The foundation of any integrated marketing campaign is developing a brand position. A thorough understanding of who you are, what you do, and why you’re in business is extremely important, as well as planning how to communicate that message to customers. Getting to a new brand platform is a process that takes time and careful consideration. The following is a process that we’ve used with lots of success.
What is the value proposition that you offer customers? And more importantly, how is that different from what your competitors offer? The key to winning market share is brand differentiation. Sometimes the differences are apparent and significant. In other situations there are only small distinctions that need to be magnified in order to resonate with consumers.
An Inside Look
In a meeting with key company decision makers and stakeholders, discuss the vision and mission of the company, the internal culture, desired brand personality and analyze the competitive landscape. Take this input and incorporate that into a hypothesis that should first be tested through research within the business category.
An Outside Look
The best way to understand consumer behavior is to ask questions. Talk to existing customers, prospective customers and even people that chose to do business with your competition. What are the features and benefits they are looking for? How important is price, service, selection? What are the perceptions of your company versus the competition? What motivates their buying decisions?
Include online research because it allows you to reach the greatest number of people in the least amount of time. We also recommend in-person and/or phone conversations because speaking directly to consumers allows you to dig deeper with follow-on questions.
Branding is part art and part science. The insights yielded by research should help to identify a brand position that is in clear contrast with the competition. This differentiation becomes the umbrella brand strategy, helps to form brand attributes along with the brand promise and becomes the blueprint for all communications.
Developing your brand position takes time and effort, but this process should help you to reach your goals. What are your branding issues? Are you stuck in one of these steps? Let me know in the comments.
And for more information on developing your brand position, check out my free eBook, “The 7 Keys to Integrating Your Company.”