The Four Types Of Brand Position
Whenever a new business, product or brand is made, they are invariably going to be compared to other brands that provide a similar product/service for a similar audience.
By deliberately choosing and shaping your branding strategy around creating a particular perception relative to similar brands, whether they are direct competitors or not, which makes your brand stand out from the rest and give you the best chance of survival in the long term.
This is known as brand positioning and is a critical part of a marketing strategy. Whilst there are often many places in a healthy market space, they can be loosely categorised into four distinct groups.
Often the goal of a brand is to become the leader and thrive in a particular industry space. They are the first name that comes to mind for many people who are less aware of the industry space.
They do not need to necessarily make the most money or be the most successful but be perceived as the biggest and most important name.
For example, the leading brand of mobile phones is Apple, despite the fact that they sell fewer devices than Samsung.
Typically the leading brand is either the first, a conqueror of the first brand that provides demonstrably more value to consumers or have made such a convincing claim that they are the leader that people believe them.
In every industry, there will be a strong number of consumers that do not like the leading brand and would choose instead one that acts as a contrarian to the leading one.
This can happen for a number of reasons; perhaps a brand knows that direct competition would be damaging and so finding a sustainable niche is better, or sometimes a brand is formed deliberately to act as a contrast.
An example of this is Nintendo in the computer gaming space. Compared to Sony and Microsoft, who both emphasise very expensive and powerful hardware with a price to match, Nintendo believes in a concept they describe as “lateral thinking with withered technology”.
This emphasises making the most of more affordable hardware and relying on innovative game experiences and appealing to other parts of the market not served by the other two, such as children and families.
The Isolated Niche
One of the best places to position a brand at first is to aim for a specific segment of the market that is insufficiently served by the current products on the market, and whilst these technically have competitors, they are so isolated that they are unlikely to see major competition.
One example of this is Furever Home Friends, a book and toy brand that specialises in creating stories and plush toys based on real rescue dogs and that donates proceeds from every order to rescue homes.
Whilst there are many dog plushes on the market, as well as many book-and-toy sets available, this provides a niche for dog lovers, education on social issues and charitable endeavours, given that the stories told in these books are based on the real stories of rescue animals.
The Mutualist Brands
In the underwater world, there are certain types of smaller fish that stick to or swim with larger fish for safety, security and mutual benefit. They provide a service to a leader in exchange for this safety.
Typically, mutualist brands are those that work adjacent to a major brand and create a benefit for the leading brand. This could be, for example, authorised resellers of big brands such as Apple, people who sell products on larger digital marketplaces or create content for platforms such as YouTube.
So long as they are not a threat they can comfortably set themselves up and be successful.
For more information about brand positioning from a branding agency in Berkshire, get in touch today.