Business decision making is a vital part of any company. Modern management depends on the ability to make better decisions, and these decisions sustain the activities of the entire business. Decisions need to be made at every single level of management, and many employees are required to make critical business decisions on a regular basis.
These decisions are integral for ensuring the organisation’s goals are being achieved, but making these decisions isn’t always easy.
In most cases, business decision making requires you to identify the goal you want to achieve, collect relevant information, and weigh up all the options before making a final choice. Decision making can be difficult, and many different factors need to be considered when you are making business-changing choices.
We are here to share our marketing expert’s top tip to help simplify business decision making. Brand positioning is an effective strategy, giving you and your team the ability to make better decisions for your business.
In this guide, we will look into what brand positioning is, how to determine it, and how it can help your decision-making process.
What is brand positioning?
Brand positioning is a term that is thrown around a lot by marketing professionals. It defines what your brand stands for and is the reputation that your business will be known for among consumers. Brand positioning allows a business to differentiate itself from the competition and stand out from the crowds.
Brand positioning can help boost brand awareness, justify pricing and communicate the value of a product or business. Some people describe brand positioning as the space that a company owns in the minds of its consumers. Every business will have a brand position, whether it has proactively created a strategy for it or not.
When your business can position itself in the right way to consumers, it can help to create a major advantage in the industry. Brand positioning leads to market differentiation and highlights the uniqueness of your product or company. This marketing strategy can be used to demonstrate how one of your products solves a specific consumer problem in a better way than competitors.
A clear brand position will provide your customers with the answers they need to make purchasing decisions. The ability to make better decisions is an often-underestimated benefit of brand positioning.
How do I figure out my brand’s positioning?
Figuring out your existing brand positioning and deciding if it is the right strategy for your business isn’t always an easy task. Your brand will already have a position in consumers’ minds, whether you have done this on purpose or not.
In order to figure out what your brand positioning is and what it should be, you need to spend some time researching your industry. Look at your competitors and figure out what brand position they have chosen, and how well that is working for them. Once you know where your business sits among its competitor set, you can determine a position that will help your brand stand out.
Your brand position also needs to be authentic to you and reflect your values as a company. Look at your business story and mission and incorporate all your values in your brand positioning strategy.
Think carefully about your target audience and define your market so that you can create a brand position that is relevant to them. Figuring out your brand positioning is ultimately about figuring out what makes you different from the rest and what value you bring to your customers.
How does brand positioning help with decision making?
Having solid brand positioning is vital for effective decision making. When you know exactly who your business is, what it stands for and how it fits in customers’ minds, you can make decisions to help the brand flourish.
If you want your team to be able to make better decisions on a daily basis, then you need to keep your brand positioning in mind. It should be used as a base for every business decision that is made.
When you consider if a decision fits with your brand positioning, it can help you to make more effective choices that will lead to success. There are many reasons why brand positioning helps with decision making;
Guides strategic decisions and marketing mix
Brand positioning can help to guide strategic decision making. Your ability to make decisions that will truly help your business thrive can be improved when you keep your brand position at the core of everything you do.
Strategic decision making is all about setting yourself up for long term success and meeting longer-term goals and visions for your business. When you have your brand positioning as your reason and base for every decision, you will be better able to clarify the bigger picture. This will help your business to align short term plans into a deeper and broader mission for your brand.
Your marketing mix also needs to be aligned with your brand positioning. If you are defining your marketing mix elements, then your brand positioning needs to be at the forefront. Once you know your brand’s positioning, the most effective elements of the marketing mix will be more straightforward and easier to identify.
If you have an inconsistent marketing mix compared with your brand positioning, then it can lead to confusion over your products and business. Starting with your brand position in mind, and then identifying your marketing mix will help keep your business decisions on track.
Helps evaluate partnerships and opportunities
Businesses regularly have to make decisions about the partnerships and opportunities they pursue. Choosing the wrong partnerships can harm your business and affect how consumers perceive you.
When you keep your brand position in mind when deciding potential opportunities and partnership, you can focus on the ones that will truly benefit you.
The brand position provides some much-needed clarity in the bigger vision for your company, helping you to decide on the partnerships that are right for business.
You only want to partner with others that fit with your brand positioning strategy and share your values. A business should only choose to take opportunities that reflect these elements of their brand as well. If you are presented an opportunity that doesn’t align well with your brand, then keeping your positioning strategy in mind will help you understand why it isn’t the right choice.
On the flip side, partnerships and opportunities that fit well with your brand position are easy to make decisions about as you can clearly see the benefits to your business.
Provides framework for market research
Market research is absolutely essential for effective decision making. It provides a base of knowledge for decisions to be made upon. However, just going out and doing any market research you possibly can won’t help your business make educated decisions.
Your market research must be relevant and accurate to your consumer base and industry. Having a solid brand positioning strategy gives you a framework for your market research. It is a starting point that you can build upon, to ensure that your efforts are being focused in the right place.
When you and your teams know exactly where your business sits within its competitor set and what your vision for the brand is, you can make better decisions when it comes to market research. There is no need for conducting research on companies that are not direct competitors of yours, and no use for researching consumers that aren’t in your target market.
Brand positioning sets out these elements so that your market research can be carried out effectively and successfully. That market research can then improve your ability to make better decisions for your business.
Enables better leadership throughout your business structure
No matter the size of your company, leadership is vital for success. When it comes to making decisions, business leaders are usually very involved. Brand positioning can improve leadership throughout the business structure. This is because it ensures that everyone is on the same page about the business and its goals.
No matter the level of seniority in the business, leaders should all have the same brand position at the forefront of their minds. When every manager in the company is focused on the same goal, they will be able to make more consistent leadership decisions.
A well-understood brand positioning strategy helps leaders right across the business to make decisions with the same goals in mind. When this brand position is then filtered down into every employee and member of the team, it ensures the entire business structure will keep it at the heart of everything they do.
Companies that are able to keep their position and branding guidelines consistent across the entire business are better placed to make effective and successful decisions.
Attracts and helps evaluate new recruits
Brand positioning isn’t just about what customers think of your business, but also potential employees and partners. Having a strong brand position will help to attract the right talent to your business.
When the world knows who you are, what you stand for and what makes you different from the rest, you are more likely to attract the kinds of employees that reflect your values. The people you hire are one of the most important assets to your business, and it is vital that they blend into your brand position.
Brand positioning will also help you to make informed recruitment decisions. When you use your brand position to evaluate potential new team members, you can make sure you hire individuals that resemble your values and goals.
Employees reflect the brand’s messaging, especially if they are customer-facing. When you incorporate brand positioning into your recruitment decision-making process, you will be able to hire the best people to help your business grow.
Assists collaboration with creatives and partners
When your business has a well-defined brand positioning strategy in place, you will have the ability to make better decisions when it comes to communication. Working with creatives and partners, whether it be designers, copywriters, photographers or something else entirely, requires a solid understanding of your brand and values.
Creatives and partners will be better able to evoke the emotions of your business and its customers when they understand your brand position.
If you are deciding which marketing campaign, collateral design or publication to work with, your brand positioning can help you find the right choice. A business that has more focus on where they are going will be better placed to make impactful decisions.
A successful brand strategy will narrow your audience and market and highlight your unique selling points. This makes decisions easier and simpler because it eliminates a lot of the other options on the table.
Support brand longevity and long term success
A well planned and defined brand positioning strategy will provide business decision-makers with a compass which will help to steer all long term decisions in the right direction. When your brand is positioned correctly for success, your longevity will be supported.
An effective branding strategy will impact your brand personality, communication, core messaging, identity, tone of voice and much more. All of these aspects help contribute to the long term success of your brand.
When every member of your team has your brand’s positioning strategy as a basis for their decision making, they will inevitably make choices that are better for your business’ long-term future. A good brand positioning strategy will map out all the attributes needed to help support brand longevity and long term success.
The ability to make better decisions comes from a brand positioning strategy that sets out who the target market is, the unique selling points of products, and the values of the business.
What kind of brand positioning documents should my business have?
If you are looking to improve your brand positioning and creating a strategy that will help your business decision-making processes, then you will need to implement some documentation. Brand positioning statements are the most common options for documents for a brand strategy.
A brand positioning statement is a short description of your business, product or service, and its target market. It will also include how your product or service fulfils the need of the defined target market. These statements are essential internal tools for determining all marketing efforts and supporting decision making.
- The purpose of these brand positioning statements is that they clearly define;
- Your customer base and who your business serves
- Your product offering and how they serve your market
- How your products help your market resolve a problem
- Why your business does what it does
- How your business is different from the rest of the industry
Brand guidelines are another set of documents that can help to support brand positioning, and they usually provide all the information related to your brand identity. Brand style guides usually include a brand story, logo guidelines, colour palettes, font and typography, image guidelines and any other vital branding information.
How can I tell how customers perceive my brand?
How your customers perceive your brand is known as brand perception. It is an important part of brand positioning but measuring it can be a challenge. There are a few ways that you can tell how customers perceive your brand, and it is important to track this over time;
- Focus Groups: Focus groups have been around for years, and they are an effective way of investigating what people think of your business and products. They reveal the positives and negatives of your brand and help you gauge how customers feel.
- Perception Surveys: Sending surveys to existing customers and potential new ones is an effective way of learning how they perceive your brand.
- Social Media: Tracking mentions and reactions across social media channel is an easy way to determine how customers view your business. Checking reviews and comments on your pages and posts can provide useful insights.
What does it mean to have a premium product?
Premium products are often thought of more highly than others on the market and are a way that some brands choose to position themselves. There are many questions around what makes a product ‘premium’, but in most cases, it comes down to quality and price.
A product that is perceived as being premium is usually higher in quality than the others on the market and has a price tag to reflect this. Consumers are generally happy to pay more for a premium product because they believe they are getting a higher quality option.
Positioning your brand as a premium product is effective for justifying a premium price. These products are often sold in upmarket stores and only available in high-end shops. They must have the quality to match, as consumers will expect more from a product that is perceived as being premium.
Every industry and market will have a range of premium products and budget products, each with their own features and price points. Each brand in these industries will need to position their products in the correct place within the market.