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What's Brand Positioning

What’s Brand Positioning? The #1 Answer for Successful Business Owners

“What’s Brand Positioning?” – most of my followers when they first interact with me.

The concept of positioning is interesting: All business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs have heard of it. All of them know it is important. Yet, from the CEO of a 6000 people company to the wanteprepreneur with a dream, few of them could define it. The result is often word salads:

“Positioning is how you position something.”
“Positioning is how I make sure my company wins.”
“I position myself as an authority so my clients can find me.”
“We should position our company as a trusted partner for digitalization projects.”

None of this means anything.
To understand what’s brand positioning, you must first understand two key concepts:

  • You don’t own your brand. Your audience does.
  • Positioning is what you do to the mind of your audience.

If things were as simple as “position yourself,” 75% of companies would not fail, and the Fortune 500 list would be the Fortune Fifty-Thousand. With these premises, let’s get started.

Who Owns Your Brand | What’s Brand Positioning

Before you go on, ask yourself: “Where does my reputation live?”
The answer is easy: Your reputation lives in the minds of the people who know you.
You see, your brand is your reputation. It is the perception your audience has of you, your product or your service.

Once you understand this, positioning becomes clearer: Whether you build your brand and your positioning strategically or not, your audience will form an idea of you. The difference is that, by building it with someone who know how to do it, you’ll have a say in what that idea is, because positioning is to brand what your heart is to your body. You can have the best brain, the strongest muscles and the most powerful immune system, but it’s all useless if nothing keeps them alive.

The Minds Of Your Audience | What’s Brand Positioning

My first car was a 2008 Kia Picanto. A good car that, despite having some issues, did everything a car was supposed to do: Take me from point A to point B, and wait for me until I decided to go back from point B to point A. It was also a special car, for my parents gave it to me when I got my license at 19. Back then, my parents drove a 1996 Toyota Rav4, and I would’ve loved to have one of the new Rav4 SUVs.

However, I am 29 as you read this.
Financially, both me and my family have moved on from that level.
Like every Latino worth their salt, I am a proud Toyota driver. A C-HR, to be precise.
My idea of luxury now smells like the leather on the seats of a Ferrari, and it flickers like the headlights of a berry-colored Porsche Taycan.

And now you’re wondering, “what the hell does your car history & taste have to do with telling me what’s brand positioning?
Everything, actually.

You see, positioning is a fluid concept.
Your perception of brands changes as you age.
It shifts and sways as you climb up the social hierarchy.

Ford vs Ferrari | What's Brand Positioning (AI-generated image)

In 2014, my idea of luxury were a Rav4 or an Audi TT while I drove a Kia.
In 2024, precisely 10 years later, my idea of luxury are cars I could only see in music videos, or if I spent a day in the business area of Milan. As for Kia? I’m grateful I had it, but I wouldn’t buy my sister one now that she turned 18 – I’d like her to have something better.

And that, my friend, is positioning for you.
When you’re a med student and you want a new purse, you want Guess.
Yet you won’t go from nurse practitioner to élite plastic surgeon just to keep buying Guess bags.
You’ll buy Chanels and Pradas, and you’ll aspire to qualify for a hyper-expensive Birkin to start a collection.

All of this happens not because Kia all of a sudden started making worse cars, or because Guess somehow became a low-quality brand: It all happens because how you perceive those brands changed. And with that, the main thing that changed is your willingness to pay (less, more or at all) for them.

How To Craft Your Positioning | What’s Brand Positioning

Positioning affects the prices you can charge.
Positioning determines where you stand compared to your competitors.
Positioning, ultimately, is what will decide whether your clients and future employees pick you over their infinite alternatives.

So, how do you find it?
It’s a journey. And like most journeys into unfamiliar territories, it’s better off with a guide.
However, if you want to go solo on it, I’m going to give you the sauce: Positioning is an equation.

  • Who you are
  • Who you serve
  • What problems they are facing
  • What results you bring them
  • Who are your competitors
  • What makes you different from them

Answer this, and you’ll have your Positioning statement.
And to answer the question “What’s Brand Positioning?” once and for all – Brand Positioning is the series of steps you take to make sure your customers perceive you as their best available choice. And those steps are called Brand Strategy.

However, if this article wasn’t enough, I wrote a book on positioning called “Are You Ford or Ferrari?” – click here to grab your copy on Amazon.

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