Brand positioning is a business question

Discovering the right brand positioning for your brand requires a good understanding of the customer, the competitive market and all aspects of your own brand. The final choice has implications for your whole business, not just your marketing team. In the third and final of this week's posts on brand positioning, we look at how to make that choice.

Bringing it all together

In the previous post, we looked at how the Brand S team worked on finding a way to improve their brand positioning using the Marquetypes™ system. We'll finish the story in this post by describing how Brand S selected a new direction and finalized their brand positioning.

Our analysis of Brand S's positioning building blocks defined the customer, whose needs are strongly in the Explorer territory with a desire for exploration and self-discovery, Brand S itself rooted in Creator, with its emphasis on invention and fresh thinking and many competitive brands battling it out as Explorers by reflecting the customer personality and character -  energetic, full of possibilities, always experimenting.

In addition, when we analyzed Brand S's current brand strength, it was clearly lacking in consistency. So, although many of its Brand Vision elements were aligned to a Creator positioning, and customers perceived elements of a Creator brand in Brand S this lack of consistency undermined the brand's strength.

It was important then for the team to find a positioning that could guide all their marketing activities to achieve consistency.

Positioning options

The customer-brand-market combination (shown in the diagram above) gives the Brand S team some options, for example:

    Option 1. Recognize that the market is mainly about self- discovery and exploration and shift their position accordingly.

    Option 2. Stay true to the brand vision and make it work more effectively.

To help them make the choice between options 1 and 2 (and Option 3 that we've omitted from this post for simplicity), the Brand S team worked through the next steps of opento's Brand Positioning - group user product to dig deeper into the customer, brand vision and market building blocks.

Customers: jobs-to-be-done and tensions

The customer needs are in the area of self-discovery. But to get really sharp about the role that Brand S can play, we need to understand the jobs-to-be-done and problems to be solved.

When the Brand S team got into more detail on how this worked in their market, they focused on the tension between their customers' desire to create an online presence for themselves and their lack of skills to do that. Their self-discovery was limited by their lack of creative skill.

That gave the team a very powerful link to their own Creator brand vision and an opportunity to stand out from the competitive market and choose option 2.

A sharper brand positioning for Brand S

The new brand role definition is based on acting as a Creator brand to Explorer customers by giving them the support and tools they need to create their online presence. In short, Brand S is "a creative toolkit for my self-expression".

The marketing team and the CMO were enthusiastic but a brand positioning is not just about marketing - it is about aligning the activities of the company to deliver the brand. Sometimes an inspiring positioning is just too difficult to deliver well. That's why we recommend that a cross-functional team works together on branding.

Competences: can we really do this?

Before jumping on an inspiring solution, the team worked through a structured assessment of all the options, including taking a close look at how easy or difficult it would be to deliver each of them with their existing skills, competences and assets.

In fact, their selected positioning of "a creative toolkit for my self-expression" was one of the more challenging options and required Brand S management to invest in new customer service capabilities to support it.

Brand positioning is a business question

When selecting a brand positioning think about it broadly and ask:

Does this fit with our insights about customers?

Is it distinctive from the competition?

Can we make it happen? Do we have the capabilities?

And don't forget to listen to the team's emotional response too:

Does it inspire us?

Does it feel right for our brand?

The Brand S team achieved all of this in 30 days with a cross-functional team in different continents using our online products. They are now bringing their new positioning to life with communication, products and services suitable for a Creator brand.

Define your own brand positioning with Marquetypes™

The Brand S team used our Brand Positioning - group user product to work on their positioning options. You can find this product and other cost-effective Marquetypes™ products to help you with brand positioning by visiting the Brand Department of our store.

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