are your ideal customers, so identify the people interested in your product or services first.
Put yourself in their shoes and figure out what they want. Then, tailor your product or service to meet those needs to increase the chances of customers buying it.
2. Be better
After determining your customers' needs, try to be better or different than your competitors in the market.
Make a brand that is memorable and comes to the customer's mind when they hear about a product category or feature you are offering, like Coca-Cola when they hear "cold drink" or Starbucks when they hear coffee.
3. Give them a reason to buy
Lastly, provide a reason for your customers to buy your product or service. You can do that by listing top feature, and providing unique options different from your competitors.
Brand positioning is critical to any successful marketing strategy. By understanding the different levels of brand positioning, businesses can create a unique and memorable identity that resonates with their target audience. Each level offers a unique approach to building a brand that sets it apart from its competitors.
Focus on the functional benefits, emotional associations, experiential aspects, and cultural relevance of your brand or company to create a compelling image and identity that resonate with their customers.
Consider each level of brand positioning and leverage them effectively in your marketing efforts. Doing so can help you build a solid and memorable brand that sets your business apart from the competition and establishes a loyal customer base for years to come.