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Branding expert David Aaker defines brand position as “the part of the brand identity and value proposition that is to be actively communicated to the target audience and that demonstrates an advantage over competitive brands.” Put more simply, brand positioning is the art of making choices. Those choices determine how customers will think of you: what you say and the unique way you'll help solve their problems.

The best, most competitive brands are deliberate and make hard choices. Try to say and be all things to all people and you'll end up lost in a sea of sameness. In a crowded market, deliberate choices create clarity around what you do and how you do it.

Making difficult choices is often easier said than done. When developing your brand or product positioning, keep these four things in mind:

  • Be relevant: You have to know who your target audiences are. What are their functional needs? Now, go deeper and look at their emotional needs. Ask yourself what matters most to your current audience. Make sure that what you’re offering and saying is relevant to their highest order needs. Choose to serve your audience, not yourself.
  • Be distinct and ownable: Do your homework. Who are the competitors serving your audiences’ needs? How well are they doing it? What are they saying? How are you serving people differently? Choose to feature it. Choose to say it. By occupying a space only you can own, people will begin to think of you differently.
  • Be believable and credible: Just because you do or offer something doesn’t mean it’s worthy to position on. Do you do it well? What would your customers say? Is it believable today? Or is it something you’re working on? While your brand can be aspirational, your positioning needs to be honest and true to where you are today and what you can honestly deliver and own. Consumers will call you out otherwise. You need meaningful proof. Choose to own your current strengths and differentiators, and as your brand evolves closer to your long-term goals, so too can your positioning.
  • Keep it simple: Your brand positioning is the compass for the outward expression of your brand. It guides how you will market yourself. It’s not a tagline or messaging. But it’s the overarching strategy that unifies many efforts and teams including both sales and marketing. Choose to keep it simple so everyone in your organization can understand and own it. If you do it well, everyone within your organization will consistently deliver on it each and every time.

Is it time to take a fresh look at how you're positioning your brand or products? We can help. Let’s chat.

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