Developing powerful brand positioning


By Bernard Kelvin CLIVE

Today, I would like to share with you three key pointers to help you develop a strong brand position in the market.

Hey there, start-up entrepreneurs and solopreneurs!

Chale, let’s not try to compete with the big brands- that’s too risky and you’ll probably fail. Instead, look for a gap in the market, something people want but can’t find easily. That is a golden opportunity! You see, when you find a gap, you can build your brand with ease, without needing to fight anyone.

This is the best bet for now, start by finding a position, a gap, or a niche to fill.

Standing out from the crowd is key to brand success. You might not want to be seen as just another option in the marketplace. It’s your point of difference, your unique selling proposition, that sells your brand, not your similarities. Therefore, seeking to position your brand effectively is very critical to its success and survival.

Let’s go through the three main things you need to pay close attention to in your brand positioning strategy:

  1. Identify Your Target Market

Knowing your target market with laser focus is the foundation of powerful brand positioning. It’s the difference between shouting into the void and having a conversation that resonates deeply with the people who matter most – your ideal customers. Here’s a breakdown of why crystal clarity is critical, along with practical examples to illustrate the point:

Imagine walking into a crowded room and trying to strike up a conversation with everyone. It would be overwhelming and ultimately ineffective. The same is true for branding. Without a clear target market, your message gets diluted, failing to connect with anyone in a meaningful way.

When you know exactly who you’re talking to, you can tailor your messaging to their specific needs, interests, and pain points. This targeted approach is far more effective than generic advertising that might appeal to some but resonate with none.

A clearly defined target market allows you to identify opportunities to stand out from the competition. You can focus on the unique needs of your audience and craft a brand that specifically addresses those needs.

Imagine you sell athletic clothing. If you try to appeal to “everyone who likes to exercise,” your message becomes generic. You might talk about comfort, style, and performance, but it won’t resonate deeply with any specific group.

Instead, you could define your target market as “busy professional women who prioritize high-performance running gear that combines style and functionality for early morning jogs.” This clear picture allows you to:

– Develop marketing materials that showcase your clothing being worn by women running through city streets before work. Highlight features like moisture-wicking fabrics and reflective detailing, perfect for low-light conditions.

– Focus your advertising on women’s fitness magazines and sponsor local running events. Partner with female fitness influencers who resonate with your target audience.

Beyond Demographics:

While demographics (age, income, location) can be a starting point, a truly powerful target market definition goes beyond these basics. Consider these additional factors:

– What are your ideal customers’ interests, values, and lifestyles?

– What problems are they trying to solve or what aspirations are they trying to fulfill?

– Where do they shop? How do they research products?

  1. Define What Makes You Unique

“Without differentiation, you have no brand.”T

he second stage of developing and creating a powerful brand positioning is finding your differentiation and your value proposition. How will you be different? What makes your product or service the clear choice for your target audience?

Look at everything – your product or service itself, the mechanism or process behind it, the customer experience you create. What is unique about you that would make someone choose you?

What are people doing online in your industry? What are they not doing? What are they doing that you can do differently? Find out, and note all of these aspects in the second phase of developing your brand position. Knowing where your clients and customers are, where you can find them, what they need, and what their pain points are – these are all crucial elements in defining your unique value proposition.

Beyond just the product or service itself, delve into how you will present your solution to your target market. This encompasses both the tangible and intangible aspects of your brand that come together to create a holistic customer experience.

These are the concrete elements your audience can see and experience directly. Ask yourself:

– Do you produce high-quality products that are built to last? Do your services consistently deliver exceptional results?

– Is the design and packaging of your product visually appealing and user-friendly? Does your physical space (if applicable) create a positive and inviting atmosphere?

This is all about the emotions and feelings you evoke in your customers. These intangible qualities can significantly impact brand preference and loyalty:

– Do you cultivate a reputation for honesty, transparency, and reliability?

– Do you represent your products or services accurately and avoid misleading claims?

– Do you demonstrate a commitment to your customers’ long-term satisfaction? Do you offer loyalty programs or exceptional customer service?

– Do you create a positive and memorable customer experience at every touchpoint? Does your brand stand for something bigger than just a product or service?

  1. Analyzing Your Competition

The final stage of developing your brand positioning involves a thorough competitor analysis.

Here’s how to analyze your competitors and leverage it:

Who Are the Players?

Make a list of all the businesses competing for your target market’s attention. This includes direct competitors offering similar products or services, indirect competitors that fulfill a similar need with a different approach, and even substitute products that could be considered alternatives.

Deep dive into your competitors’ brand stories. Understand their mission, values, and target audience. Analyze their messaging – what image are they portraying?

What’s Their Game Plan?

Scrutinize your competitors’ offerings. What features do they emphasize? Are there any gaps in their product line you can exploit?

Analyze their pricing models. Are they premium, budget-friendly, or somewhere in between? How does their pricing strategy align with their brand image?

See where your competitors are advertising. Are they focused on social media, content marketing, or traditional channels like television? How effective are their chosen channels in reaching their target market?

Experience your competitors’ customer service firsthand. How responsive are they? What kind of support do they offer?

Learn and Adapt: Strengths, Weaknesses, and Differentiation

Identify where your competitors excel and where they fall short. Can you leverage their weaknesses to your advantage? For example, if a competitor has a complex product but poor customer support, you can offer a user-friendly product with exceptional service.

What makes your competitors stand out? What unique selling propositions (USPs) do they have? How can you differentiate yourself and offer a compelling alternative?

Set Yourself Apart: Find Your Niche and Value Proposition

Can you identify a specific sub-market within your broader industry that your competitors are overlooking? If you focus on a niche, you can become the go-to brand for a specific customer group.

Based on your competitor analysis, what unique value can you offer to your target market? Craft a clear and concise Unique Value Proposition (UVP) that highlights what sets you apart.

Put this into practice and let me know how it goes.

I’m your personal branding coach, talk to me!

Bernard Kelvin Clive is a leading authority on personal branding and digital book publishing in Africa.As a brand strategist at BKC Consulting, he runs the monthly Branding & Publishing Masterclass, helping individuals take their personal and professional brands to new heights. To learn more about Bernard and his work, visit

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