Remember those terrible '90s Canon EOS Rebel commercials with Andre Agassi and his super sweet mullet? You know, the ones where he would peer over his dark sunglasses and say, "Image is everything!" Now we all know there are very few marketing strategies that trump a well placed mullet, but honestly, Canon was right on. In marketing, image is everything. It's what attracts consumers to your brand and sets you apart from your competition. It is your messaging, it is your imagery, but most of all, it is your brand positioning. In other words, it's the process of establishing your brand in the minds of consumers. In some ways this is a natural process, but for most successful brands, this process is a well thought-out strategy. So, how is your brand positioned? Do you know? Have you given this some thought? How is your brand positioning reflected in your marketing and social media?
The first thing that you should have in place is a well thought out and well crafted brand positioning statement. This will be used for internal purposes to help you make marketing decisions that will steer your customer’s perception of your brand. If you do not have a brand positioning statement check out our Brand Positioning Statement Worksheet to help you create one, or maybe tweak the one you currently use. To make sure your marketing is reflective of your brand, here are a few signs that you may need to go back and evaluate your brand's position in the marketplace and in the eyes of consumers.
You don't have a brand positioning statement
This is pretty self explanatory and should be step #1 in your marketing. Take the time and create one!
You are using a tag line as a brand positioning statement
A tag line is a great marketing tool and should be an external representation of your brand. Your brand positioning statement is the internal statement that dictates who you are, how you are different, and why consumers are attracted to you. This should be the basis for all your marketing.
Your branding is missing the mark
There are a few positioning mistakes you can make that have a negative impact on your brand. Here are a few examples from Management Study Guide:
Under positioning - Customers have a blurred and unclear idea of the brand.
Over positioning - Customers have limited awareness of the brand.
Confused positioning- Customers have a confused opinion of the brand.
Double Positioning - Customers do not accept the claims of a brand.
Missing your internal culture
In many ways your brand is your culture or should at least be a reflection of your culture. The more authentic you can be in your brand positioning the more natural your marketing will be.
Not including your competition
To really understand where you fit, you need to have an honest evaluation of your competition. What sets you apart? What do they do better? What do you do better? Don't be afraid of your competition, just understand the best ways to differentiate your brand from theirs.
Being focused on low prices
Everyone likes to save money, I get it, but being the "Walmart" of your industry isn't always the best look. Don't believe me? Check out the People of Walmart. Now, having great prices or being a great value doesn't automatically connect you with people dressed in terrible outfits, but the lowest price model rarely works over a long period of time. It's not sustainable unless you are Walmart.
Lack of consistency
Setting some brand standards for logos, colors, fonts, and imagery will help your brand establish some consistency. By not using the same marks, styles, voice in messaging you are creating a brand that appears confused. When compared to the competition, consumers will gravitate toward the brand that offers a professional presentation and clearly established standards.
Do any of these issues ring a bell? Take a look in the mirror and give your marketing a test. Review your brand positioning to see if you are satisfying these 7 items. In the long run it will help you develop a stronger brand.
If you found this blog helpful, check out these other related topics:
- 17 Tips To Help You Build Your Brand
- 3 Ideas to Improve Your Brand Experience
- Want People Talking About Your Brand? Create A Branded Hashtag