What Is Your (Food) Brand Positioning Strategy?
Why a Brand Positioning Strategy?
Every food product line needs a brand positioning strategy—a set of identity standards that define your business and make it more easily visible and understandable to your customers. But a brand isn’t something you build or establish wantonly; it’s something that requires objective data, strategic direction, and creativity to establish resolutely.
Cultivating a brand identity and using it as the foundation of your marketing and advertising strategy requires brand positioning. But what exactly is a brand positioning? And how can you make sure yours works?
Brand Positioning Strategy: The Basics
Brand positioning is defined as “the act of designing the company’s offering and image to occupy a distinctive place in the mind of the target market.” So although it helps to have a cool logo and a fantastic package with a catchy campaign, longer-term success comes with strategic brand positioning that is more conceptual yet deliberately focused.
Is your brand an established, traditional leader in the industry? Or is it a game-changing, cheeky up-and-comer meant to topple the status quo?
Is your brand the pinnacle of supporting health and fitness? Or is it more aligned with supporting guilty pleasures and occasional indulgences?
These binary examples are simplistic, but they capture the essence of strategically positioning a brand. As you can see, at each end of the spectrum is a wholly unique foundation for marketing and advertising – and sometimes, even product development.
Why a Brand Positioning Strategy Is Important
Why is your brand positioning so important?
- Foundational identity. Your brand positioning strategy will form the foundation of your company’s identity in the minds of your consumers. Customers interacting with your brand for the first time might notice its name, packaging, logo, or tagline before anything else – but even these elements are a byproduct of your conceptual brand position. Your brand positioning strategy can therefore make or break your entire business.
- Competitive differentiation. There are lots of businesses like yours already selling to customers consistently. What makes yours different? One of your most important goals in developing a unique brand position is defining why your company is not like the others. What sets you apart? Why should anyone choose you over the competition? Ideally, your strategic position in the industry will be unlike the position of any other established player.
- Direction for marketing and advertising. Finally, your brand positioning strategy will be the foundation for the focus of your marketing and advertising campaigns. Who should you target? Which platforms should you use? What graphics should you use? How should you write the copy? Everything becomes more evident when you have a confident, established overarching direction.
The Three Cs of a Brand Positioning Strategy
You need to understand the “three Cs” of your brand before you create a brand positioning strategy:
- Consumers. Who is your target audience? Target audience and brand positioning have a synergistic relationship, and each can influence the other to a degree. Still, it’s essential to know who your customers are before you attempt to establish a brand position. Young kids respond to different types of ads than retirees.
- Competitors. Who are your top competitors? Differentiation is indispensable, so you need to find a unique angle that none of your competitors currently use. Don’t try to challenge a significant competitor by copying their brand positioning strategy. Instead, build something totally unique to you.
- Company. What is your business, and what types of products do you sell? If you want to churn out cheap products at high speed and high volume, it may not behoove you to position your brand as a high-quality, luxury experience. If you’re using traditional ingredients and simple recipes, don’t try to frame your brand as edgy and risk-taking. Choose a framework that makes sense for your business and how it operates.
Potential Brand Positioning Strategy Goals
There are many variables to consider when building a brand positioning strategy. Your brand may benefit from positioning that includes one or more of the following variables:
- Quality. Is your brand focused on quality? This is useful if most of your competitors neglect quality or have glaring flaws you can outcompete. Using fresher ingredients, developing a tastier recipe, or creating organic products could all help you here – but you still need to strongly emphasize these features and products if you want your brand positioning to be successful.
- Value. If quality isn’t an option, consider optimizing your brand positioning strategy for value. If your competitors are selling a canned caffeinated beverage for $3 a can, your $1 can not compete with its quality – but you can certainly sell your brand as offering more value to its customers.
- Expertise/leadership. Some brands benefit from billing themselves as experts or established leaders in the industry. This is difficult, especially if you’re late to a given industry. For example, McDonald’s is the biggest and most popular fast food chain in the world and has been for decades; it has a practical monopoly on being the traditional leader in the fast food industry.
- Reliability/safety/health. Depending on what you’re selling, you can position your brand as more reliable, safer, or healthier than your competitors’ brands. Are there safer processes you follow or healthier ingredients you use?
- Distinctiveness. Anything that distinguishes you from close competitors can be used to fuel your brand positioning strategy. Easy-to-open packaging, a signature design on the food product, or a history of snarky comebacks on social media can help you build your brand style in this regard.
- Novelty. People love new products and new experiences. Adding a new twist on an old favorite or innovating something entirely novel could give you the brand positioning edge required to stand out.
With a better brand positioning strategy, you’ll have a strategic foundation to build better marketing and advertising campaigns for your food and beverage products. If you need help building that brand positioning strategy, or if you need an agency to help you execute your existing strategy, contact us today!