What factors influence a customer’s decision to pick a certain product over another? Why do certain companies have millions of followers while others are widely disliked? What separates brands that are super successful and those that are total failures?
Now, these are intriguing questions that every aspiring entrepreneur must answer, and sure enough, those answers will not point to luck but to the brand and its brand positioning.
A well-positioned brand subconsciously influences 95% of its customers, making them prefer that brand’s products over others. So, irrespective of your industry, effectively establishing your brand’s position will give you a solid advantage in our present crowded market.
And to help you effectively position your company, we performed this exclusive research on brand positioning and unravel the mysteries contained within. Before we get down to it, here’s what we’d be taking a deep look at.
- What exactly is brand positioning?
- Why your brand’s positioning is critical
- Why the survey was necessary
- Why did we ask this question?
- Here’s what our survey results revealed
- Here’s what this all means
- So how does the result of the survey play out in reality?
- But is there another path?
Many business owners are unaware of how important brand positioning is to the market and why their company has to establish a strong position in today’s saturated market.
Simply said, brand positioning is the position your brand occupies in the minds of your target market. It is how your brand differentiates itself from competitors, as well as how people react to and engage with your services. It is also a critical component of a successful brand strategy.
The issue about brand positioning is that it occurs whether you want it to or not. Whether you planned for it or not, your target client—deep in their minds—automatically categorizes every organization they encounter based on pricing, tone, marketing, packaging, shop design, domain name, and website.
And ‘automatic positioning’ occurs because it allows customers to decide if your brand can solve the problems they’re experiencing.
To avoid being automatically positioned in the minds of your customers, your business must deliberately build a compelling brand identity.
Unless you’re okay with customers associating your brand with something that contradicts your business’s core convictions, you must continually monitor and maintain your brand’s position.
“Yes, rebranding or repositioning your firm away from whatever unfavorable connotation your clients have accepted is difficult and costly.” — Squadhelp Team.
Many businesses, such as Juicero and Essential Products, made the mistake of designing products that did not meet the needs of their target market. As it turned out, this resulted in the demise of these brands.
And like in the early days of Netflix, Amazon, and Tesla, new businesses must aim to offer great products that address a particularly painful problem if they wish to stand out in their industry.
Positioning your brand can help you communicate your brand’s uniqueness, consistency, purpose, and integrity.
However, in order to achieve this aim effectively, you must first understand who your core market is and how to position your business in a manner that piques their interest.
And now that we’ve covered the basics of branding and brand positioning let’s go back to the survey and see how you can make the most of it.
Our objective was to discover which brands customers were drawn to and how that varied based on the customer demographics.
And this information can help you make quick branding decisions and choose a position that’s best for your brand, it doesn’t matter if you run a small, medium, or large business.
To achieve the purpose of the survey, we had to ask people in the United States, “Would you rather patronize a modern and innovative company or a traditional and trustworthy organization?”
Recognize that deciding on your company’s tone is one of the most important and defining decisions you’ll have to make when establishing or rebuilding your brand. This decision is critical since it assists entrepreneurs, product managers, and brand leaders in shaping the future of their businesses.
Take a moment to consider how the market would look today if:
- Steve Jobs named his company Executex instead of Apple
- Zappos still bore the name Shoestore
- Jeff Bezos had left his company’s name as Cadabra
- Phil Knight hadn’t renamed Blue Ribbon Sports to Nike
- Hydrox had taken a better name
- Ayds diet candy had rebranded their company
Understand that the general personality of your company and the feelings people associate with it are influenced by the tone of your brand. Your tone is so essential that you should incorporate it in the naming process for your company.
Even though there are many different brand tones, a lot of them lie somewhere between “traditional and trustworthy” tones and “modern and innovative” tones.
Here are some well-known traditional brands:
- Liberty Mutual
- Warby Parker
Here are some popular modern brands:
- Urban Decay
And because the most important question entrepreneurs consider when establishing a brand position is whether their company should be contemporary or traditional, we carefully designed our survey to capture which demographics are drawn to modern brands and which are drawn to traditional brands.
You know, to some extent, the findings of the survey were expected, but the results we got were quite eye-opening. Here’s what we learned from the 301 people that took part:
- People aged 25–34 show a high preference for new and innovative businesses. Over half of the respondents surveyed in this group chose new and innovative brands over old and trusted brands.
- Unlike historied and trusted brands, new and innovative brands were preferred by people aged 35–45. Nonetheless, it’s worth noting that the group was split equally between the two choices.
- People in the age groups 45–54 and 55–65 were more interested in well-known companies with a long track record of reliability.
- People between the ages of 55–65 were especially drawn to historied and trusted brands.
- Men expressed little to no preference for either a modern or classic brand, according to the survey.
- Women, according to the survey, are more willing to pick historied and well-known brands over modern and innovative ones.
- Overall, 153 out of 301 individuals favored old and reliable brands, while 148 preferred modern and innovative ones. The outcome plainly demonstrates that both positions are good, but it all depends on the audience you’re attempting to win.
The results of the survey make it expressly clear that most young people are interested in innovative and modern businesses. So, if you’re targeting a younger demographic, consider aligning your firm to its audience by providing it with a unique, current, and inventive brand identity.
But if you’re seeking to reach an older audience like Baby Boomers and older Gen Xers, then you’ll need to travel the traditional route and brand your company with a classic name because people between the ages of 45–65 have a strong affinity for historical and reliable companies.
From the survey, it’s quite easy to see why business owners should consider their brand’s tone and ask themselves, ‘who are we marketing to?’ before positioning or naming their business.
And when it comes to finding the perfect brand name that’d align with your business and customer demographic, using a reliable business name generator is the simplest and fastest option.
One great example of a well-positioned company is Lululemon. Lululemon is a one-of-a-kind company that offers much more than just clothes.
The company’s been offering fascinating brand engagement through courses for years, and their most recent collaboration with Mirror, a home interactive boutique fitness class, demonstrates that the brand’s fire of innovation is still blazing two decades after its founder, Chip Wilson, established the tone.
Hulu is another excellent example of a well-positioned brand. The brand took a decisive decision by choosing a name that tipped the brand tone scale from normal to the extreme by being ‘new and innovative.’ And with over 40 million users, we can boldly say they made the right naming decision.
Hulu’s present success is due to its tone being perfect for its service and target demographic. Young people, from millennials to Gen Xers, make up the majority of their target market, and as our survey showed, they want a brand that is “modern and innovative.”
Sure, Compass, the clever real estate business, is an excellent example of a brand that balances classic and innovation. Even though real estate is a highly conventional business, the company aims to appeal to both an older and younger audience by adding some innovative features to the industry.
So before positioning your business, make sure you figure out who your target audience demographics are and develop your brand around them.
Grant Polachek is the head of branding for Squadhelp.com, 3X Inc 5000 startup and disruptive naming agency. Squadhelp has reviewed more than 1 million names and curated a collection of the best available names on the web today. We are also the world’s leading crowdsource naming platform, supporting clients from early-stage startups to Fortune 500 companies.