When planning a road trip, simply having a destination is not enough. If you ask someone, “How do I get to the Grand Canyon?” their follow-up question will always be, “Where are you coming from?” Without that initial starting point, mapping the shortest route from point-A to point-B is impossible. It’s the same in business when seeking brand growth and development. Unless you make it a priority to identify your starting point, the shortest path to success will remain shrouded in uncertainty.
Sales and marketing content, brand perception, differentiation; these are just a few facets of your business that are directly impacted and fully dependent on brand positioning. Understanding where you currently stand within the competitive marketplace is a vital aspect of strategic development and long-term success.
For example, crafting effective sales and marketing content is reliant on knowing what your target consumer want and how you stack up against industry competitors in those areas. With this knowledge you can use brand messaging to highlight the aspects of your brand that stand out or give you an advantage.
The modern consumer market is more competitive than ever and the battle for market share is not won by chance. This year we’re encouraging all brands to consider whether or not they fully understand their current market position, so here’s a look at our approach with hopes it will spark constructive dialogue within your organization.
Our Process for Strategic Brand Positioning
Phase 1 – Database Evaluation
Being immersed in the day-to-day operations can sometimes result in tunnel vision and the amount of customer data flowing in can be overwhelming. So before looking outward to see how your brand fits into the competitive landscape it’s important to look inward for a thorough review of what you already know (and what you’d like to know) about your brand.
Chances are you already have a ton of valuable customer insight within your existing data inventory; it’s just a matter of knowing where to look and what to do once you find it. By accessing, organizing and analyzing the existing customer data inventory, we help our clients extract actionable insights and turn stagnant data into a solid foundation. Through this approach, we’re able to keep looking and moving forward knowing that with each step we’re leveraging the value of past investments rather than burying them deeper.
Phase 2 – Market Mapping
Think about the last time you put together a jigsaw puzzle. Didn’t the image on the box cover make it easier to get started? Having that macro perspective of the entire layout is really helpful when sorting the individual pieces and considering how they fit together. Market Mapping is to brand positioning what the box cover is to a jigsaw puzzle; a macro perspective that helps make sense of how the micro elements fit together.
Gaining a focused, objective snapshot of your industry as it exists today will identify the most important environmental variables and offer insight into how they may be impacting your business. Looking closely at social and political trends, emerging competitors and possible disruptors, and a number of other attributes, you’ll have the external awareness needed to develop a competitive strategy.
Phase 3 – Customer Profiling
Time and time again we see many of our clients initial questions answered by either their own existing data or through a market analysis. They were ready to start asking their customers questions for which answers were already available simply because they didn’t know any better.
After having completed the previous steps of Database Evaluation and Market Mapping, you’ll have a better understanding of your own brand and you’ll clearly see the external environment. Now, equipped with those insights, your customers will add depth, detail and actionable insights rather than duplicate data files.
Phase 4 – Readiness Toolkit
This is where all the pieces come together and the rubber can hit the road. Presenting a digestible layout of action items based on the Database Evaluation, Market Mapping and Customer Profiling, your team will have a cohesive resource tying together where your brand has been, where you stand today, and where you want to go moving forward.
Furthermore, you’ve established benchmarks for future use in tracking internal progress, external market shifts and consumer trends. The value of this piece will continue to grow and serves as a foundation for long-term strategic development.
For the past 35 years we’ve led our partners to better understand, strengthen and grow their brand’s position within their ever-changing marketplace. If you’re looking to accomplish these goals and more, give us a shout!