Problems occur when companies’ marketing programs focus on launching branding campaigns when they actually need positioning. So, what’s the difference between positioning and branding? For starters, they aren’t the same. And you probably don’t need both.
- Branding establishes your company’s identity and solidifies its characteristics that your markets know and respect.
- Positioning is dynamic and fluid. It places your company in the marketing sweet spot where everyone wants what you’re selling.
Branding’s primary objective is to establish an emotional baseline and elicit a response from your target markets, particularly where clear-cut product comparisons are lacking. Branding best serves generic products produced by numerous vendors; products with limited differences other than price.
Branding Creates Recognition
Branding creates recognition and awareness. Positioning helps customers remember your product’s features and value. Branding requires more time and money than positioning.
For companies that make their mark by continually generating innovative products and services and aim at marketing windows of six months or less, positioning is the best, most economical and timely strategy to gain sales and market share.
The development of brands without establishing clear market positions caused many dot.com meltdowns. Companies launched advertising campaigns largely on the assumption that people would surely buy something from them after being funneled to the company website.
Value Is Important
But most dot.com companies didn’t initially stress value to entice potential clients to check out their websites or seek additional product information. Just because something can be done or acquired via the Internet, didn’t equate to value and interest.
Many smaller or emerging companies take on the huge task of creating and launching a branding campaign to gain market share. However, in reality, they’d do better by targeting under-served markets their large competitors can’t handle or otherwise ignore.
They should not try to be all things to all companies.
They could pursue under-served markets by establishing an unquestionable market position and value proposition. Potential customers in niche markets have their own unique problems and they seek solutions from anyone who can provide answers. They’re not bound to brands.
When serviced properly, such customers become willing references. Nimble providers can leverage these references to reinforce their market position and use them to seek new markets.
Don’t try to be all things to all companies or markets.
The key to a successful marketing campaign is to demonstrate value, and you’ll do this best through positioning. This is true during good times and bad.
- Today’s unique product is tomorrow’s vanilla ice cream.
- Branding requires the constant repetition of an individual message.
- When you position adds satisfied customer to your sales and marketing team.
- Positioning leads to creating a brand but brand does not always lead to creating a position.
- Positioning adapts and capitalizes on a marketplace dynamics.
- A brand provides rock-solid stability.
- Positioning generates sales.
Don’t focus on branding when positioning will work best.