Have you considered why people typically ask for a Coke and not just a soda or soft drink? How come Coca-Cola is so famous if there are many other similar beverages at lower prices? The short answer, a strong brand. Coca-Cola has positioned its brand in a way that is recognizable and familiar. If you want to learn more about how you can do the same, then keep on reading. Let us delve into the questions you need to ask yourself and essential steps to take to position your business or brand as a relevant option in your audience's mind. Let’s begin with a reality that entrepreneurs and small businesses often struggle to understand; Your business must be all about your customer's needs, not about what you offer. You worked hard to start your business, you know that your services will help your customers solve their problem and these will still be key to your success, but can you explain:
Why your service/product is needed?
Why should potential customers come to you instead of your competitor?
Your services and products are based on a pain point, a specific problem that your prospective customers experience, that you can solve for them. Selling your product or services should be simple. Identify the pain points that you can solve.
Prepare an offering that will address those pain points for your potential consumers.
Put that offer in front of your audience.
The challenge is that you are not the only one offering solutions to your audience. It used to be that the ads began when you opened the newspaper or turned on the TV.
Now, with the current technology and our constant use of smart devices, the advertisement starts almost immediately after we open our eyes in the morning.
To stand out from the sea of ads that your target customer will see daily you need to work on your Value Proposition, what you can offer your consumer that will make you the best option for them.
You use your value proposition to influence your potential customers. This influence that you are trying to exert over your audience is called Market Positioning. Brands like Apple or Microsoft compete in the same markets, they are technology innovators, but each position themselves differently. While Microsoft strives to be known for its "affordable hardware and software solutions," Apple goes for "best user experience and quality products”.
To position yourself in the customer's mind as the best option, you need to differentiate yourself from the competition in a meaningful way, have something unique. The most common attribute that entrepreneurs and new businesses tend to use as a differentiator is the price. Be careful if using this strategy, lower prices than the competition may set you apart, but low prices can also create a perception of little value and have an opposite effect than desired. Other areas you can use as differentiators are Quality, Added Benefits, and Customer Service Excellence. Whichever differentiator you decide to use, you must create a Positioning Strategy that will allow you to present your service/product to your audience, highlighting those things that make you unique.
Begin by defining what makes your brand unique and creating a positioning statement, a short but concise statement that tells your audience what you are all about. Compare yourself to your competition. See what your strengths and opportunities for growth are. Use this information to identify where you stand within your market and how your competitors influence that same market. Now that you have a better understanding of your company within the market and how you are similar or different from the rest, you can better influence your target audience's perception. All your messaging and content, be it for social media, blog, website, or printed materials must highlight that, which you identified, sets you apart. You can begin this process today, start making that list of things that set you apart and go from there!
Know that you don't have to do this alone. Schedule a 30-min call with me and let's talk about your brand.
Jafet Martinez is a marketing and brand specialist who helps entrepreneurs and social impact companies leverage technology to connect with their ideal clients.