Brand positioning vs brand differentiation: What’s the difference?

DSM Digital School of Marketing - brand differentiation

Brand positioning and brand differentiation are very closely related to marketing strategies. Brand positioning is your strategy for communicating what makes your organisation or products bigger, different or better than those which are offered by your competitors. Brand differentiation is essentially the way in which you carry out your positioning through the process of promoting distinct attributes or benefits which you offer.

Brand positioning basics

Your organisational philosophies and values, as well as the distinct attributes of your products or services, provide the basis for brand positioning. The first component of positioning is to assess the company or product attributes or benefits that clearly separate you from competitors.

The purpose of brand differentiation

Positioning is a behind-the-scenes strategy that guides your advertising. In your ad messages, you differentiate yourself by promoting the benefits or company attributes that make your brand distinct.

What are some of the tools to use for brand and product differentiation?

In your marketing, you can use a number of symbols and tools to establish your brand differentiation. You do not want to be different just for the sake of being different. Instead, consider what matters most to your customers and let that drive your decisions on how to differentiate your product. Your product differentiation should arise after careful study and should be part of your larger strategy for the product.

Here are some common factors that can make a brand different from competitors:

  • Design
  • Price
  • Quality
  • Customer Service
  • Tagline

It’s incredibly important to find a way in order to make your brand pertinent to your target market. The term ‘relevant’, in the context of brand positioning, means that you are providing a solution to a need or want which your target market is aware of. If your product or service serves a need or solves a problem that your target market isn’t aware they have, you may need to educate them – show them their problem so you can fix it.

Positioning is an act of seeking, placing as well as optimising something in relation to the competition in the surrounding environment. It is based on the customer-company-competitor relationship triangle. In order to advance up the ladder in the customer’s mind, management must follow the rules of positioning.

  • Relevance: Positioning of a brand must focus on benefits that are important to individuals or reflect the character of the product.
  • Clarity: A brand should be positioned in such a way that it is easy to communicate and quick to understand.
  • Distinctiveness: In a current market situation, there is a reasonable number of players vying for a share in the market. This forces them to compete on the basis of price or promotion. In order to overcome such a situation, a company needs to provide distinctiveness in its products or services.
  • Coherence: A brand should communicate with one voice through all the facets of the marketing mix.
  • Commitment: Management should be dedicated to the position it has adopted as when a position has been adopted, it takes commitment to see it through.
  • Courage: Adopting a strong brand position necessitates courage as it is much easier to defend an appeal rather than generate a sales pitch.

Get in touch with the Digital School of Marketing

If you want to learn how to manage your brand and products with ease then you need to do our Brand Management Course. For more information, please follow this link.

DSM Digital School of Marketing brand management course registration