The marketplace is now highly competitive, commoditised and distracted, with a proliferation of undifferentiated products and services distinguishable mainly by price. To cut through the noise, brands can differentiate themselves by embracing what makes them different and establish clear market positioning.
The way to differentiate your brand from others is to be highly distinctive on two fronts – brand image and brand messaging.
Brand image refers to the unique style and attitude of a brand. For best positioning, this image needs to relate to the specific attribute or point of difference a business uses to separate itself from competitor alternatives in the mind of the customer. For example, Mercedes-Benz projects an image of prestige, and uses this image to position itself as the preferred choice of luxury vehicle for discerning buyers.
Brand messaging refers to language and tonality used in the tagline or positioning statement that encapsulates the specific attribute or point of difference of a brand in a way that appeals to the target audience. For example, the Mercedes-Benz tagline of ‘The best or nothing’ emphasises excellence in engineering, safety and luxury, which is how it wants to be perceived by those it wishes to attract.
Use the Brand Positioning Distinctiveness Model below to plot your current brand positioning and brand message distinctiveness.
Anything below the mid-line means you are more likely to be out of sight and out of mind in the marketplace.
If the distinctiveness of your brand image and brand message are both low, you are more likely to be invisible in the marketplace.
If the distinctiveness of your brand image is low and the distinctiveness of your brand message is high, you may be remembered for a short time but you will soon be forgotten.
If the distinctiveness of your brand image is high and the distinctiveness of your brand message is low, you are more likely to be memorable but perhaps not in the longer term.
The ideal position for any business is to have high distinctiveness of brand image and high distinctiveness of brand message. This ultimate level of distinctiveness will more likely leave an indelible (unforgettable) impression of your brand in the minds of prospects and establish clear market positioning for your brand.
If you’re ready to stand out and make your mark in 2022, I’d love to hear from you!
©Ros Weadman 2022 Ros Weadman is an award-winning brand communication and reputation strategist who helps professional service providers to enhance their reputation. She is the author of “Brandcode®” and “The Reputation Equation”. Her new book ‘Enhance Your Reputation’ will be available in March 2022.
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