How Do You Construct a Brand’s Positioning?

It is very crucial for brands to establish themselves or position themselves in the market or in the mind of the customer. Brand positioning helps the consumer remember the product and thus make purchase decisions. In simple terms, positioning means designing an image of the brand and its product offerings that could occupy a distinctive place in the minds of the customer, which will help the customer in maintaining long-term relationships with the brand, make their purchase decisions, spread positive word of mouth, and other essentials. Good positioning is a situation in which the brand can sustain the Brand Substitution Test.

A brand substitution test is one in which a very successful, effective, and viral marketing campaign done by a brand is tested to see if, as a result of the campaign, the company’s product is replaced by a competitor's product. If the customers can find nothing wrong with the ad after the replacement, then the brand has failed itself. It is a situation in which, along with effective marketing campaigns, customers are also remembering the brand associated with the ad.

Hence, in this article, we will be understanding how companies can construct a brand’s positioning that is effective and impactful.

Parameters for the Construction of an Effective and Impactful Brand Positioning

The brand positioning steps can be divided into 3 parameters. These three parameters will act as a guide for the company as it designs the brand's positioning a guide for the company as it designs the brand's positioning. The parameters are −

  • Deciding the customer segment − Before deciding upon what and how to construct a brand positioning, it is important for companies to determine to whom they are selling their products. If it is Gen Z customers, the company has to use different choices of words and channels of marketing and position itself in a different way. For example, the boomers will prefer a brand with reliability, whereas Gen Z will prefer a brand with the latest features and aesthetics.

  • Defining the Points of Parity (POP) and Points of Difference (POD) − After the company has decided on its customer segment, it has to decide on its competitors. This is basically known as the competitive frame of reference. Though the company’s product can be substituted with "N" numbers of factors, it is crucial to determine its immediate competitors. After determining the competitors, it is time for the company to do a POP and POD analysis for itself. POP stands for the similarity between the brand and its competitors, and POD stands for the differences in the product offering or mode of offering between the competitor and the brand.

  • POP is the must-have qualification that customers look for; on the other hand, POD ensures that the brand is being purchased over the competitor’s brand. The company should highlight the POD and mention the POP while designing its brand positioning. For example, Subway classifies itself as a brand of healthy and good-tasting sandwich providers. The competitors of Subway are McDonald’s and Burger King. The POP between all three brands is taste, while the POD of Subway is that its sandwiches are the healthy option.

  • Conveying the brand mantra − This is the last step in which the company lets the customer know about the essence of the brand. It is like the values, vision, and mission of the brand being conveyed to its customers in 3 to 5 words. A brand mantra, from the customer’s point of view, should depict what the brand stands for, be simple, and gain traction. For example, the brand mantra of Nike is "Authentic Athletic Performance," and for Disney, it is "Family Entertainment." This acts as a guiding force for all the employees working in the company as to how to take the company ahead and also helps the customer understand what the brand is aiming for.

Measures Through Which Brands can Check the Effectiveness of Their Brand Positioning

There are two important things that brands can do for themselves to better understand if their brand positioning is going the way they desire. This will answer many questions for the company and can provide areas for improvement.

  • Perceptual maps − Companies can ask customers to position themselves on the perceptual map. It is the customer’s point of view of the brand. The four quadrants consist of are represented by perceptual maps. Both the x-axis and the y-axis are the two extreme points on which the company wants to measure itself. For example, we take the example of fast-food joints like Macdonald's, Subway, and Burger King, all these are places that offer fast food like burgers and sandwiches to their customers. The taglines of the different brands are McDonald's is "Food, Folks, and Fun", Burger King is "Bigger, Better, Burger King" and Subway is a healthy and good-tasting sandwich". Now the customer will map these three brands on the scale of taste and health.

  • As per the market positioning of the customers, the company can understand if they are being able to position themselves and how they can improve themselves to be more competitive in the market. Many brands have lost the battle because they were not able to keep up with the changing perceptions of their customers and their outlook on life.

  • Brand positioning bull's eye − this can help the company understand the different parameters that are important for them to construct their brand positioning in the market. It is a pie chart with the most important parameter in the middle, i.e., the bull’s eyes. The inner circle is also about the brand mantra, which basically stands for the essence of the brand. The second circle outside the brand mantra is about the POP and POD of businesses. This assists the company in laying the groundwork for its brand positioning. In the third circle, we have the substance or the reasons to believe in the claims made by the company. How can a company provide what it promises? The last circle is all about the values, personality, and characteristics of the brand.

Brand positioning is essential to the existence and success of the company. Brand positioning is how the market determines what the brand should be.

Updated on: 11-May-2023


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