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The Complete Guide to Brand Positioning

Ready to learn the ins and outs of brand positioning and how it can set your company up for success? Read on for our complete guide.

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May 2, 2023
Kathleen Crampton
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Reading time about 6 min

Have you ever wondered why some brands can stand out in a crowded marketplace while others seem to blend in and struggle to gain traction? The secret lies in strong brand positioning.

In this guide, we'll cover what brand positioning is, how it can help your business, and steps to create an effective one that will resonate with consumers. Let's get started.


What Is Brand Positioning, and Why Is It Important?

Brand positioning is essentially your company's strategy to set your brand apart from competitors and position it positively in customers' minds. Brand positioning aims to create brand associations that are perceived as favorable, credible, and valuable.

Consumers will develop a perception of your brand no matter what, so why not take control of that perception with a brand positioning strategy? That’s why brand positioning is important: It sets the tone (quite literally) of your brand and establishes what it does for consumers and how it’s different from competitors.

This is what brand positioning can do:

  • Increase brand awareness through effective and consistent marketing across all touchpoints.
  • Increase customer loyalty. People who resonate with your brand will be more willing to stick with you.
  • Increase brand equity, essentially your brand’s value determined by customers (and how that value differs from competitors).
  • Increase sales. The more credible, favorable, and valuable your brand is, the less guessing your customers will have to do when considering a purchase.

5 Steps to Create Strong Brand Positioning

Good brand positioning isn’t something you can throw together in an hour. It takes time and thorough research to develop. Set your business up for success with these five steps to create a strong brand positioning strategy.


Understand Your Customers

Because brand positioning is all about customer perception, that’s where your process should start: with your target audience.

If you don't have a customer persona, now's the time to create one based on demographic data, how people find your brand, sales data, and customer surveys.

Once you know your customers, you’ll be able to better understand what they’re motivated by and concerned about, which can help to focus your brand positioning.


Conduct Competitor Research

Who are your competitors? What are their strengths and weaknesses? How do consumers view them? You should seek to answer these questions when conducting competitor research.

Gathering information on your company's current and potential competitors will give you insights on positioning your brand to compete. You'll need to differentiate your brand in some way to give you a leg up in the marketplace.


Identify Your Company’s Offerings

Get down to the business basics. What does your company do or offer? How is this product or service better than or different from competitors? What makes your brand unique?

Your brand’s uniqueness doesn’t need to be based purely on the type of offering; in fact, there are several different types of brand positioning. Based on your answers to the questions above, consider if you want your company’s brand to be positioned in customer service, price, convenience, quality, or innovation. (We’ll cover some examples of these types later.)


Develop Your Brand Positioning Statement

Your brand positioning statement should include:

  • The market or industry
  • The category of product or service
  • The unique benefit (think customer service, price, convenience, quality, and innovation)
  • The reason why consumers should purchase from your company over another

This can be a relatively short statement, but ensure that it includes all of the necessary information so that everyone on the team understands it.


Create Consistent Messaging

Your brand positioning only works if carried through consistently across all customer touchpoints. This is where your brand marketing comes into play. Message your brand positioning consistently through packaging and design, social channels, website, ads, communications, etc.

Of course, you don't need to be explicit with the benefits or reasons why a customer should purchase from your company; instead, use the brand positioning to inform the tone of your marketing strategy and create an emotional connection with customers. Consumers should perceive the brand positioning statement through your effective messaging.

How to Improve Your Brand Positioning Strategy

It’s important to revisit your brand positioning strategy to ensure that it’s effective in doing its job. Here’s how to improve your existing strategy:

  • Listen to customers. Always check product/service reviews, social media interactions, and general cultural trends to see what customers think of your brand. Have consumer perceptions about a topic changed, and has that affected your brand perception?
  • Do your research. Avoid making any changes to your brand positioning without support from data. Research market/industry trends, company sales, and sales interactions to give you insights that can influence your brand position.
  • Align with your company mission and vision. Ensure your brand positioning statement aligns with your company mission and vision statements. Diverging from your mission and vision might lead to customer confusion, so ensure that all are cohesive and complement each other.

Whether you do this quarterly or once a year, check customer perceptions of your brand regularly.

Brand Positioning Examples

Let’s highlight a few companies with positive customer perception and loyalty due to their brand positioning.

Costco Logo


Costco takes the price-based brand positioning strategy to the next level. While it’s widely known that the membership-only wholesale retailer is one of the best places to work for its fair wages and great benefits, it’s also well-loved by consumers – and not just for its free samples.

Costco’s hot dog and soda combo has been priced at $1.50 since 1985. Yes, that’s right – for almost 40 years, the retailer has stuck to its low-cost brand positioning for the beloved meal. And it has no signs of stopping. The company’s chief financial officer just confirmed that the store would not be increasing the price of the combo deal in the foreseeable future, despite staggering inflation. Consumers take notice of policies like this, and they can see the value that Costco continues to message and deliver, which aligns with its mission “to continually provide our members with quality goods and services at the lowest possible prices.”


Chewy Logo


Chewy is a prime customer-service brand positioning example. Customers have become loyal to the pet food and products company because of its stellar customer service. All new customers receive hand-written notes with their first shipment, and most members get hand-written holiday cards every year.

The personal touch doesn’t end there. Chewy is also known for its empathetic service, sending flowers to a customer whose pet passed away or oil paintings of owners’ pets. The company has set itself apart from competitors as a service-based, human (and pet)-focused company, and customers have taken note.


The Power of Effective Brand Positioning

By clearly defining your brand's uniqueness and communicating that value to consumers, you can build a strong reputation and establish a loyal customer base. So don't be afraid to invest time and resources into developing your brand positioning – the payoff will be worth it!

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