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Online Positioning and Branding For Small Businesses

6 Effective strategies to enhance your business's visibility

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For your growing business to stick to the heart of your audience, you need to know the mode of effective positioning and branding for small businesses. When you think of soft drinks, Coca-Cola comes to mind. Sensodyne is on the top of the list when you think of toothpaste.

If you desire a phone, you think of Apple or Samsung. Are you thinking of a fast-food store? McDonald’s is certainly your first thought. These brands have become notorious because they can maximize very effective brand positioning strategies for their brands.

However, building a renowned brand like those mentioned above as well as positioning and branding for small businesses is beyond having a beautiful logo and advertising. It is more about having an effective brand strategy that will make your brand stand out. It is about making sure that amongst other products in your niche, your brand can become the most sought after. However, this only happens when you leverage effective positioning and branding for small businesses.

Positioning-and-Branding
Positioning and Branding – Photo by Karolina Grabowska from Pexels

What does it mean to position and brand your small business?

Positioning your small business is devising the right strategy of making your brand accessible and easy to locate by your customers and target audience. It is also the process of establishing your brand in the centre of the heart of your audience. That is, making your brand worthy of thought to your audience or customers. Philip Cotler, a leading marketer, defines brand positioning

Brand positioning is an act of designing the company’s offering and image to occupy a distinct place in the mind of the target market.”

Philip Cotler

On the other hand, branding your small business is the way you want customers to perceive your business. Branding is beyond your logo. It includes the way your staff dresses, customer service experience, your business environment, the unique colour of your business, the unique selling point of your business, and many more.

Also, your business branding includes what makes your brand different from other brands in your niche. Branding is all things that your customers remember and feel confident to want to use your brand instead of other brands.

No small business should set out without thinking about brand strategies that will distinguish their brand for business. Your business is not the only one in the niche you currently are in; hence, there is a need for effective positioning and branding for small businesses.

Why Should you Position and brand your Small Business?

No matter what your business is like, it has a brand. It either has good or bad branding. For instance, customers can know your brand with lousy customer service or wrong products. No brand wants to have bad branding. Most brands with bad branding do not realise they already have branding because they are not intentional about branding their business.

If you do not intentionally brand your business, you will still have a brand that can be bad due to your carelessness. To thrive among your numerous competitors, you must consciously and strategically build your brand. Below are compelling reasons for strategically positioning and branding for small businesses.

1. Relevance:

Looking at the brands mentioned above, you will realize they are all relevant. Their significance is as a result of effective branding and proper positioning. The market is already highly competitive. Your business needs to be branded and positioned effectively for your business to remain relevant. Your brand will be apposite if it is more recognized than other brands in your niche.

Positioning and branding for small business - Relevance
Positioning and branding for small business – Photo by Olya Kobruseva from Pexels

A branded business is more accessible to recognize by your audience than anyone without branding. Businesses with no effective branding cannot stick to the mind of their audience. For instance, if you see a wristwatch that is not branded in the market and you like it but was unable to buy it at the first point of sight.

The next time you go to the market, you can buy a different brand of wristwatch that looks like the brand you saw initially. However, if you saw an apple wristwatch, you would ask for an apple wristwatch the next time you go to the market; this is what effective brand positioning helps you achieve.

2. Brand Uniqueness:

Using the right strategy to place your brand in your audience’s sight helps your audience differentiate your brand from other brands. The Unique Selling Point (USP) of your Brand is the quality that differentiates your brand from other brands. For food brands, it could be the taste.

It could be the feeling of elegance it gives to your customers for jewelry or clothing brands. For a company that provides service as a business, the USP could be speed and excellent customer service. Look keenly at your business; even though it is in the category of other companies, it has a unique solution it seeks to render. Hence, this makes your brand different from others.

3. Increased revenue:

Consistently placing your brand can improve your sales and profit by 33%. No matter how intense the competition is, customers always recognize a notorious and reliable brand. The ultimate aim of every brand is to make a profit. When your brand is valuable and placed strategically to your target audience, they will always choose it over other brands.

In addition, with the USP of your brand, the price of your brand can be higher than other brands, and your customers will choose your brand. For instance, the cost of an Apple product can be higher than other similar products, yet; the customers will prefer to buy the Apple product because it is presumed to have a unique feature that the other product does not have. After all, the aim of every business is to make money from their brand.

4. Credibility:

If you have a great brand positioning strategy in place, your brand will be credible and enjoy the loyalty of your target audience and customers. Ineffectively positioning your brand, ensure that everything you publish about your brand is authentic. While stating the truth always with helpful content to your target audience and customers, you will be able to connect with your audience’s emotions.

Types of Brand Positioning

It is pertinent for you to understand that your brand defines your business. Various factors influence your brand’s positioning strategies. Those factors include the Unique selling point of your products, your target audience, your competitors, and customers, among other things. For your brand to achieve your aim, there are various kinds of brand positioning strategies that you can choose. We went through them below:

1. Price-based brand positioning strategy:

Customers like to feel that the best choice they have made is to buy the product or service from your brand at the lowest price possible. This strategy gives your brand a competitive advantage over other similar brands, especially if the quality of products is the same or similar. Using this strategy has its side effects too. Your brand could be seen as having low quality.

Discounts
Discount – Photo by Artem Beliaikin from Pexels

2. Celebrity based brand positioning strategy:

This kind of brand positioning encourages celebrities as ambassadors for your brand. Hose celebrities will endorse your brand’s service or products. They help increase the awareness of more people for your brand.

The simple tricks to this are that their fans are most likely to patronize you as they give credibility to your brand. It also means that their followers will trust your brand in return. Celebrities act as influencers to your brand due to their vast influence on their fans and followers.

Many followers of celebrities want to be like them. Using the products they use makes them feel like celebrities. You can use all of these advantages for the growth and advancement of your brand.

3. Quality based brand positioning strategy:

Companies that tend to implement this strategy emphasize their products’ quality and durability above others. For instance, in their advertisement, the focus can be that “it is long-lasting.” If it is a brand that offers service, it prides itself on the quality of staff or the professionality of its staff.

When customers feel that a product is of high quality, they tend to buy it for a higher price than another one they think is lower even though they perform the same function. This strategy, if well implemented, can be used as a justification for the high price of the product.

4. Convenience-Based Positioning Strategy:

This strategy involves making your goods or service more straightforward to use than other brands. Banks improve on this constantly. They compete with brands within the banking needs, for which one is easier to use than another. From walking into a branch to perform banking activities to using ATM cards, we now have online banking.

Another example of this strategy is brands that deliver their products to the location of their customers. These deliveries may attract an extra fee which will be justified. The trick of this strategy is that you must ensure that your brand provides convenience at a higher level than other brands in that niche. Online marketing is one of the convenience strategies small businesses use in recent times.

With this strategy, your target is for your customers or audience to have maximum satisfaction by attending to their complaints with wisdom and after-service opportunity when there is a complaint. You must have at one time, or the other patronized a brand because of their customer service.

For instance, you may decide to continually use a particular hotel for your seminar because of their excellent customer service. An example of a niche that can use this strategy is a gadget-producing company like Samsung. Some people get this product because of their customer service. They are approachable to repair and install their products in your home or office.  

If your brand decides to use this strategy, you must not overstate what your brand can achieve. Instead, allow your customers experience beat their expectations consistently.

Top 6 effective steps for positioning your brand in 2022

The best 6 steps to follow for effective brand positioning include:

1. Review your brand’s current state

What is the position of your brand in the industry? Have you been unintentional with the positioning of your brand? What does your audience know your brand for at the moment? Does your audience have a good impression of your brand? Re you just starting, and you want to get the brand positioning right from the outset?

Research-your-competitors
Competitor Research – Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

You will need to answer many more questions if you want to position your brand effectively and strategically. You need to know where you currently are; this will guide what you need to do for your brand. If your business has been on for some time, your audience already perceives your brand even though you may not be intentional about it. It would help if you found out what it is.

2. Research your brand’s competitors

When you are done with the first step of reviewing the current state of your brand, you should move on to identifying and analyzing your competitors. Other brands are selling products similar to yours or offering similar services as yours. It would help if you researched them, especially those making waves in the industry and those who are not.

You will have to research those doing well because they are doing some things right; you should know what they are doing right. This research will help you discover and inspire you to improve on what they have done.

You will research those not making waves because there is probably something they are doing wrong. You need to know what they are doing wrong to not fall into a similar trap. After this research, compare what you’ve learned from both categories of competitors.

3. Pinpoint the Uniqueness of your Brand

There may be another brand doing something similar to what your brand does. Your brand should have something extra that it wants to offer that those other brands are not currently providing.

pexels olya kobruseva 7598024 1
Pinpoint the Uniqueness of your Brand – Photo by Olya Kobruseva from Pexels

Your unique value proposition could be inspired by some weaknesses or lapses you noticed in other brands during the competitor’s research you carried out.

4. Choose the positioning framework and evaluate it

You will have to get some things right in choosing your positioning framework. In this framework, you will write down the idea behind your brand, who your target audience is, your brand’s value proposition, and your brand’s mission statement. You can also add what the message you will communicate with your audience is centered upon and some sample of another brand framework you can use as a guideline.

With the framework in place, you should draft your brand’s positioning statement; this will comprise what you want to achieve with your brand and who your target audience is, the solution you intend to solve. An example of a positioning statement is Walt Disney’s “where dreams come true.” Learn how to craft a positioning statement here.

When your positioning statement is ready, you must evaluate it to ensure your audience loves it. You do this by surveying it. Ask your audience what they feel about this statement. Ask them what they expect each time they see this statement. With this strategy, you will know if the information achieves the desired outcome.

5. Connect with your audience emotionally

This connection can be achieved when you know the needs of your audience. Keep asking questions from your audience. Check groups where your audience interacts understand what they are talking about. Also, during sales, always remember to notify your audience and customers of what differentiates your brand from other brands.

Not just that, let every of your advertisement be themed after your unique value proposition. The right audience for you is those who choose your brand because of your unique value proposition. They will eventually get glued to your brand if you consistently satisfy them. You connect to the emotion of your audience by meeting their needs.

6. Delivery

The crux of this process is the proper delivery. Deliver everything you promised in your proposition statement and watch your audience become loyal to your brand. When your audience becomes loyal to your brand, they become your brand advocates without coercion or any form of incentive. Satisfaction is the best incentive to loyalists. You want your customers to be loyal and become your brand advocates, satisfying them.

customer delivery
Customer Delivery – Photo by Tima Miroshnichenko from Pexels

Also, ensure that each of your employees who directly contact your customers understands your brand well. Train them to be your brand because they are the face of your brand. Their style of speech and dressing must portray all that your brand stands for.

Bottom line

Branding and positioning are not one-time activities. Instead, they require continuous efforts that every brand must implement from the beginning of its establishment. If you implement the right strategies as given above, you will stand out from other brands.

If you implement all of the strategies outlined here, you will effectively position your brand and make it stand out from those of your competitors. For your brand to attract and sustain the interest of your target audience in this highly competitive marketplace, brand positioning is of high importance.

The strategies for Branding and positioning for small businesses in this article will help you build brand loyalty as you can now keep your audience and customers for a long time. It is the simple trick that makes your customers keep coming back.

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