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August 8, 2022 - By Hawke Media

What is the Difference Between Branding and Positioning?

You’ve likely heard the terms “branding” and “positioning” used interchangeably in the past, but there are important distinctions between the two.

Having an established brand that your customers recognize is one thing, but positioning yourself in the marketplace as a unique provider of your products and services is key to increasing revenues and growing your bottom line.

Let’s dive in and uncover the differences between your branding strategy and the positioning your organization displays in your respective marketplace. 

Branding vs. Positioning

When we think of branding, we often refer to how customers and third parties view your brand. In essence, branding is your company’s reputation as it is viewed by others from an external perspective.

Your brand is composed of your company name, your logo, the colors you use in your marketing materials, and how customers perceive your company when they see your products, services, or advertisements as they go about their day.

Positioning, on the other hand, is distinctly different. Your brand’s positioning describes how customers view your company with respect to what you offer and what value you can deliver. In short, your positioning strategy creates a position in the mind of your customers, one that they recognize and associate with your brand. 

Your brand is a reputation.

Branding is about sticking out, being recognizable, and placing your brand on something (i.e., logo, colors).

Positioning is helping your customers categorize your brand as the solution to a specific problem, want, or need.

Getting Started in Branding

It can take as few as 5 impressions for people to remember a brand. When you imagine companies, you think of the most popular international brands today. You’ll easily recognize their logo, and if you see their brand colors on an object, you instantly associate the brand.

To get started with your company’s branding initiatives, choose your target audience. We recommend using buyer personas to first establish the tone and voice you want to take as an organization. 

Next, you’ll begin forming the visual identity of the brand. You likely have a company name already, so create a slogan that captures your mission statement and personality. Choose colors that represent the tone and mood of the brand. According to the LogoFactory, the top three colors used by companies are blue (in 35% of brand logos), red (30%), and grayscale (23%). 

We recommend using an agency for branding to easily pull extra resources such as focus groups to help establish your brand identity. Use these resources to establish your log and other visual components. 

As soon as you have a sense of branding under your feet, incorporate it quickly across the board. Your branding will constantly be evolving, but it’s important to establish a baseline in order for it to ever work. 

The Powerful Value of Positioning

There are a few different approaches to take in regards to your brand positioning. These are the things people will associate most with your brand. Here are a few examples: 

  • Great customer service
  • Ease of convenience
  • Price-based (budget and value versus high-end luxury) 
  • Quality-based

There are tons of other approaches to define your brand positioning. Maybe people will associate you with your marketing efforts, your social media strategy, etc. Maybe your brand offers a product that simply doesn’t exist elsewhere on the market, like industry innovators like Netflix or Tesla. Perhaps your brand is positioned as an advocate for the community. The options are endless, but you’ll need to figure out what your brand is aiming for and stay focused on it. 

88% of consumers want to shop from brands that are authentic. 46% are willing to pay more from brands they trust

If you properly position yourself in the marketplace, you’ll immediately see effects such as increased sales and a growing customer base. 

Develop Your Branding and Positioning Strategy with Hawke Media

If you’re ready to level up your business and take your branding and positioning to the next level, Hawke Media has a wide variety of solutions designed to nurture and enhance your brand.

The branding experts at Hawke Media can help your business with logo design, creating a style guide, visual identity, packaging design, and performance branding.

Similarly, Hawke Media can help you work on enhancing and improving your marketing strategy and solidifying your positioning in the marketplace. This includes performing a competitive analysis, looking at product-market fit, planning your roadmap, auditing the health of your business, and performing optimization audits such as conversion rate optimization (CRO).

Ensuring that your brand is viewed in the best possible light by your customers due to your positioning and is easily recognizable anywhere your prospects may go is critical for your company’s long-term success and growth.