A tricky (brand) position
For a brand agency, there’s nothing more satisfying than when a client goes on to own its desired market positioning. But it’s easier said than done.
Throughout the strategic phases of a brand development process, branding agencies spend lots of time labouring over Visions and Missions, Essences and Values. The fine art of crafting the Positioning Statement is often a particular source of frustration.
But no brand agency ever said branding was easy, and clients who understand the value of a good brand know there’s reason to sweat the detail. Each and every component of a strategic brand platform is designed to play an active role in helping an organization achieve its desired market position – in other words, the area of the market a brand wants to be associated with in the minds of its stakeholders.
Essentially, brand positioning is about differentiation. Once a business has identified a space in the market that it can respond to or compete in, its brand needs to support it with an identity and communication that uniquely differentiates it from competitors. Apple successfully does this by making people associate the name with design and simplicity. Contrast this with Android and you’re likely to think of flexibility and individuality. These are good examples because that’s exactly what they want you to think.
But here’s the disappointing thing. All too often, we see bold aspirations fall short. Brands don’t come to own their market position simply because they spent a few weeks authoring a brand positioning statement masterpiece for a sparkly brand book. They achieve it because they adhere to it, letting it influence absolutely everything they say, do and create.
This is what we encourage all clients to bear in mind throughout the brand development process. Are you capable of delivering on the words that you’re committing to paper? Is your business able to develop products and services that fit this promise? Are your people empowered to deliver the standard of service required to achieve this position? As consultants, it would be remiss if we didn’t put our clients’ aspirations to the test.
The truth is that when it comes to brand positioning, the real work only starts upon completion of your strategic platform. In the grand scheme of things then, perhaps branding isn’t so tough after all.
Put your positioning to the test. Get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out how we can help you optimise your brand strategy to support your future business goals.