CPG brands often grapple with a crucial question when it comes to retail:
“In a sea of similar products, how can consumers be convinced to choose yours?”
The answer lies in effective brand positioning, which serves as the bedrock of a brand’s go-to-market strategy. To help you market your brand effectively, Cliffedge Marketing will reveal the theory behind brand positioning, its significance and actionable steps to craft a compelling position for your brand in the consumer products market.
What is Brand Positioning?
Positioning isn’t a new concept. Introduced 50 years ago by Jack Trout, it has stood the test of time, evolving into a cornerstone for branding and marketing strategy. Jack Trout’s philosophy captured the essence of positioning as what “advertising does to the product in the prospect’s mind.”
Fundamentally, brand positioning captures a unique space in the mind of your target consumer. It differentiates your offerings in the crowded marketplace, painting a clear picture of your unique benefits. It tells consumers who you are, what needs you satisfy and why they should believe in your product’s ability to meet their desires. Here are few ways consumers may describe and perceive your brand:
- Good value
- Market leader
Why is Brand Positioning Important?
In an era of near-identical offerings, brand positioning offers a clear way to stand out. It’s not merely about the tangible aspects of a product but the emotional resonance it brings. By evoking emotions like trust, excitement or satisfaction, brands can connect on a deeper level with consumers.
Positioning increases a brand’s strength and relevance. Whether it’s about the perception of premium quality or the thrill of a good bargain, positioning crafts a story about how consumers perceive and engage with a brand. Proper positioning can build loyalty, encourage repeat business and fortify a brand’s market standing.
Real-World Examples of Brand Positioning From Cliffedge Marketing
While we’ve discussed the vital importance of brand positioning in the abstract, seeing it in action is even more compelling. Cliffedge Marketing has worked with numerous clients in the CPG market to strategically position their brands for maximum impact and engagement. Let’s delve into a couple of our notable case studies that showcase how effective brand positioning can truly be:
In the aisle of sauces and spices, there are many similar competitors on the shelf space. Therefore, they should leverage brand positioning to stand out in the minds of consumers. One of our clients, Country Bob’s, needed to update their brand image in order to distinguish themselves from other similar brands. By refreshing the brand’s appearance using more striking visuals and vibrant colors, we ensured that each bottle stood out distinctly. We also introduced a fresh tagline, “It’s Mighty Fine,” and started crafting witty marketing materials across various platforms. This helped to reimagine the entire product line up and drive more sales.
Sunkist California Mandarin
In 2022, an unpredictable mandarin growing season presented a unique challenge for Sunkist. They needed a rapid, tailored strategy to meet their goals. Cliffedge Marketing, leveraging their expertise in shopper marketing, crafted a comprehensive strategy for Sunkist’s brand refresh. Through strategic use of digital marketing, web development, mobile augmented reality and in-store promotional methods, Cliffedge Marketing effectively repositioned Sunkist, offering a fresh, engaging experience for their consumers.
Crafting Your Brand’s Positioning
Creating a robust brand positioning isn’t about one-off tactics; it requires strategic thinking.
Distinctive brand positioning can help your business cut through the noise and resonate with the right audience. Here’s a step-by-step guide to crafting a compelling brand positioning:
1. Understand Your Current Positioning:
- Assessment: Start with a self-audit. Analyze your existing brand messages, customer perceptions and the space you currently occupy in the market.
- Feedback: Survey your customers and stakeholders to understand their perceptions and expectations.
- Reflection: Consider the evolution of your brand over time. Have there been shifts in your positioning? What prompted those changes?
- Demographics: Identify age, gender, location, occupation and income of your target audience.
- Psychographics: Understand their lifestyle, interests, values and buying behavior.
- Challenges and Pain Points: What problems does your target audience face that your product or service can solve?
- Journey Mapping: Trace their buying journey from awareness to decision-making.
3. Identify Your Unique Value Proposition (UVP):
- Strengths: List out what your brand does exceptionally well.
- Differentiators: Highlight what makes you stand out from competitors. This could be product quality, service, technology or even brand ethos.
- Benefits: Focus on the tangible and intangible benefits customers gain from choosing your brand.
4. Scope Out Competitors:
- Market Analysis: Identify the main players in your sector and categorize them by size, influence and offerings.
- SWOT Analysis: For each major competitor, list their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.
- Gap Analysis: Based on your findings, identify unexplored areas in the market where your brand can establish a strong presence.
5. Create a Positioning Statement:
- Framework: Your statement should include the target audience, the category in which you compete, the unique benefit you offer and the reason to believe.
- Simplicity: Make it concise yet impactful. It should be easily understood internally and resonate externally.
- Consistency: Ensure all brand touchpoints (from marketing collateral to customer service) reflect this positioning.
6. Evaluate and Test:
- Feedback Loops: Periodically gather feedback to gauge how your positioning is perceived.
- Market Research: Conduct qualitative and quantitative studies to test the effectiveness of your brand’s positioning.
- Iterate: Positioning is an ongoing process that requires testing and the scientific method. As market conditions, technologies, and consumer preferences evolve, so should your positioning. Don’t be afraid to refine and adapt.
Establish a Strong Brand Position with Cliffedge Marketing
Brand positioning is an art and a strategy, deeply rooted in understanding your audience and differentiating yourself in the market. It’s an ongoing journey that requires introspection, research, and a commitment to delivering on your brand’s promise.
If you’re keen to learn more and further refine your go-to-market strategy, delve into this comprehensive shopper marketing strategy guide. Position your brand for success and ensure that in the crowded retail landscape, your brand isn’t just another name, but a story consumers resonate with.