Brand Positioning Principles – 5 Concepts to Help Position Your Brand

Effectively positioning your brand is something that takes consideration and in this video I look at the 5 key principles as laid out by Al and Laura Reis. From finding the right gap and narrowing your focus to effective category naming and creating a visual hammer. The brand positioning principles in this video will help you to increase memorability, differentiation and help your audience to categorise your brand more effectively.

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Video Transcript

Have you ever wondered why some brands stick in the mind and others don’t? And do you want to differentiate your brand from the competition and improve its memorability? Well, in this video, I go over five fundamental positioning principles that will help you do just that.

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Over 30 years ago, Al Ries and Jack Trout literally wrote the book on brand positioning, ‘positioning the battle for your mind’ and at that time, marketing was predominantly about features and benefits. And this was fine. This has worked up until that point until markets got overcrowded and more and more brands started popping up more businesses started.

And what it did, was it oversaturated. The marketplace with these kinds of advertising. And it was difficult to differentiate these businesses from each other. And there was a need to rethink how businesses categorize themselves, how they stood out from each other and differentiated. And that’s where Al Ries and Jack Trout came in.

And by defining brand positioning, what they did was they flipped that on its head. So no longer were they thinking about the product, but they were thinking about the mind of the prospect by focusing on carving out a space in your audience’s mind, you’re creating longevity. Memorability and a way to differentiate yourself from the competition and whether that is in a new category and existing category or a subcategory.

And there’s a great quote from Al Ries that says the positioning is not what you do to the product is what you do to the mind of the prospect, to effectively create space in your audience’s mind. Follow these five key principles outlined by Al and Laura Ries

find a gap. So to increase memorability, you need to be perceived as different from the rest. You can do this by finding a gap in the category. You’re in like Dollar Shave Club did with their subscription model, which positioned their brand away from all the other razor brands in that category, as well as the leader, which was Gillette.

You can do this by creating a category like Salesforce did with their cloud-based sales, automation service or creating a subcategory like Asahi did with their dry beer subcategory of the overarching beer category. You can also use tools like the X Y map to plot your market on the map and find the gaps in that market, or use it for plotting out other positioning strategies like crowding competitor and repositioning a competitor.

Focus. So most brands are too broad in scope to fill the gap in their audience’s mind. If you are everything to everyone, how can you be remembered for anything? If you can narrow your focus to a smaller market segment or reduce the amount of attributes and features that you promote, it will be easier for your audience to remember you refer you and ultimately do business with you.

A great example is FedEx. Known for that overnight delivery. And this is something at the time when they first started doing this was unheard of, and they backed this up with a great tagline, which was ‘when it absolutely positively has to be there overnight’ this clearly articulates that position and that focus to their audience in a really simple, concise way.

Names. So every brand needs two names, their brand name and their category name far too many businesses. Haven’t thought about the category they’re in what this would be called or how it would be defined. And sometimes just thinking about this one question and how you are different from your competition can shine a light.

On the category that you’re in the opportunity of a new category or how you can position yourself within that existing category. Don’t be afraid to create a new category and be the first in it to own that space. But one thing to remember with a new category is you’re going to have to promote that category as well as your brand.

And you’re going to have to promote them in tandem. To educate the audience on the category that your in this new category, they have to understand what it stands for and what it means. An example of this would be Netflix with a streaming service. So at the time there was a lot of TV executives and actual networks who had the opportunity to not only invest in Netflix, but start their own streaming service.

And at the time they couldn’t see it. So they didn’t go down that route. But if you see where Netflix are now and you see what they did, they created their own category. And in that category, they are the leaders. So, how would you categorize your brand? How is it currently positioned and what differentiates you from your competition?

Let me know in the comments below

The job of your brand’s visual identity is to hammer home your brand, your tagline, your positioning, and to provide a visual anchor that aides recall memorability and differentiates you from the competition. A red circular light doesn’t mean anything without context, but you put that in the context of a traffic light system.

And suddenly that red light takes on a whole different meaning. And it actually causes us to put our foot on a brake pedal and physically act. Just through a visual cue and your branding is no different. If you can attach meaning and context to your branding, that aids in memorability and positioning your brand.

What you’re doing is creating up a visual cue similar to that traffic light, but you need context and you need meaning an example of this in the real world would be Coca-Cola glass bottle. So the contour bottle and the shape of it and the attachment that has. To the brand and how instantly recognizable that is.

And also the brand coloring from Coca-Cola. So the red that they use is another visual cue. Another way to tap into that brand experience, the memories you puppet that brand in an instant. Verbal battlecry so all good visual hammers are accompanied by a verbal battlecry Use your tagline to differentiate, add meaning, reinforce your positioning and get people talking about your brand.

You can use things like rhyme, repetition, alliteration, and double entendre to aid, memorability, and brand recall. A great example is m&ms. Melt in the mouth, not in your hands. You can check out our previous video on how to create a great tagline here. And in that video, I go over some examples of what makes a good tagline and how you can build one out that is memorable and that helps to aid your positioning.

Now that you understand five fundamental principles of positioning. If you want to dive deeper into positioning, as well as all of the internal brand and how you can build on that and develop it further, we actually have a brand building course, and there’s a link in the description below if you’ve enjoyed this video and you’d like to see more, please subscribe using the button below this video and remember to hit the bell notification.

So you’ll be notified every time a new video drops. Videos come out weekly and they’re designed to help you unlock your brand’s potential. So you can stand out from the competition and create impact. Have a great week, catch up soon and keep those brands unified.

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