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Three Powerful Brand Positioning Strategies to Enhance the Reputation of Your Small Business

Brand positioning is the process of setting your business apart such that in the minds of the target market it is more favourable than competitor alternatives. It’s about leveraging your key competitive advantages and what makes you different so that when your target market thinks about a service category, they think of you.

Brand positioning requires inside-out thinking because you have to get inside the minds of those whom you wish to influence. Here’s three powerful brand positioning strategies to help you get inside the mind of your target market, and cut through the clutter and distraction of the marketplace.

  • Stand for Something

When businesses link their brand to a purpose that benefits society, they can make a stronger emotional connection with their target audiences. CRM software developer Salesforce’s co-CEO Marc Benioff says, ‘Companies can do more than just make money, they can serve others. The business of business is improving the state of the world’.  

Maker of durable outdoor clothing products that cause less harm to the environment, Patagonia, expresses its purpose as, ‘We’re in business to save our home planet’. This purpose has underpinned its recent decision to establish the Patagonia Purpose Trust to protect its values, and channel excess profits to the Holdfast Collective, to fight the environmental crisis, protect nature and biodiversity, and support thriving communities.

Virgin puts purpose at the core of its identity – ‘What makes us Virgin?’ – with its declaration that ‘For five decades, in five sectors and on five continents, our purpose is to change business for good’. Founder Richard Branson’s daughter Holly, is Chief Purpose and Vision Officer, driving the alignment of purpose across the group’s various brands.

  • Close a gap

Customers are looking for products and services that close the gap from where they are now to where they want to be. What is it your client needs to close the gap from their current problem state to their desired problem-free future state? Once you understand the client’s gap, articulate a compelling value proposition that encompasses how the unique package of benefits of your product/service, closes it. This package includes the broad range of value your brand delivers, including:

  • tangible value – such as more leads, customer retention, productivity, dollars or time saved
  • intangible value – such as confidence, reputation, peace of mind, sensory experiences, engagement
  • service value – quality of advice, breadth of expertise
  • relationship value – trust, respect, confidentiality
  • bonus value – resources, warranties, added extras

Be Remarkably Different

Marketing guru Seth Godin said, ‘The key to success is to find a way to stand out – to be the purple cow in a field of monochrome Holsteins.’ Successful brands have a strong sense of identity and project a unique style, attitude and voice that helps them stand out from the rest. Use words and tonality aligned with your brand’s image across all marketing channels and customer touchpoints. For example, if you’re a prestige brand like Mercedes-Benz, you speak the language of excellence with a confident tonality, consistent with an image that values status and significance.

Offering a unique philosophical approach or service methodology is another way to distinguish your business from another provider. Consider the different methodologies and approaches to medicine, child psychology, school teaching, nutrition, personal training, financial planning, child care, insurance broking, accounting and marketing, for example. The philosophical approach of a business can become its competitive advantage because for many service providers this is what influences consumer choice. 

©Ros Weadman 2022 Ros Weadman is a brand communication and reputation specialist who empowers experts, entrepreneurs and entities to communicate their value, build public profile and enhance brand reputation. 

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