Brand Positioning – And Why It Defines Your Success in the Digital Age
If you ever walk into a Banana Republic store, you will notice soft lighting, showcased clothing and apparel, all reflective of the brand’s premium image. Gap tends to feature a more casual image, louder than Banana Republic but stylish all the same. Trendy, as it is described on their website. There is more color in Gap. In a single trip to the mall, you may notice several clothing stores each with a distinct look and feel to it. Let’s take one more example, Old Navy. Another clothing outlet, Old Navy houses fashion staples at more affordable prices. Economical options to Gap and Banana Republic.
Now here’s the thing. Banana Republic and Old Navy are brands all part of the same group of companies – Gap. But why does Gap have separate brands? They are not unique in their approach. Many companies often market similar products differently because they cater to different market segments. In this case, Gap sits somewhere in the middle, Banana Republic caters to a more upscale customer and Old Navy becomes their mainstream, affordable offering. All of this relates to the concept of brand positioning.
A brand’s positioning is the space it occupies in your mind with respect to other brands in the same product category. And that is what it comes down to. The emotional touch points that a brand resonates with. The relationship of businesses with their consumers is the same as with friends. If you connect on an emotional level, you will move closer to each other. Otherwise, the relationship remains merely transactional and mechanical. It can never develop into loyalty. Consumers are not machines. More importantly, as entrepreneurs and business owners, we must understand that our businesses are not machines. They have the potential and power to exhibit personality and charm. To radiate human values in the way we interact with our consumers.
Positioning a brand successfully is not something only powerful global brands can do. Developing a strong brand is rooted in offering a consistent brand promise that solves an economic and emotional need of your consumer. Most businesses are successful in solving economic needs – tax consultants, your local bakery or a tire shop. But it is easy to get lost as a commodity among the sea of businesses selling similar products. Most people try to play with prices or offers to attract more clientele. It may work in the short run, but in the long haul, it’s your brand positioning that makes all the difference.
Packaging your offerings in a way which shows your brand’s economic benefits and links them to the emotional needs that a brand satisfies. In the physical space, it can be simple stuff that your competition does not do. Like remembering names of regulars who come in through your door and greeting them. However, in the digital space, brands often have to do a lot more. When your prospects are surfing through an endless variety of content online, they need a reason to come over to your site and see your products. If your brand is positioned according to your consumers’ interests, providing content that they might be interested and engaged in, you can improve site traffic and hence, business.
As brands striving to make it big in a digital space that is globally accessible, it is important to know about successful brand positioning. And how to apply and make the most of it. Standing out from the crowd depends on it.