Evolving consumer preferences are forcing businesses to reassess their brand positioning
Not long ago, the main priority of a business selling consumer goods and services was to simply move product and make sales. But times have since changed.
Now, consumers have higher expectations when it comes to the products and services they purchase. Specifically, they are choosing brands that can provide value long after the initial purchase.
Buyers are now looking at four different areas during the buying process: what does this brand stand for, what are their promises to the customer, are they delivering on these promises, and most importantly, how are they different from the “other guys”?
The essence behind the value that each brand provides is established in their brand positioning statement, which effectively outlines the benefits of their product or service and what differentiates them from the competition. The problem is, many businesses aren’t putting enough stock into their brand positioning, which leads to inconsistencies in messaging, and a lack of understanding from their consumers on why they are a better option than their competition.
“If you look at the marketplace today, you’ll see a discrepancy between newer startups and older business,” says David Bilicic, Senior Vice President at Magid, a market research firm based in Bloomington, “Startups have identified that in order to be successful and break through the clutter, they need an effective brand positioning statement. These older companies are now being forced to adapt and differentiate themselves by creating long term value.”
The rise of the digital age has benefited startups, who are able to immediately build their operations around convenience and efficiency by taking their operations online. The classic case study to emphasize this is Warby Parker, an online retailer for prescription glasses. The startup was able to position themselves in a crowded marketplace by doing what no one had done before (selling online) and doing so at a discounted price (by creating their own glasses), while still doing good in the world (through donating one pair of glasses for every one sold).
“In the case of Warby Parker, you can see how a strong, detailed, and up-to-date brand positioning statement can effectively create a consistent operational foundation throughout an organization,” continues Bilicic, “At Magid, we help our clients in a consultative nature to define and then install brand positions into their operations, marketing, and their product offerings to create a more unified, holistic organization.”
As it stands, many businesses are having trouble finding their new identity, and now, they are scrambling to undergo brand validation and brand repositioning exercises to maintain and improve their position in a crowded marketplace. As the New Year gets underway, look for more companies to start reassessing their place in the world.