According to Philip Kotler, the S. C. Johnson & Son Distinguished Professor of International Marketing at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, (and fellow Chicagoan), brand positioning is defined by a brand’s offerings and associations in the mind of its target market. That definition is a bit conceptual and encompasses a lot of things, so let’s break it down a bit.
No offense, Professor Kotler.
First, a brand’s audience has to be aware of the brand in order to begin positioning it in their minds. This relates back to brand identity and brand messaging, where the powerful tools of visual design and effective communication convey impactful brand messages to a consumer.
Second, the brand must have credibility in the marketplace. Positioning also relates to the competition and brand competitors only acknowledge those brands they feel pose a reasonable challenge to their current efforts. If a brand lacks credibility in its marketplace, then there are no competitors because no one takes it seriously.
Third, the brand must remain relevant to the consumer in the marketplace. This relevancy is coupled with innovations and a constant awareness of technological advances in accessibility to the brand’s audience.
An example would be a brand that started off strong in the early 90’s only doing business by word of mouth and mailers. Then the internet happens and instead of building a digital presence online, the once powerful 90’s brand fades into obscurity. The difference between a brand’s digital relevance and its audience perception determines a key part of its positioning.
Many brand owners are not aware of their positioning or may feel if they meet a few of the criteria mentioned above their brand’s positioning will take care of itself.
This is not the case.
Brand positioning is a continuous process that derives from all the factors covered by the Laura Lian Brand Analysis. We take the time to review every aspect of your brand’s current positioning while providing valuable design insights to help maintain your position in the market. Our strategic approach to design highlights your brand’s relevance while establishing a long term presence in both digital and print media.