Mind Games: The Power of Brand Positioning
What comes to mind when you think of Mercedes-Benz, Tesla and Jeep? All three are car manufacturers, but neither spark the same thoughts in our minds.
Mercedes is luxury. Tesla stands for innovation. Jeep means adventure.
That is the power of brand positioning. You want to own a word in the mind of your customer.
Cut the crap - Here’s the truth about positioning
I’m tired of hearing agencies and “gurus” try to explain what positioning is.
“It’s your tagline”
“It’s your positioning statement”
“It’s your reason for being”
Everyone please just stop. Brand positioning can get confusing because it is none of those things, yet it’s all of those things. Let me explain.
Brand positioning is what your customer thinks about when they hear or see your brand.
That’s it. (Refer back to the Mercedes, Tesla and Jeep example)
Your tagline, positioning statement, messaging, brand colours, logo, website, uniforms, business cards are simply tools to help you communicate or reinforce your positioning.
They come secondary to what is going on in the customers mind. The customers mind is the horse and the rest of that crap is the cart.
But as in all classic “cart before the horse” scenarios, we prioritise the wrong things.
Let me use your Internal Positioning Statement as an example. I offer a free 5 day course that guides you through the creation of your own Internal Positioning Statement, or IPS.
The actually goal of that exercise is not to establish your positioning, but to open your mind to the possibilities and the direction your brand could potentially take.
See, your position isn’t some heart warming statement for you and your business partner to cuddle at night because it makes you feel good. It’s meant to help you to start thinking deeply about your customer. It’s an exercise in empathy.
If your positioning statement says “luxury” but your customers mind says “cheap”, then you are cheap.
If your positioning statement says “boho photographer” but your customers mind says...nothing, then you are not a “boho photographer” you are lost in a sea of mediocrity.
It would seem then that the customer is well and truly, “always right”.
Empathy Wins. Customer First Thinking.
Building a business is inherently an internal process. You manage people, procedures, finances, and shareholders, Growing a brand is the complete opposite. This is why most businesses fail when it comes to brand success.
We need to be able to switch from our operational mindset, into an empathy mindset. Essentially shifting our focus from ourselves, our needs, our desires, our ideas and our plans and moving it onto our customers needs, desires, ideas and plans.
This isn’t about just giving them what they want. It’s about hearing their stories and uncovering what it is they are truly looking for.
When a customer wants a faster horse, what they’re really asking for is the ability to get to work quicker. Now what the solution looks like is entirely up to you. A customer will be willing to try any new innovation if they can see how it will improve their current circumstance.
That’s what true expertise is. Being able to understand a particular field so well that you’re able to develop innovative solutions that solve the same problem in a different way.
Nobody could fathom that something like the Ford Model T could ever be a thing, let alone the impact that automobiles would have on our world. But the expert that was Henry Ford believed there was a better way to solve people's existing transportation problems.
We Are Brand Positioning Experts
I believe so strongly in the power of brand positioning that it’s the only service we offer at Lam Sam Creative. We are obsessed with this concept and are on a never ending journey to learn more about consumer behaviour and the power of branding.
You see, positioning will always be relevant because it is an exercise in empathy. By always starting with understanding your customers first, you will always be ready to pivot and evolve as your customers needs change.
If you would like to talk to us about your brand and how it’s currently positioned, click here to apply for one of our free Diagnosis Sessions.