Whether you are a creating a new business or looking to rebrand a current one, it's important that you put in some time and consideration to where you want to position yourself in your market.
It’s all about finding your market niche.
Identify a market need that’s not being met, set yourself apart from the other companies and dominate that niche.
1) How to find your position:
A very useful exercise (thank you to Seth Godin) is to draw up an X & Y axis. Assign each axis a value and begin to plot the position of other companies in your market. When drawing up this axis, make sure to pick 2 variables that are important to your customers, not you personally.
For this example I will use Pizza.
The 2 axis have have chosen is price and speed/convenience. On one side it goes from expensive to cheap and on the other it goes from cooked from frozen at home, to hand made in a restaurant.
This could also be replicated by Coffeeshops using speed (instant vs pour over) and price or holidays using temperature (hot or cold) and activity (relaxing or high adrenaline).
Here we can see the spaces occupied by: La Gatta, Pizza Hunt, Pizza Express Domino's and Tesco Everyday Value.
Can you spot a potential opportunity?
2) Some examples of different brands within one market.
To illustrate that I have grouped together some brands/products so you can see the differences in their branding as they try to appeal to a specific market. Using what I have observed from the brands above, I have taken a generic brand and have rebranded in a variety of ways to appeal to different markets.
3) Choosing your position.
Pick a place that you like, can serve and has little competition.
Looking at your diagram, where best could you place yourself? Being the first brand within that category is a huge advantage as you are able to position yourself as the market leader without little or no pressure from your rivals.
If we take the Pizza Axis above, we can see that there is an opportunity to create a Pizza that is both Fast and Expensive as people won't want the opposite of Cheap and Slow. A perfect solution could be a restaurant quality frozen Pizza to have at home.
4) Deciding on your Branding
In order to reinforce position in a way that appeals to audience, you will have to balance having the characteristics that they will recognise, yet make you distinctive.
What's the best way to do this?
If we were to use the example above of a Restaurant quality frozen Pizza, which one of the generic logos would be best suited and why is that? Here is a mock up below of what I think would be best suited.
5) Incorporating your 'why'
This will give it memorability and help make it stand out from the competition. As I mentioned in a previous article, people don't buy what you do, they buy why you do it.
By using storytelling to tell customers why you are so passionate about what you do, you become memorable and will therefore stand out in your niche.
Does your product have a story behind it? What about your company? Stories are what make consumers feel connected with your business. By telling one, a company becomes easier to relate to, more meaningful, and more genuine.
6) Telling A story
Branding is so much more than a logo. It also involves colours, textures, patterns, typefaces, tone of voice, packaging just to name a few. So you will have many ways to communicate your message to your audience. Make sure that is easy to understand, without being too in your face. A nice example of this is the use of apples by Advertising behemoth Leo Burnett (where I used to work!)
"Apples have become a symbol for the Leo Burnett Company ever since Leo Burnett put out a bowl of apples at a reception when he opened his doors in the middle of the Great Depression, which caused a lot of talk, with people saying that it would not be long before Burnett would be selling apples on the street. Apples continued to be a symbol of Leo Burnett's hospitality and success throughout the years and are still used today. Leo Burnett gives away over 3 million apples a year worldwide."
To sum up
Even if you aren't considering to reposition yourself, it is always good to stay on top of what's happening within your industry. If done regularly, this exercise will allow you to see any potential spaces for you to move into and being 'the first' or the 'category leader' in a specific area will give you a huge advantage over any competitors.
Remember, you don't have to change your current position, but you can create a new product that will work perfectly for a new untapped market.