The key difference between branding and positioning is that branding is the process of creating a unique image of the company’s product mainly through brand logos, taglines and advertising strategies whereas positioning is referred to as acquiring a space in the mind of the customer among competitor brands. Both branding and positioning are very important due to the heavy number of substitutes available in the market. How successfully the company can position itself and brand the products directly affects profitability and long-term survival of the business.
1. Overview and Key Difference
2. What is Branding
3. What is Positioning
4. Side by Side Comparison – Branding vs Positioning
What is Branding?
Branding is the process of creating a unique image of the company’s product mainly through brand logos, tagline and advertising strategies. Branding aims to establish a significant and differentiated presence in the market that attracts and retains loyal customers. The brand represents a vital portion of a company’s intangible assets; thus is very valuable. Companies such as Coca Cola have created a strong brand name over the years through a variety of branding activities. To be successful in branding, the company must understand the needs and wants of the customers and how they may change over time. The success in branding significantly depends on the types of branding strategies used.
Types of Branding Strategies
Defining the Brand
The brand should be communicated for what it stands for at the very beginning of its launch. In other words, the company should clearly communicate what the brand is intending to represent.
E.g. Brand tagline of BMW is ‘The ultimate driving machine’. This represents the luxury consumer market that the company is targeting, hence is an effective way of defining the brand.
Differentiating and Positioning the Brand
In order to position the brand, the company should first decide what the target group of customers are willing to consume by their brand, thus this will help to conclude where in the market the brand should ‘fit’. When the ideal category, where the product should be positioned, is identified, the outcome will be a differentiated product.
E.g. Starbucks is positioned as high end coffee brand that provides a unique experience for their customers by way of operating own outlets and by offering a wide range of choices
Building the Brand
The more a brand is widespread across geographical areas, this gives the opportunity for the company to build the brand through advertising in a number of media. Electronic media such as social media sites have gained much popularity in recent times, providing businesses many platforms to market their products.
E.g. Coca Cola is one of the most consumed beverages in the world where the company is present in over 200 countries in the world. Coca Cola is also known for its creative advertising strategies
What is Positioning?
In marketing, positioning is referred to as acquiring a space in the mind of the customer, which is very important due to many substitutes available in the market. How successfully the company can position itself directly affects profitability and long-term survival of the business.
Types of Positioning Strategies
Positioning is mainly done product wise and brand wise.
Product positioning is the process used to determine how to best communicate product attributes to the target customers based on customer needs, competitor products and how the company wants its products to be perceived by the customers. Product positioning strategies are ways in which the company’s product can be differentiated from the competition.
- Price and quality (Mercedes Bens)
- Target market (e.g. Johnson’s baby)
- Competitors (e.g. Pepsi)
Brand positioning refers to the rank the company’s brand possess in relation to the competition in customers’ mind. The main purpose of brand positioning is to create a unique impression of the brand in the customer’s mind that makes them desirable to identify, prefer it over competition and consume the brand. Following are a few ways that brand positions strategies can be conducted based on respective attributes.
- Price and value (e.g. Rolls Royce)
- Gender (e.g. Gillette)
- Age (e.g. Disney)
- Cultural symbols (e.g. Air India)
Positioning is of utmost importance with regard to what the company stands for, thus the way the company positions the brand and communicate it to the customer should be precise and not confusing. How successfully the company can position itself directly affects profitability and long-term survival of the business.
What is the difference between Branding and Positioning?
Branding vs Positioning
|Branding is the process of creating a unique image of the company’s product in the mind of the customer, through brand logos, tagline and advertising strategies.||Positioning is the process of acquiring a space in the mind of the customer among competitor brands|
|Branding is a standalone concept that is indirectly affected by competition.||Positioning is conducted relative to the competitors.|
|Intangible Asset Value|
|Branding strategies directly increase the intangible asset value.||Positioning strategies indirectly increase the intangible asset value by strengthening the brand.|
Summary – Branding vs Positioning
The difference between branding and positioning is that while branding is focused on differentiating the company’s brand through specific elements such as a unique logo, tagline and an advertising strategy, positioning is the exercise of establishing the brand in the mind of the customers. The success of both strategies largely depends on the creativity of the marketing personnel and their ability to exploit market opportunities that will uphold the brand of the company among many substitutes.
1. Williams, John. “The Basics of Branding.” Entrepreneur. N.p., 01 May 2005. Web. 23 Apr. 2017.
2. “Effective Brand Building Strategies to Attract Customers.” Cox Blue. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Apr. 2017.
3.”Product Positioning.” Inc.com. N.p., 29 Nov. 1970. Web. 24 Apr. 2017.
4. “Brand Positioning Strategy.” EquiBrand | Marketing Consulting | Branding | Digital | Innovation. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Apr. 2017.
1. “PerceptualMap1.”By Mydogategodshat at the English language Wikipedia (CC BY-SA 3.0) via Commons Wikimedia
2. “BMW logo” by Sign Jemi (CC BY 2.0) via Flickr