Thursday, January 12, 2012

A Branding Recipe: Brand Positioning – GEC Business Review

by Jess Lee

Branding is a complex thing, a successful branding should have a solid brand positioning or it will just flop.

A successful brand stands for something fundamental, that an underlying bedrock idea which at every turn supports the company, the product or the service. This foundational platform is called brand positioning, without it, a brand can have no traction.

A successful brand positioning stands out. At its best, brand positioning elevates a brand above the fray so that customers will notice. Empirical studies revealed that the human brain instinctively looks for things that are beautiful, unique, different and unexpected. Thus, a brand that stands in stark contrast to its competition will entice the public's attention.

To be noticed and attractive, however, a brand's positioning must accomplish three elements. It must (1) be different (2) be focused, and (3) be relevant.

Be Different: Stands Out
In today’s hypercompetitive environment, people are bombarded with a dizzying array of brands, so you will not be able to attract a loyal following without getting people to notice your brand. So, your brand should be different in order to stay away from the clutter!

Be Focus: Find Your Niche
There are many businesses today attempt to be “one stop” in hopes of attracting more customers by offering so-called wide range of products or services. Often, such approach will lead to lacking of focus, resulting to commoditization. Your brand image and margins will ultimately suffer if your products or services are considered a commodity, instead of branding. Price will determine your brand’s faith eventually.

Therefore, finding a niche is essential, be a specialist, rather than a generalist. Simply because specialists cost a little bit more than generalists!

Be Relevant: Define Workable Expertise
A successful branding has a relevant components lineup that its brand logo, slogan, product or service speak to public with one voice. More importantly, the brand should be positioned at a sufficient interest in a specialty. Otherwise, your company will not make a sale although your positioning is highly differentiated and specialized. Demand for your product or service is another consideration.

So what makes a great brand positioning?

Those brands that rise to the top are known for simple—even simplistic ideas. In fact, the global top brands in most categories can usually be summed up in a word or a short phrase:

Example of powerful brand positioning:
(1) FedEx revolutionized the package delivery business because they became synonymous with "overnight."
(2) Volvo built its reputation on "safety." When people want a safe car, they buy a Volvo.
(3) When it comes to jeans, Levi’s is always a synonymous with it.  
(4) What has become known for spectacular "innovation" in the consumer electronics industry – Apple is the answer.
(5) AirAsia has built its name on “no-frills airline”, with its most-known tagline “now everyone can fly”.

In sum, the more you can simplify your brand positioning, the more powerful it becomes.

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