We conduct one-day workshops in which we facilitate leadership team consensus on brand positioning. In those workshops, the participants agree to target customer definitions and priorities and the brand’s essence, promise and personality. We strongly recommend conducting brand positioning research prior to the workshop. Why? It is important to…
- Understand what your brand’s strengths and weaknesses are from your customers’ perspectives
- Know how your customers perceive your brand vis-à-vis competitive brands
- Understand which benefits are the most important to your customers and which of those benefits your brand could uniquely “own” in your customers’ minds
- Know which benefits are believable for your brand
- Understand how different customer groups perceive your brand’s product/service categories (and the brands within them) differently
Most product categories are mature with (a) numerous competitors and (b) most of the viable brand positions taken. It is not a trivial exercise to position brands within those categories. It requires significant and nuanced customer insight informed by well thought through research. The days of choosing brand positions such as the following are long since past:
- Brand X is the quality leader in its category
- Brand Y is the service leader in its category
- Brand Z is the innovation leader in its category
Further, many categories have become commoditized making brand positioning even more difficult.
Relevant brand research might include any or all of the following:
- Focus groups to understand customer purchase motivations and the strength of specific functional, emotional, experiential and self expressive benefits
- Qualitative research to identify the most advantageous paths between product/service features, brand benefits, customer values and customer self esteem
- Quantitative brand equity research to measure the strength of various brand insistence factors for your brand and those of its competitors
- Brand positioning research to map your brand against competitive brands for a variety of benefits for different customer market segments
- Conjoint analysis to identify which benefits are the primary drivers of customer purchase decisions and the specific value that customers assign to each
Organizations that position their brands without extensive customer research do so at their own risk. Don’t assume that you know everything about your customers or that your intuition is “spot on.” Rigorous customer research is very likely to uncover significant competitive opportunities and threats (including positioning opportunities) that you had not previously considered. And, that added insight might make all of the difference in the world to your organization.
Key Point: Uncover the most advantageous way to position your brand through thoughtful rigorous research.
The Blake Project Can Help: The Brand Positioning Workshop
Branding Strategy Insider is a service of The Blake Project: A strategic brand consultancy specializing in Brand Research, Brand Strategy, Brand Licensing and Brand Education