What is Positioning?
First off, what is positioning anyways? Positioning can be a little tricky to explain and understand because it’s intangible – it’s the imaginary “position” or space a brand occupies in the consumer’s mind relative to competing brands. It’s the reason we perceive Walmart and Target differently, despite them being closely competing brands. It’s something we ALL do as consumers and something all brands have, whether it’s intentional or not. Since positioning takes place in the consumer’s mind, it’s relative and varies from person to person. It’s the marketer, business owner, and blogger’s job to make sure this position is intentional and consistent!
Positioning Your Brand and Why You Should! (Tweet this!)
Why Should You Position Your Brand?
Since your business or blog will inevitably be positioned, you might as well make it intentional, am I right?! If you leave your position up to your audience, it may be scattered and inconsistent. Clearly defining your position in the market will clarify who YOU are and what you have to offer. It also serves as a foundation for the rest of your marketing decisions!
How Do You Position Your Brand?
Who’s your target market?
First things first, you need to define your target market. How would you describe your ideal customer? Is your target market broad or narrow? You can define your target market with demographic and even psychographic characteristics like personality and lifestyle.
Once you’ve defined your target market, it’s time to research and analyze this segment. What needs do they have and are they currently being met? How can your product or service solve a REAL problem in their lives?
How are your competitor’s positioned?
I think it’s fair to say there’s A LOT of competition. And if there isn’t, there’s always the threat of new competitors. It’s important to evaluate the market to understand where your competitors are positioned. If your target market is broad, maybe there’s room for multiple competitors. Or try finding a gap in the market, that’s what we did! When our founder, Jessica Howell, was first developing Social Studio Shop, she knew at the time there was nothing quite like it!
Extra Tip: Try using a perceptual map! Choose two unrelated attributes that are relevant to your product or service. In the example below, we used price and sportiness to map out competing car brands. Assign an attribute to each axis and label each end with opposing values, like a scale! Then literally map out your own brand and your competitors!
What do you have to offer?
What do you have to offer that’s unique? And trust me, you have something special to offer, you just have to figure it out! You are usually your own target market, so think about what draws you to certain brands and not other. People buy your WHY, not your what. What are you really good at? How can you leverage your passions and talents to sell your brand?
This can be hard to determine, but once you have a clear understanding of what makes you different, your audience will see this too!
Extra Tip: Try to stay away from using attributes that are easily copied (like price) as your main points of differentiation!
Write a positioning statement!
Here’s a basic template for writing positioning statements:
“For [your target market], [your brand] is the [your main point of differentiation] among all [category in which your brand competes] because [reasons to believe].”
Of course this is only a template! Here’s an example of Amazon’s positioning statement back when they sold books exclusively (hard to believe right!) ;)
“For World Wide Web users who enjoy books, Amazon.com is a retail bookseller that provides instant access to over 1.1 million books. Unlike traditional book retailers, Amazon.com provides a combination of extraordinary convenience, low prices, and comprehensive selection.”
Once you’ve clearly defined the position of your brand, it’s time to get strategic! Your position isn’t something you can change overnight, but is something that takes patience and persistence. Your goal is to communicate your position with your audience and this can be done with social media! Keep your positioning statement in mind, and like we always say, post with a purpose!