8 Ways That Brand Positioning Will Help You Grow Your Business

With the correct brand position, it’s your business driver, helping you to inform your messages about marketing, how your services are shaped and even how you structure your prices.

The success of your business is influenced by strong brand positioning. But many highly competitive companies have difficulty in positioning themselves and explaining why their business matters. It is difficult, but critical, to do this right. Your customers will not know whether to purchase from you or from your competitors if you fail in this.

In short, positioning is the means by which your brand is markedly distinguished from its competitors. It’s all about what you offer, the value and the position you hold in your intended audience’s mind. Defining a clear position allows you to check your perceptions of the market and to improve the position of your product and/or service upon that market.

How can your company benefit from brand positioning? Here are several different ways here:

1. Brand Positioning Differentiates You in the Market

The world doesn’t need more widgets. However, when your company or your products or services provide an unprecedented proposition, solve an unsatisfied need or deliver the desired experience, Brand Positioning will help you differentiate yourself from the crowd.

Brand positioning allows you to stake out a unique territory (e.g., an industry specialty or a highly specialized service offering) for your business where no competitor will dare to venture because they will be labeled as a “me – too” company, just following in your footsteps.

2. Brand Positioning Cuts Through the Noise

A clear brand position allows you to communicate and reach your target audience efficiently and effectively. We are bombarded every day at every corner with marketing and sales messages. Everyone is fighting for your attention. By speaking directly to the people you intend to attract, your Brand Positioning breaks through the clutter in the midst of all this noise. Your brand is seen and heard clearly instead of shouting to an empty room or to a crowd that doesn’t care about you.

Your Brand Positioning breaks through the clutter in the midst of all this noise.

3. Brand Positioning Helps You Become a Specialist

You will be forced to focus your services accordingly by laying claim to a particular feature or benefit through positioning. This, in turn, will make you perceive yourself as an expert in these services, which will increase your value to your prospects. This is especially important because “specialists” are growing twice as fast as companies that describe themselves as “generalists.”

Positioning helps to provide your business development team’s persuasive sales tools to nurture and close more sales. Unique brand positioning enhances the visibility of business and top – of – mind recall for prospects to help drown out the competition.

4. Brand Positioning Makes Choosing Your Business Easier

Consumers want decisions that are easy. To find the right one for them, they don’t want to screen 30 alternatives. They want to know who to trust and what to buy quickly and easily. Brand Positioning deliberately and subconsciously triggers an emotional response from your target audience. If in the shortest amount of time the right levers are pulled, you increase the likelihood that people will decide “yes.”

5. Brand Positioning Allows You to Compete on More Than Just Price Alone

Whether the mass market uses your brand or you offer a high-end luxury item, Brand Positioning will provide you clarity on your specific value. Your value is what you offer to customers, how it best meets their needs, and how insufficient the alternatives that competitors offer are. You have nothing to offer but ambiguity without Brand Positioning. No one values ambiguity (or buys it).

No one values ambiguity (or buys it).

6. Brand Positioning Justifies Your Pricing

Sometimes your brand still needs price justification even when your value is known. Brand Positioning is where you identify your brand and compare it to the competition and its specific offering, informing you that your price point is strategic and justified. Are you more expensive? Less expensive? Is it obvious why? Are consumers going to respond favorably?

Positioning your business against the competition will assist you in deciding what new services to offer and how to price them. Are you a boutique company at a higher price? Or a low-cost, no-frills business? Which new services support this positioning and pricing?

7. Brand Positioning Informs and Improves Your Design

You will have the insight to make more effective decisions throughout the creative process once you have developed the core message needed to promote your brand positioning. Clear positioning drives communication that is clear.

Visual design needs to build a compelling story that involves strong positioning. If you don’t know what your competition uses, how would you know which colors, fonts, or symbols to use? What if, for example, you didn’t know that color influences the taste of consumers for particular foods? It’s not much different than writing good copy, the difference being that you’re communicating and creating perceptions through images.

8. Brand Positioning Empowers Your Brand’s Story and Messaging

How will you be able to write quality copy without knowing your brand positioning? If you don’t understand how your brand is positioned in the marketplace and your customer’s mind, it will be very difficult to write anything meaningful about yourself. Communicating to an audience is almost impossible if you do not accurately understand the uniqueness of your brand or competition you face.

So asses your brand and ask yourself these questions: is your brand positioned to…

Compete with Confidence? A strong starting point helps you understand, recognize and embrace your meaningful difference to the people that matter to your growth. Look at your competitors to see if you need to change your positioning. How will you compete with the other brands that your audience is comparing you to? How can you best position your brand against any new competitors that may sprout up in the market?

Show people the value of your brand? Your positioning should make your brand more meaningful to those who already understand your brand. You need a deep understanding of your target markets in order to create meaning. Did their behaviors, ways of thinking, principles, needs, ambitions, fears, frustrations, joys, and fantasies change? Work to create simple and meaningful positioning that you can tailor to the target markets of your brand. Work to create simple and meaningful positioning that you can tailor to the target markets of your brand. Positioning that doesn’t fit your customer’s needs, and even foresees them, will struggle to remain relevant today.

Standout in the sea of competition? Your brand positioning should give your brand a coherent, recognizable and impactful picture. This picture distinguishes you from your rivals. What are your differences? Have they been changing with the market? What are your key differences as understood by your target audiences and internal teams? Is the differentiation steady and sustainable? Make sure you’re working to own the space that should separate you.

Make smarter and more informed decisions? The positioning of your brand should be a tactical and strategic compass. Consider whether your staff and leaders use your positioning to guide their strategic decisions to make sure of this. If your leaders do not make important decisions that match your positioning, it’s time to reset and align. Your brand will be more competitive and adaptable when you use positioning to make long and short-term decisions. So bear in mind that long-term successful positioning always leaves room for growth.

Brand positioning, done correctly, can make a marketing powerhouse for your business. It can help focus your services, marketing message, and prospects appeal to your business.

Brand positioning, done correctly, can make a marketing powerhouse for your business.

Highly focused positioning allows you to build a powerful and compelling message around specific areas of expertise that will appeal greatly to a targeted audience in need of your premium services. That’s why it’s so important to have a brand positioning strategy. It gives your prospects value, gives them something to be interested in, and ultimately will persuade them to purchase from you.

When it’s all said and done, Brand Positioning is the most crucial singular part of developing a brand by allowing you to define where you fit into the vast sea of your competition.

The Importance of Brand Strategy for Restaurants

Restaurant Branding is Important

Decades ago branding was defined as a name, slogan, sign, symbol or design, or a combination of these elements that distinguish one restaurant brand from another. From the public’s perspective, the brand of a restaurant differentiated it from the competition. Today a brand is a bit more complex, and even more important in today’s world of marketing. And branding is not just about getting your target market to select you over the competition.

We can all agree that restaurant branding matters. Everything communicates, whether by design or default. All the little experiences define the whole from every touch-point. Conceptualizing and realizing a top-tier dining experience requires more than putting together a tasty menu. You have to entice customers with a purpose and promise and to deliver on that promise. Wow, guests with your restaurant’s particular panache.

Every executive and agency seems to throw around the phrase “restaurant brand” a lot and champion its importance. But when you ask them to define their restaurant brand – or even better, ask the entire executive team to define it independently and then compare their responses – it’s alarming just how far the stakeholders may be in their understanding of effective restaurant branding strategy and its application.

Homestyle Kitchen Branding Examples

Homestyle Kitchen Branding

What is Restaurant Branding?

So what exactly is restaurant branding? Is it just the standard pretty logo and catchy jingle a traditional agency conjures up in their typical approach? Of course not. Great, powerful, and effective restaurant branding is all about marrying your marketing with your operations. The best restaurants don’t simply copy trends or rely on tricky gimmicks. The best restaurant brands have a clear mission, purpose, and reason for being. These are based on research and innovation, operating on the belief that hospitality can help make the world a better place.

The best brands don’t mindlessly copy trends and espouse gimmicks.

Your brand isn’t your logo, it’s your reputation. When you think of your brand in this way, it helps you to make a more human and authentic connection to your audience and customers. When you look at your brand as your reputation, you’ll understand why it’s important to bring alignment to your look, your message, and your actions. When these three things are in alignment, and functioning optimally, you will have a healthy reputation (brand).

restaurant branding examples

Brand identity for fast-casual Indian restaurant.

Success in Restaurant Branding

To succeed in restaurant branding, you must understand the needs and wants of your customers. You can achieve this by integrating your brand strategies throughout your organization at every point of public contact. Think of branding as though your restaurant were a living, breathing person. How could this person communicate, and engage with another person in a way that builds trust, loyalty, and with clear and direct communication?

But remember, the effectiveness of a brand doesn’t just happen before the purchase—the brand experience has to last to create brand loyalty. A quality brand gives people something to believe in, something to stand behind. Your brand should be an instant “ah-ha” moment—it should require very little thought.

Remember, you can’t escape your brand. Either you make the customer experience, or it gets made without you.

Being seen and heard in the midst of a roaring ocean of competition is a large task in today’s very crowded marketplace. We find this true even more each time we scan through a magazine, watch television, or search the web. Due to this, restaurants are being forced to seek new and more effective ways of increasing their brand power, awareness, and just as important, their brand loyalty.

A strategic brand will help you in the following ways:

  • Clearly deliver a message that resonates with people.
  • Confirm your credibility in the marketplace.
  • Be confident in what makes you unique versus your competition
  • Emotionally connect your target audience with your restaurant, staff, and food.
  • Entice new customers to visit your restaurant.

The Logic of Our Emotions: The Reason People Buy Your Stuff

“When you’re dealing with people, remember you are not dealing with creatures of logic but with creatures of emotion, creatures motivated by pride and vanity.” – Dale Carnegie

Tale of Two Chickens

A few years ago Professor Raj Raghunathan and Ph.D. student, Szu-Chi Huang from the University of Texas conducted an experiment that went something like this: Two separate test groups were presented with a photo of a large, plump chicken. They were also shown a picture of a chicken that was skinny and sickly looking. The test subjects were told that the plump chicken was “all-natural” while the skinny chicken was “genetically modified.”

  • Group 1 was told the plump chicken doesn’t taste as good, but it’s healthier than the skinny one.
  • Group 2 was told the plump chicken tastes better, but the skinny chicken was more healthy.

The groups were then asked to select which chicken they’d want to eat. Both test groups said they’d choose the plump chicken. Their reasoning for this decision was very interesting.

  • Group 1 explained that health is more important than taste.
  • Group 2 explained that taste is more important than health.

However, both groups were wrong. Without realizing it, both groups made their decision based on an emotional connection with the plump chicken established at the beginning of the experiment. Not only did the plump chicken look tastier, but the test subjects were told it was “all-natural” as well. Their logic for deciding to eat the plump chicken was informed and justified in their mind to fit their initial emotional attraction to it.

The Balance of Logic and Emotion

To truly influence, your message needs to center around emotions, while maintaining harmony between logic and feelings. Logic and emotion are the two components that can create powerful influence. We can be influential by using just logic or just emotion, but the impact will be less ideal, short-term, and lacking balance.

Emotions spur decisions and action. They stir up excitement that inspires potential customers to make a purchase. The difficulty with depending solely on emotion to influence your audience is that after they leave your presence and have time to think, their emotions blur, abandoning them without a firm foundation to fall back on.

Logic must be the cornerstone upon which emotions can rest. This ebb and flow of logic and emotion could be known as the two primary driving forces of influence and persuasion. Leaders with strategic brands realize that every person requires a unique balance of logic and emotion. Analytical people may require more logic and less emotion. Other personalities could require more emotion and less logic. Your message must have both elements present – regardless of who is listening.

In high-pressure and persuasive moments, most people will respond with their emotions, then attempt to justify their decisions with logic or facts. A message that is centered on emotions will regularly set off red flags on the logical side of our brain. While a logical message, with no interest in an emotional side, won’t create a strong connection or the desired response with our audience. A great brand message will find a good balance of logic and emotion with the ultimate goal to create meaningful connections.

We are convinced by reason, however, we are compelled by emotion.

Studies have shown that close to 90 percent of the choices people make are founded on emotion. We then attempt to swap our emotions for logic in order to justify our decisions to ourselves and to other people. Emotions will almost always beat logic and our imagination will always defeat reality. If you don’t believe me, talk to a child about being afraid of the dark, or to someone else about fear of heights – it’s impossible to use logic to convince them that their fear is unfounded. No matter how many facts or stats you share with them, they will still be certain that their fear is completely valid.

The Best Brands Balance Logic and Emotions

As you build an influential brand, you need to know how to find the delicate balance between Logic and Emotions. Understanding these two powerful things will help you build stronger, healthier, and trustworthy relationships with your audience. It will also help you know the important factors that your audience considers when making a purchase. You’ll understand what people are feeling, what negative emotions they’re trying to avoid, and being able to leverage those emotions to persuade and attract them to your brand. By building a powerful brand you’ll understand when and how to use emotion to trigger specific responses, and then how to balance that emotion with facts and logic to back it up. This is all part of building a strong narrative, and clear message that brings your story to life.

 

Here’s Why You’re Getting Beat by the Competition

The most profitable companies in the world make huge investments toward improving their brand and reputation; often spending millions to get it just right. Yet for many small businesses owners, branding is an afterthought. Why is this?

In this article, I’ll dispel some common misconceptions you may have about branding that could be harming your business. You’ll also learn about how a brand strategy (like the ones we develop through our BrandGPS™ process) could be one of the best investments you could make for your business.

Your Competition Is Winning, Here’s Why…

There’s a disease of misinformation spreading throughout the world of business. It’s plaguing small businesses and startups from every industry. If not caught early, then it could do great harm to your business.

Your competition thrives on your ignorance and they want you to stay misinformed.

Your competitors would prefer that you continue doing business as usual – fighting the uphill battle and constantly spinning your wheels. They don’t want you to be privy to certain best business practices, tricks of the trade, innovative ideas, or powerful marketing tactics. As brand guides, we see the results of this common complacency on a daily basis. Yet, more often than not, this disease can be cured through some education and awareness. With knowledge comes power.

Could You Be Misinformed?

The following statements shine a light on the fact that many people have a flawed understanding of what a brand is and how a brand strategy can benefit virtually every business. If you’ve found yourself saying any of the following statements, there’s a very high chance that you could be misinformed – and quite possibly doing great harm to your business without knowing.

MYTH #1: “There’s no clear ROI to branding.”

TRUTH: The fact is, there is plenty of examples of how proper branding, guided by a professional branding agency, can have a great return on investment. We’ll mention a few below.

MYTH #2: “It’s a nice-to-have, but not that important.”

TRUTH: There’s ample evidence to show that a brand strategy is not just a “nice-to-have” for your business, but a necessary step. If you view branding as just a decoration, or an “optional add-on” it’s time to step into the 21st century and stop running your business like you live in the 1950s.

The climate of the marketplace has changed, and consumers have changed with it. It’s not enough anymore to just say that you have the best prices or best quality stuff. Consumers are smarter and more engaged than ever. They will judge you based on how you look, what you say, and what you do. If any of those three pieces aren’t aligned, then you’ll be ignored.

You need to connect with consumers, not just talk about how awesome you are. They need to know who you are, what you do, what you stand for, and believe it. Developing a strategic brand should be one of the first steps in almost every business.

MYTH #3: “We just can’t afford it.”

TRUTH: In reality, you can’t afford to not have a brand strategy. But if you are an existing business, and truly don’t have any funds to invest in growing your business – then that could be a huge indicator that you need a brand strategy. A brand strategy can be one of the most important investments you make into your business. Implementing these principles, standards, and guidelines for your business can make you more profitable; making the initial investment of hiring a professional brand agency seem small.

MYTH #4: “We can hire ACME Agency to design a logo for half the price.”

TRUTH: This could be one of the most common, and most troubling misconceptions that surround branding. This antiquated idea is plaguing the world of startups and small businesses. Many people believe that spending a few hundred dollars to hire a logo designer will provide the same benefits as a going through an in-depth, comprehensive brand strategy process like BrandGPS™ – This couldn’t be further from the truth.

Investing in a brand strategy and professional brand identity is one of the most important decisions you can make.

Benefits of Branding

Your brand is the public’s response to how you look, what you say, and what you do. Without a brand strategy and professional brand identity, you’re probably missing 2 out of 3 vital pieces that make for a great brand. Implementing a brand strategy and brand identity (like the ones we provide with BrandGPS™) provides a ton of incredible benefits, uses, and tools to help your business grow – like crazy. The list below is not complete by any means, but will give you just a taste of some of the benefits you can expect after improving your approach to branding.

1. A Customer Magnet

People really want an easy connection to the brands they love. A great brand is a great reputation. It lets someone know they can trust your business to deliver the best services or products, all the time. You brand bridges the gap between your business and your customers; strengthening their resolve to do business with you. Often times this can increase metrics for your business such as conversion rates, or average order value.

2. Customer Loyalty Sky-rockets

Great and intentional branding is one of the most effective ways to increase customer loyalty. When people have a memorable experience with your brand, they will remember your brand, not only your product or service. People put their trust in brands, not products. So if your brand can connect with your customers emotionally, and build trust, chances are you’ll have a customer for life.

3. Your Message Connects

If created well, a brand strategy and identity can provide an incredible channel of communication with your audience. Your brand can inform people about your company’s value, your defining message, and unique characteristics. Things like these will help consumers connect to your business, and easily be able to identify your products vs. your competition’s. It’s important to know your customer intimately. What drives them? What motivates them? Once you find this out, design your brand strategy and identity accordingly – and growing your business is almost inevitable.

4. You Look Like a Better Choice

Do consumers know what sets you apart from your competition? Believe it or not, most people won’t just pay you money because you say that you do the best work, you provide the best quality, you’re the most affordable, and you’re just plain awesome. A real brand strategy will give you the right messaging to clearly communicate the value of your offering. Without this positioning statement, your business will just fall into the sea of a thousand competitors. A well-thought-out brand strategy will set your brand apart from the crowd, and even if the competition tries to copy you – it will just further establish and solidify your value in the consumer’s mind.

5. Who Doesn’t Like More Money?

If I offered to give you an additional 23% revenue this year but asked you to give me a small fraction of that amount in return, what would you say? You’d say yes; it’d be a no-brainer. It’d be absurd to say no.

Yet this is exactly what many businesses are doing every single year by not investing in a brand strategy, and getting consistent with their approach. Brand consistency is extremely important, and a pillar of any solid brand strategy.

There have been studies that show brands who are consistent can experience a 23% increase in their revenue, on average. That’s a pretty crazy stat, isn’t it? How would it make you feel to see your revenue increased by 23%? It’d probably feel pretty good, right?

Think about this for your own business. Ask yourself the following:

  1. What do I estimate my revenue to be over the next 12 months?
  2. Multiply that number by 0.23.
  3. That’s how much money you’re throwing away each year by not implementing a brand strategy and maintaining a consistent brand.

So for example, a business making $100,000 annually will lose $23,000 per year by not having an effective and consistent brand strategy in place.

There’s a Better Option

The news is in. You need a brand strategy for your business. If your business doesn’t have one or the one you have is ineffective, get in touch with us.

We’ve worked with many very sharp, forward-thinking owners and entrepreneurs from a variety of industries; guiding them through our 4-step brand development process called, BrandGPS™.

Over the course of 4-6 weeks, we help you establish a solid brand strategy for your business; helping bring alignment to your business goals and marketing efforts. It gives you the right look to attract more ideal customers and ensures that your brand is sending the right message.

What this provides for a company like yours is a clear and consistent connection with people, and quite frankly this often means an increase in your profits. It comes as no surprise to us that many of the business owners we’ve partnered with have expressed that BrandGPS™ is the best investment they’ve made for their business.

What is Branding and Why Does it Matter?

If you ask ten different people what “branding” is, you’ll get ten different answers. Understanding what it means and how to leverage it effectively will unlock incredible potential for your business. Let’s give it a try.

If you’re in business, it’s safe to assume you want more people to buy more of your things. Whether it’s food, widgets, or consulting services, you want to have more sales.

However, there are two hurdles you have to overcome. First, nobody cares about your business. Second, you have millions of competitors.

Allow me to explain.

 

Nobody cares about your business.

That may sound harsh, but most people aren’t going to part with their hard-earned money because they care about supporting you. When a purchasing decision is made, it’s because they want the outcome of what your product offers.

I recently bought pedals for my mountain bike. I didn’t do it because I love small rectangular pieces of aluminum or because I wanted to make sure the company hit their sales quota for the month. My feet kept slipping off of my old pedals which made me bang my shin. I had a problem.

Buying the new pedals, I hoped my rides would become more enjoyable and make my life a little better. The pedals I chose seemed to be the answer I was looking for, and I parted with my money based on that hope.

The lesson? People buy things to make their lives better, even a little bit.

 

You have millions of competitors.

And by competitor, I don’t mean other companies who provide the exact same thing. I mean anything that competes for your customer’s hard-earned money. The graphic designer and furniture broker wouldn’t be considered competitors, but a restaurant owner might opt to buy new furniture and then not have the money for that new design (or vice versa). As customers, we spend our limited money on whatever seems to promise the greatest return on “how do I make my life better?”

You don’t have to compete with other companies providing similar products—you have to compete with every company in the known universe. Now that you’re depressed, let’s look at some good news:

People do buy your stuff. You have happy customers who understand how your product makes their life better and believe in you enough to buy and re-buy.

The question is, “How can we get more customers benefiting from what we offer?” There are millions of people who would love to have what you provide and would gladly pay top dollar for it. The problem is they have either never seen you, or they do not understand how you can help them.

Your company is one star in a galaxy of competition. How can you bridge the gap and make those connections with potential customers? That’s where branding comes in.

Your ”brand,” as I define it, is your reputation. It’s how you’re perceived. “Branding” would be the actions that build the connection between you and your customer.

 

There are three ingredients to build the connection between your customer’s needs and the solution you hold.

 

1. Being Seen 

In the galaxy of products and services, being seen can be hard. Part of branding is using the right visual tools to properly communicate how you’re different. In a sea of O’s, you need to be an X. It’s also about differentiating your brand from everyone else so it becomes something people are drawn to. Your visual presentation is the first step in attracting a new customer. If you look like everyone else, you’re not going to break through and bridge that gap.

 

2. Being Understood

Your messaging needs to be clear and simple. You need to focus on the problems your customer is facing and position what you have to offer as the solution to that problem. People buy things they can understand. Your product may be better than the competition’s, but if you can’t explain it clearly in a way that resonates with your customer’s needs, you’ll lose. It needs to be easy for people.

 

3. Following Through

You can have the best visuals and compelling messaging, but if you don’t deliver, your brand will never be healthy. It’s about promises made and promises kept. Being consistent in your brand’s execution is the final ingredient that makes it healthy. While being seen and being understood are important, what you do will always hold the most weight as you build your reputation.

 

How would you rate your brand?

  • Are potential customers seeing you in the galaxy of competition?
  • Are you clearly communicating that you understand their problems and have the solution?
  • Are you following through on promises made?

 

How Can Longitude° Help?

Longitude° is different than a full-service marketing agency. We specialize in the first two ingredients.We help you develop your brand strategy and messaging through the BrandGPS process. We also create a visual toolbox so you can communicate effectively and attract your ideal customers. Our clients all have one thing in common—they are pouring their life into making their life’s work successful. We understand. We can help you stand out, communicate your value, and build a healthy brand. Why? We believe every business deserves to have the tools to succeed.

 

Ready to Talk? Send a Message

Or just email us at info@longitudebranding.com