Positioned For Success Smart Business 0409

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Know how to drive growth despite the down economy.
Branding and positioning can help.

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Positioned For Success Smart Business 0409

  1. 1. Marketing & Branding Insights Positioned for success Interviewed by Elizabeth Grace Saunders How to create customer loyalty through strategic branding and positioning n a world where business as usual is no about talking at your customers, it is about I longer usual, you need to know how to talking with your customers. By talking and drive growth despite the down econo- listening to your key stakeholders, you can my. Branding and positioning can help understand where they place you in your your business thrive in the midst of change. marketplace. Employee retention, premium “Your product or service fills a need,” says pricing, increased traffic or leads, and Bo Bothe, President and Chief Creative reduced cost of sales are metrics you can Officer of BrandExtract. “A clear position examine to gauge the effectiveness of your defines the need for consumers.” brand. Smart Business asked Bothe how to What are the first steps in developing and assess, develop and strengthen your brand implementing a brand strategy? and position to capture a larger market share. Why are branding and positioning essential To begin, you need to understand that to business growth? today you don’t own your brand — you man- age it. True competition now comes from the Effective branding helps a company bond clutter in the marketplace. Consumers have with its customers in a way that builds loyal- more confusion than confidence around the Bo Bothe ty and differentiation. When a brand really products and services they consider buying. President and Chief Creative Officer ‘connects,’ it not only creates a barrier for Here is a basic outline of how to effectively BrandExtract competitor entry but also develops a premi- build and manage a valuable brand: um situation where consumers perceive a Assess your position in the market- higher product value, such as Apple. When a place. A brand assessment is critical in defin- brand emanates from an organization’s mis- ing the right place to start, identifying gaps in How does positioning differ from branding? sion, it reflects marketplace value and com- expectations, and defining how you will municates and operates in a manner that sup- measure the effectiveness of your marketing Your position is where your company and ports that position. A position is the essence and sales groups. Do people know and iden- product intersect with your target market. of what a brand stands for and when clearly tify us correctly? Are our products and serv- Positioning is capturing the story your defined, it is easier for the consumer to make ices relevant? What is the current market organization has to tell and packaging it in the correct decision. opportunity? a consistent and memorable way that con- Develop the tools you need. Determine nects with the audience and explains how What are some of the possible outcomes of your position in the marketplace: What space you will fulfill their need. On the other an effective branding campaign? do we want to own? How will we communi- hand, branding is the experience your con- cate this effectively to our target audience? sumers have with the product or service. Goals for any branding initiative should be Then, a marketing plan should outline the The more unique the position, the easier it defined at the onset. What equates to success tactics needed to achieve these goals and is for the brand to stand alone. Companies will be different for every organization, but objectives. Finally, you need a visual ‘tool kit’ that actually stand for something rather than the following are examples of results good to effectively and cohesively communicate everything tend to succeed in building tangi- branding initiatives achieve: your brand’s position and value proposition. ble brand value. IBM, Coca-Cola, Google and I Clear differentiation and value Track your results and know when to Apple are examples of companies that peo- proposition reassess. You’ll have to decide who is ple connect with. For these brands, success I Customers purchasing your product accountable and how to measure effective- comes from more than the product they sell; faster and for a premium ness based on key indicators outlined in it is the experience they provide that gives I More focused and efficient operations the assessment phase. You’ll also need to them an edge. I The right customers and prospective determine key times, survey tools and employees knocking at your door other opportunities to gather information How can you evaluate the effectiveness of I Your entire organization knowing what about the perception of the brand in the your current brand? you do and ‘selling’ for you marketplace. This continual process will I You connect immediately because guide you on whether you need to adjust or Listen frequently. Take action often. A people know what you stand for alter your position. << brand should be a conversation. It is not I Improved insulation between down cycles and negative news BO BOTHE is the President and Chief Creative Officer of BrandExtract, an integrated branding and communications firm that guides I Improved perception and increased growing companies by providing strategic branding solutions, marketing communications, advertising, print and interactive services. firm value Reach him at bbothe@brandextract.com or (713) 942-7959 or go to the company’s Web site at www.brandextract.com. Insights Marketing & Branding is brought to you by BrandExtract 22 Smart Business Dallas | April 2009

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