Brand and Positioning: How to get your business to stand out.

Defining a brand, its Image, and its Worth

Brand can be either a name, term, sign, symbol, design or a combination of them to identify your business’s products or services that will be different from your other competition.

Branding is a product’s identity, and building a strong brand image for whether it’s a product or service gives it a personality, image, and message for the brand and determines how consumers think of your products or services to stand out from its competitors.

Brand equity and what is it?

Brand equity is when your company or product’s reputation is in the marketplace, and to succeed, it must repeatedly deliver reliable results. You are familiar with the brand and know it from experience since you had purchased it before and had positive results.

When it comes to your business, the target’s perceptions of quality are based on experience and trust that is translated into your brand loyalty and sales.

For example, Campbell is a brand, not any specific product, but you buy Campbell’s chicken noodle soup–a product–because you know it’s a quality brand; thus, you favor it over store brands.

Brand equity is made up of two kinds of brand knowledge: Brand awareness and Brand Image.

What is Brand Awareness?

Brand awareness is the extent to which a customer can recognize a brand. It is a vital component of the decision-making process before making a purchase. Once the target is aware of the brand, the next logical step is to form an opinion based on the product, service, or corporation’s reputation, advertised image, and ability to fulfill a specific need or want.

Brand Image

Brand image is its personality and status compared with other brands of the same or similar quality in its category. The brand’s image must be built around the needs and wants of your target market. It should become like that reliable friend that does not change with each fad but can be trusted to bring home and provide consistent results.

Image Development beings by asking yourself the following:

  • Is there anything holding back the brand?
  • How much does the target already know about the brand versus the competition?
  • Is there any confusion surrounding the brand’s visual and verbal identity, purchasing options, or life-cycle stage?

The Visual and Verbal Brand

Now, before your brand can achieve equity, develop, and maintain its loyalty, the product or service must have a consistent brand image that can parallel your target audience member’s perceived image of themselves.

Your brand’s identifying symbol or logo design includes the following, and it must be consistent:

  • Placement
  • Typeface
  • Color(s)
  • Graphic symbol

You need to reflect the brand’s personality and or use, visual/verbal identity and image development, and represent your target audience problems. Once your product or service has this individualized, this is taken into account, which is whether the life-cycle phase; your products or service, is in the following:

  • New Brand: A development that matches the target audience’s self-image and members’ lifestyle. To create a competitive advantage, a new product must immediately distinguish its product advantages from the competition. Creating brand awareness is critical to the success of a new product launch.
  • Mainstream/Mature brands: Once the brand has been established, communication must be in place to maintain awareness, reinforce quality, reliability, and continue building a relationship with your target. Thus, this must be consistent communication.
  • Reinvention: this must occur when the brand requires an updated image or as a result of a damaged reputation. Products that are reinvented will have to prove themselves over time to rebuild lost equity and regain loyalty.

Life-Cycle Phase and Reinvented Brands

A product’s creative message can focus on any one of or combination of the following options when a product’s life-cycle stage plays an important role in advertising and promotional efforts:

  • Brand image
  • Word of mouth
  • Positioning
  • Education
  • Brand awareness
  • Promotional offers
  • Creating a reaction
  • Direct comparison to the competition
  • Use
  • Product
  • Introduction

Brand Loyalty

Brand loyalty is the relationship between the product and the target. Brand loyalty–the target’s dependable repurchase of a brand based on reliable past experiences–is critical to IMC and brand equity. Requiring less advertising to remind consumers to repurchase your products.

Differences between Positioning and Brand Image

Positioning refers to how your consumers think and rate your product or service against the competition. Positioning requires highlighting target-relevant benefits for the product’s features and benefits.

The difference between positioning and brand image is that Positioning is created via advertising and promotion while Brand Image is created based on experience. A strong position is a direct result of a strong brand that can be built up over time.

Luc Dupont’s seven ways to position a product or service:

  • Originality
  • Low price
  • High price
  • Sex of the consumer
  • Age of the consumer
  • Time of day the product should be used
  • Distribution channels

What is repositioning?

A product needs to be Repositioned when there is a need to change the way it is viewed in the target’s mind and should work to define a new or special niche in the consumer’s mind.