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What is Brand Positioning?

Updated: Jun 4, 2022

Brand positioning is the art of crafting a message around your product that gets people to think it's different from its competitors. Not only does brand positioning help you stand out from competitors, but it also helps you connect with customers and make money. Here's how to do it:

What is brand positioning?

Brand positioning is a way to communicate what your brand is about.

It helps you to stand out from your competition and it helps you to focus on what is most important for your business. It also helps you communicate the right message to your target audience in order for them to understand why they should buy from you.

What happens when you don't have a brand positioning strategy?

Now that we've established what a brand positioning strategy is, let's talk about what happens when you don't have one.

  • You won't have a clear idea of who you are and what you stand for.

  • You won't have a clear idea of who your target market is.

  • Your message won't be consistent from one channel to another, which means that customers will be confused about your brand story.

As an example, let's say that I'm launching my own business called "The Sandwich Store." My goal for this business is to provide delicious sandwiches at affordable prices in locations where people can get them quickly (such as train stations). If I don’t have any kind of positioning strategy in place before launching my store, it could end up looking like this:

Brand positioning strategy in three steps

  • Step 1: Understand your brand's story and personality.

  • Step 2: Analyze the competition and target audience.

  • Step 3: Test messaging with real customers (or potential customers).

1. Understand your brand's story and personality

To begin with, you need to understand your brand’s story and personality. What sets your business apart from the competition? What do people love about it? How do you want them to feel when they think about your company? These are all questions that can help define what kind of brand positioning will work for you.

2. Analyze your competition and target audience

You need to know who your competition is, and how they're doing it. You should also be able to analyze the target market for your product or service.

Ask yourself:

  • What are the strengths and weaknesses of my competitors?

  • What does the competition do well? How can I use their successes as a model for my own business?

  • Are there any gaps in the market that we can exploit by offering something new or unique?

3. Test your messaging with real customers

  • Create a survey. You can use a survey to gather feedback from customers, but you might want to do an in-person or phone focus group if you have enough budget for it. If you don’t have the budget for focus groups, try running some qualitative surveys with your most important customer segments by asking them about their problems and how your solution could solve them.

  • Ask questions about what they like about your product and what would make it better. You should ask open-ended questions that get at how customers feel in order to identify any pain points they may have with your current messaging or branding.

Brand positioning and brand identity go hand-in-hand

Brand positioning and brand identity are terms that get thrown around a lot by marketers. They might sound like they're the same thing, but they're actually quite different.

Brand identity is the visual representation of your brand. This includes logos, color schemes and images used in advertising campaigns. It's what customers see first when they come across your company or product for the first time—and it's what sticks with them in their minds after their initial encounter with you (or it's not).

Brand positioning is how consumers perceive your brand relative to competitors'. While this can be influenced by several factors--including price point, quality level and channel selection--it often boils down to two things: who you are as a company (your values) and who your products speak to (your target audience).

The most important thing about brand positioning is that you have one.

The most important thing about brand positioning is that you have one.

A great brand has a clear, consistent positioning. It is the foundation of everything they do and say. For example, when Apple introduced its first iPhone in 2007, they launched an expensive advertising campaign—not to sell phones but rather to define themselves as THE smartphone of choice for users who were “always on” and wanted access to their information anywhere. What was interesting about this campaign was that it didn’t talk about the features or benefits of the new product; instead, it talked about how people would feel after using it. In other words: Apple didn’t just position themselves as makers of smartphones (like everyone else); they positioned themselves as the company that understands how consumers want to live today!


As you can see, brand positioning is a lot more complex than it might first seem. It takes time, effort, and research to create an effective strategy that will help your company stand out from the competition. However, if you take these steps and do the work necessary to create an effective brand positioning statement for your business, then there's no doubt that your marketing efforts will reap the rewards for years to come.

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