Right now, life seems to be changing dramatically on a daily basis for businesses of all types. How are companies supposed to plan for the future if we don’t even know what to expect in the present? With consumer spending dropping off without much choice, businesses are struggling to find ways to maintain whatever income there is to be had. In unpredictable times like these, businesses need to apply the foundational marketing tactic of brand positioning to tell their company’s story and set themselves apart from their competition. Brand positioning is defined as the space a company owns in the minds and hearts of their target market. From consumers to investors, the media to business partners, brand positioning helps your business build a loyal following from your ideal clientele by strategically sharing your company’s story.
To take on brand positioning, a company must first decide what exactly its story is and why to share it with the world. Your company’s story includes everything from origins to heartfelt values and principles, highlighted by qualities that differentiate your company from the competition. Strategically telling your company’s story creates an emotional connection with your target audience; once the audience has that link to your company, brand placement is taking place. One company that has always chosen the correct path for storytelling and brand placement is Nike; not only have they stuck to their key principles of making innovative, quality products, but they have always chosen sponsor athletes and partner brands who mirror the Nike story with their morals and actions. Nike knows their target market intimately, and is particularly good at absorbing change, reassessing and moving on to new spokespeople or brand statements to reach their target audience when the time is right. Essentially, the key to your company’s success is telling your own true story, not the generic story that the rest of your industry is telling, allowing your brand to step into the game changing spotlight that it deserves.
Brand positioning boosts the volume of your company’s voice. Creative Blue is fortunate to work with brilliantly innovative companies, many of whom have no trouble telling us what makes their business different from their competition. What normally drives these companies to seek out Creative Blue is the difficulty they have explaining their unique traits in a clear and compelling way. As a result, the voice of their brand is lost and can seem inconsistent through various forms of messaging, such as social media, newsletters or presentations, and can lead to confusion for current or prospective clients. The Creative Blue strategy is to listen to our clients’ explain their company and goals in their own words, giving us background on their industry, history and key pieces of their identity we can expand upon. We then support this by diving into existing materials, conducting follow-up conversations to gather more information and doing explorative research of our own. Our end goal is to turn all of this information into a solid central message that defines our clients’ brand positioning and core story. A strong message yields strong results- once you occupy a distinct place in a target audience’s mind, you become that much harder to forget.
As you can see, brand positioning and storytelling are key to the success of any and all types of businesses. If your brand is relatively new, invest time in carefully considering your company values, goals and what makes you unique from your competitors. Your company will stand out and gain a following by displaying a strong core message through all channels of communication, from your online presence to employee onboarding, industry events to sales pitches. For more established companies, all of this remains true and then some. Even a well-established company must revisit brand positioning from time to time to make sure that your business is still upwardly mobile; if your message isn’t getting the response it once did, step back and reassess what needs to change. Remember: your brand is only as strong as the energy you put into it, and brand positioning will help your unique traits shine through by showing the world how your business is special and different from the competition.