Why is it that when researching brand positioning everything that you read is BORING. As a business owner your brand should be one of the most exciting parts of your business but somehow we have managed to suck all of the life out of it. Certainly there is nothing wrong with discovering marketing formulas that work and applying them to your brand but it can’t all be analytical. We have to put feeling into our brand.
If you have a hard time connecting your mind and your heart as it relates to your brand, visualize yourself in your customers’ shoes. Ask yourself these questions to get the wheels turning. When people see your brand;
- what do you want them to think?
- how do you want them to feel?
- what do you want them to experience?
If you are still having brand block then think of brands you have interacted with and ask yourself these questions above about their brand. Start noticing qualities you appreciate or don’t prefer in other brands and relate those to how you would like your customers to interact with your brand. Once you are starting to get a feel of how you would like your brand to be represented it is time to start creating content you believe in. However, it is not enough to just want your brand to look and feel a certain way–it has to connect with your purpose, values and vision. Your purpose is why you do what you do. Your values are what you stand for and your vision is where you are going. These are prerequisites to building a brand story and positioning your brand in the market. If you don’t take the time needed to define your purpose, values and vision you are giving others the license to define your brand for you and you have worked too hard for that!
Now that you have taken the time to visualize yourself in your customer’s shoes and define your purpose, values and vision it is time to understand your core, sub and niche markets. For example in the realm of health–your core market might be health, your sub market could be nutrition and your niche might be diabetic nutrition. Determining your core, sub and niche markets help you figure out where you stand in the respective markets. This helps define your brand strategy.
To begin with, your task is to figure out where you fit in your core market. Start by asking yourself, how saturated is my business’s core market? How much equity does my business have in the core market? Using the pie analogy, understand that the bigger the piece of the pie that you own in your core market the more brand awareness you will have and the bigger your brand strategy will be, or need to be. On the other hand, if you have a smaller piece in your core market it might be challenging to gain that brand awareness, thus having a defined sub and niche market can help reduce the size of your market competition and enable you to position your brand more visibly. So how do you find your niche market? Take some time to think about how you are different. Do your personal life experiences lend to a specific niche market? Remember consumers are craving authenticity so if your niche is originating from something organic in your life it will shine through in your brand. You have to understand who you are and the foundational elements of your company to discover your niche.
Finally, as a brand trying to stand out in the market it is important to follow the three principles below.
- Be agile. Simplify your message and be willing to adapt as you see the need or as the world requires.
- Be Smart. Be willing to innovate what you do and how you do it. Try new things.
- Be Present. Get the message of who you are out to the world and those whom you serve.
Ultimately, what you do will change as the market and the world evolves. Be open to that and expectant of it. Your anticipation will put you ahead of the game and will enhance your brand’s position. If you are agile, smart and present within your business then you are setting yourself up for success!