Brand Strategy Simplified: Formula (Part 1)

This month, I’m excited to welcome Liz Skalla from Skalla Consulting as a guest blogger! Liz is a master in brand positioning. Liz will share her passion for branding and will provide practical and compelling insight on how to develop your brand strategy in this 3-part blog series.

A brand strategy is necessary for all businesses.

Your product and service need to be solving a problem in a unique way to be competitive. True, it takes more work to develop a unique brand especially with today’s complex business environment and difficult to understand where to start when it comes to determining what will be your brand strategy.

The purpose of this three-part blog series is to present a simplified brand strategy, which I’ll break down into three manageable parts. I call it the ‘Brand Strategy Formula – Simplified.’ For today’s post I’ll be discussing brand positioning.

Brand-Strategy-Formula-Simplified

PART 1 – BRAND POSITIONING

The first section of the brand strategy formula is brand positioning. I’m sure you’ll agree that every type of business needs a unique brand position because it will directly affect sales. Recent research has shown that premium brands can command at least a 25 % to 30% higher price than value brands.

Brand positioning answers the question “what are you?” and “who are you for?” It showcases your differentiation in your marketplace. It’s what makes you company unique, sets your products and services apart from the crowd and defines a clear, relevant message for your intended audience.

Brand-Strategy-Formula-Asks-Who-Are-You

So, how do we discover the brand positioning for your product or service?

There are three steps to finding the best positioning for your business. And, the positioning framework includes the following three stages:

  1. List your positioning options
  2. Flush out the pros of each option
  3. Select the best positioning option for your business

1. List of Options

Let’s say you are a sports beverage product and want to stand out in the crowded shelf – you’ll need to start with a compelling positioning. Start by listing all the desires and needs your intended target audience expect to receive from drinking your beverage.

Your target audience expects some advantages from this type of drink, from electrolytes, higher levels of carbohydrates, hydration to taste. List these benefits that your brand will provide.

2. Flush out the pros of each option

brand-strategy-formula-positioning-framework

Next, look at your direct competition, other sports beverage companies. Are you in direct competition with any of them, Gatorade being the market leader. Can you clearly state their position in the marketplace?

Make a list of your competitor’s brand position. Then compare with the wants and needs of your target audience. Which wants and needs are not being met by the competition?

3. Select the best positioning option for your business

Brand-Strategy-Formula-Positioning

As you compare, your list might include all the same benefits as Gatorade without the calories and sugar content. Bingo! You got your brand positioning.

This positioning option as the “healthy Gatorade choice” was also in-line with economic and culture trends of the mass consumer who wants healthy options. Soda sales are on decline, but healthy drink options like bottled water are on the rise in popularity.

On PowerAde, after going through this positioning framework process, they selected their best positioning for a new beverage that would be able to realistically compete against Gatorade.

Brand-Strategy-Formula-Positioning-Visual-Messages

Now that you have your ‘best positioning’ – how do you showcase this strong differentiator to your target audience? How do you get through the clutter? How will you reach your intended audience and let them know of your healthy Gatorade choice?

We’ll use visuals and messaging.

  1. Visually: From website, product packaging, logo, select images, all these assets will help to create the look and feel of your brand position.
  2. Message: Develop a clear statement or actionable phrase that communicates your positioning.

I hope Part 1 has helped you in how to tackle your brand’s position.

As you can see, taking the time to develop a Brand Strategy Formula is not just for start-ups or new products or services. I have helped companies that have been in business for decades to redefine their brand positioning so that they continue to be unique for their targeted audience as well as gain stronger competitor advantages in their specific competitive landscape.

Next blog post in the Brand Strategy Simplified series I will cover how to make your unique brand positioning come alive. Stay tuned, and feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn.

Liz Skalla,
Skalla Consulting

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