P is for… Brand Positioning

Your A-Z of Marketing Essentials

P is for… Positioning

Brand Positioning Strategy

Understanding the positioning of your brand/products


What is brand or product positioning?

Brand positioning has been defined by Kotler as “the act of designing the company’s offering and image to occupy a distinctive place in the mind of the target market”.
Al Ries and Jack Trout from bestselling Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind,  define positioning as “an organized system for finding a window in the mind. It is based on the concept that communication can only take place at the right time and under the right circumstances.
An effective positioning strategy considers the strengths and weaknesses of your product or brand. It is the conceptual place you want to own in your preferred buyers mind and the benefits you want them to think of when they think of your product or brand.

An effective brand positioning strategy will maximise customer relevancy and competitive distinctiveness, in maximizing brand value.


How to create a strong brand positioning strategy

Your goal is to create a unique impression in your preferred buyers mind so that they associate your brand (not your competitors) with their purchasing challenge.
Positioning is not something you do, but it is the result of your preferred buyers’ perception of what you do. With this in mind we recommend taking a look at all of your touchpoints and review them to ensure each one reflects exactly how you wish to be perceived by your preferred buyer.
There are 7 key steps to effectively clarify your positioning in the marketplace:
  1. Determine how your brand is currently positioning itself
  2. Identify your direct competitors
  3. Understand how each competitor is positioning their brand
  4. Compare your positioning to your competitors to identify your uniqueness
  5. Develop a distinct and value-based positioning idea
  6. Craft a brand positioning statement (see below)
  7. Test the efficacy of your brand positioning statement

How to make a brand positioning statement

There are four essential elements to consider when creating your positioning statement:
  1. Target Customer: What is a concise summary of the attitudinal and demographic description of the target group of customers your brand is attempting to appeal to and attract?
  2. Market Definition: What category is your brand competing in and in what context does your brand have relevance to your customers?
  3. Brand Promise: What is the most compelling (emotional/rational) benefit to your target customers that your brand can own relative to your competition?
  4. Your evidence: What irrefutable evidence can you offer to demonstrate that your brand delivers on its promise?


After answering these four questions, you can begin to craft your positioning statement:


For [target customers], [company name] is the [market definition] that delivers [brand promise] because only [company name] is [reason to believe].

For example: For the young and young-at-heart, Walt Disney World is the theme park that best delivers on an immersive and magical experience because Walt Disney World, and only Walt Disney World, connects you to the characters and worlds you most desire.
Tagline: “Where Dreams Come True”.
When writing your positioning strategy be careful not to choose generic words such as quality-products, unique, successful, great service etc. as this is the aim (I hope!) of every brand.
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