When advertising a new offering, you need to make sure that your messaging and your target’s perceptions of the offering are in line with one another. What use is a great product if you are advertising it as the highest quality product but your target disagrees? These are the questions that can give you headaches when going to market. To avoid this, research your market and study your competition for effective brand positioning.
- How does your offering stack up against the competition?
- What differentiates it from them?
- Do you have additional features they don’t?
- How does you price relate to them?
- Will it be easier for them to use?
All of these questions (and more) should be asked to correctly position your offering. In fact, customers determine what position your product holds in the market. To give you a head start on how to carry this out we’ve gone through some of the most common ways to position yourself in a marketplace. Check out these brand positioning strategies, study your market and customers, and attempt to shift customers views to fit your desired image.
Many products and services come to the market with a new attribute or characteristic that sets them apart form their competition. If you have any of these, use them to your advantage. Stress that your product will last longer without having to be charged, is higher quality due to the materials it’s made of, or has additional features built in to name a few. Inserting verbiage such as this into advertisements will influence your customers into believing you offering outperforms the competition’s.
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One of the most common brand positioning strategies is to use your competitors current position in the market to determine yours. You may have a bigger competitor with a larger offering, but you can stress that you give customers a more personal, customized purchasing experience. Show them that you are willing to work hard to satisfy their needs. Sometimes you can turn this position into an advantage of yours, by finding what your competition may not do well.
Many products and services in the marketplace will solve the same general problems or needs. To set yourself apart, stress that yours can be used in additional ways also. If your offering gives customers additional solutions, the potential for greater value will increase as well. When smartphones first came out, they weren’t simply a phone with internet. They were meant to replace alarm clocks, maps, GPS systems, and more. As a result they have exploded to the point where most people have one.
If you are attempting to sell your product or service at either end of the price range in the market, then using a price-quality relationship strategy may work best for you. At the high end of the market, you can stress that your offerings quality is unparalleled. At the other end you can say yours offers the best bang for your buck. For example. Walmart’s tagline of “save money, live better” influences customers by stating that saving money can leave them extra cash and improve their quality of life.
This strategy is where you distinguish yourself according to who is going to use the offering. If you have a highly specific target for one of your offerings, tailor the messaging to directly speak to them. While there might be some products that generally speak to a larger audience that includes this smaller one, you can establish yourself as a better fit. You may have a product or service that works great for a small business, and excludes unnecessary features that don’t apply, advertise to them that your offering is the best solution.
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You may have an offering that is different, yet must still compete with unrelated competition. For example, if you are a movie theater you are competing with many other events in the entertainment industry, even if they aren’t movie theaters. Have your messaging say something like, “the best way to spend your evening,“ rather than suggesting you offer the best movie selection or prices around. You essentially are stating that out of all the activities you could do, going to the movies is the best solution for entertainment. This will help you to compete with businesses all throughout the entertainment industry.
Perhaps the most difficult strategy to pull off is to position yourself as a cultural symbol. When achieved however, you will have a distinct advantage over your competition. A company that has done this well? Apple. Many of their competitors have products that have more features or come at a cheaper price. Apple established itself early as the brand everyone wanted a piece of through their product releases and marketing messaging. As competitors have come out with related offerings, Apple has continued to maintain its stronghold on the market.
You may have thought while reading this that you can use 2-3 brand positioning strategies to set yourself apart. This may be true in relation to your competition, but focusing on multiple strategies can sometimes confuse your target audience. Choose the strategy you believe best sets you apart and invest time into developing marketing messages that reinforce this. Everything your business does will influence how your customers view your brand and offerings.
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