One of the most commonly held assumptions about positioning a brand is that it is only a set of words put together and written up for publication. But that’s simply not so. It’s much, much more than that. In fact, that only describes the end process but it doesn’t describe the work of positioning a brand and what it actually involves.
So I’m writing this post to debunk that myth for those who are new to positioning, and positioning a brand. Positioning a brand deserves hours, days and even months of deep thinking, planning, informed by reliable market research full of qualitative data, for one. It demands rigorous debate, frank disagreement, and ruthless scrutiny.
During this thinking, planning and research process, it’s important to question and test the assumptions people hold. That helps to find gaps and weaknesses that your competitor might exploit.
Yes, quantitative data is important and helpful. But when you are counting on research to inform major decisions that have significant investments of resource and budget, then it doesn’t hurt to get qualitative information to help give a better understanding of why your audiences or viewers are making certain choices.
Qualitative information gives insightful information about the ‘why’ in people’s choices and attitudes.
When you are reaching out to hard-to-reach audiences and specific ethnic populations, qualitative data helps to understand differences in consumer behaviour.
By the way, when I’m referring to brand, I’m also referring to an organisation, a celebrity, a company or a political movement. A brand isn’t confined to just being a product, although technically speaking, one could say that an organisation is a product, so too is a celebrity.
When I am referring to markets, that is your audience, the people you are targeting, the people you want to speak to, connect with, and influence.
When I refer to the marketing mix in these conversations, it’s the 4 Ps: Price, Product, Promotion and Place.
So how do you get started on positioning? There’s a three-step process that’s tried and tested, and worth noting down for your marketing and communications discipline. Let me start with the first step here.
- Segment Your Market
This is a critical process in marketing. Divide the market up into segments into distinct subsets. There’s different ways you can segment your market, depending on a number of factors. One thing about segmentation is that location is an important variable.
If you’d like to know more about the segmentation process and different ways to segment your markets, let me know by email.