Brand positioning: 5 steps to get it right the first time

How to position your brand effectively online
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How do your customers view your brand? Do they see you the way you want to be seen? That’s the most important aspect of brand positioning – today, a major chunk of the entire positioning and perception journey happens online.

People first search for your brand or service online. Then, based on what they see about you – your website, your social posts, your reviews, your blogs, anywhere you’ve been mentioned – they make their first impression about you.

That first impression helps them decide if they want to learn more about you and end up doing business with you – or dropping you like a hot potato.

You have a very short window in which to convince that potential customer: This is why so many small brands and companies are really pushing to go digital as fast as possible these days. And COVID-19 and its consequences have only accelerated digital transformation for business more than anything in the previous ten years or so.

This is why you need to position your brand properly online so that your customers can perceive you the right way. Also, you need to be consistent across the board: every aspect of your brand must look and feel the same, convey the same message.

How do you do this right? That’s what we’re going to take you through here.

Let’s start with the basics.

What is brand positioning?

Brand positioning in a nutshell deals with how your company or its products and services are perceived by customers, especially in comparison with your competitors.

One of the most effective ways to position your brand is to communicate your ethos effectively – particularly online, using a variety of channels. Blogs, social media, articles, interviews, videos and podcasts are just some of the ways you can do this.

But what message and brand identity do you want to convey? Which digital channels should you use? And how exactly should you frame your message? It’s important to answer these questions properly and thoroughly before you can proceed.

Below is our simple 5-step process to get your brand positioning right online.

Step 1: Outline Your Brand Identity

If you don’t know who you are, you cannot teach your customers what you stand for. So, the very first step is to decide what your brand represents. What does your brand or company stand for? What is its core purpose? How do your operations/products/services provide value to your customers?

The goal here is to come up with a Unique Selling Point (USP), which will be the most persistent component of your digital communication. This statement highlights the benefit a consumer will gain from working with you and what they will be missing out on if they were to work with your competitor.

It’s what makes YOUR company stand out.

Step 2: Identify the Right Platforms

You need to reach each consumer where they are: online, that means targeting them on the types of social platforms they use most.

Different target consumer groups engage on different platforms. For instance, younger consumers spend most of their time on apps such as Instagram, so if they’re your target, you need to have a very strong Instagram following, where your target audience is more likely to see it and interact with it.

With an older target market on the other hand, advertising on platforms like Facebook would be better. Similarly, if your target audience is other businesspeople, you’d be well-rewarded by building up a following on LinkedIn, or Medium.

Step 3: Refine Your Message

The delivery of your message will make or break its success. Once you have determined a channel to display your communication, features such as form, tone, and style are next in line to be considered. The features reflect the type of product or service you are offering, the age, interests, and lifestyle of your target customers, and most importantly, your USP.

The form of your message can be a video, a blog, a carousel of pictures, or a simple textpost on Twitter. The tone of your message reflects the attitude you wish your customers would have towards your brand. You need to create and properly maintain your social media pages, no matter what kind of audience you wish to target.

This will provide consumers with constant updates and an easy platform to directly interact with your brand. This can also be useful to you when gathering data in the form of clicks and impressions to reflect how successful your marketing efforts are.

Step 4: Test Your Message

When first dabbling in digital communications, it takes even the most professional marketers some time and effort to get it just right. Therefore, it is important to launch your messages to a smaller degree at the start to asses their success and whether they need adjusting.

This can be done through monitoring the number of clicks on the advertisements, surveying frequent viewers on how they felt about your message and how they perceive your brand, and even comparing the results from different messages with the same USP to see which one consumers respond better to.

Step 5: Vary Your Message

Creating various messages with the same USP can help avoid advertising wear-out and keep the brand fresh in the consumer’s mind. The more time a consumer sees the same message, the less likely it is to capture their attention.

Therefore, spicing up the messages by varying the phrases, videos, pictures, and taglines can capture the consumer’s attention, improve their retention and recall, and make your communication much more successful overall.

Last but not least, it is crucial that your messaging remains consistent and you post regularly on social to keep your customers updated. Research shows that consistent messaging from a brand can increase revenues by nearly 33%!1

And there you have it – you now know how to create and implement effective brand positioning for your company online.

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