Lay of the Land: Your Position in the Brandscape

Lay of the Land: Your Position in the Brandscape

In the competitive landscape of retail, your brand identity is paramount. Are you aiming for the luxury status of Macy’s, Nordstrom’s, or Tiffany’s? Or perhaps you resonate more with the mass appeal of Wal-Mart, K-Mart, or Target? Regardless, your brand must stand for something.

Brand positioning is key—it’s how your brand is perceived relative to competitors and sibling brands. Clarity in your positioning is like a beacon in the consumer’s mind, setting you apart from the crowd. But a clear identity and positioning alone aren’t enough; there must also be direction and motivation for all stakeholders, from customer service reps and product designers to customers and shareholders.

As successful brands evolve, there’s often pressure to expand and modernize. Yet, modernizing brand positioning must be approached with caution. It’s all too easy to dilute the identity that made the brand successful in the first place. Straying from what your brand is known for weakens differentiation, undermines brand identity, and alters consumer perception.

Attempting to attract new market segments by altering existing products can alienate loyal customers and dilute your brand’s essence. Instead of chasing trends, focus on revitalizing your brand authentically. Mimicking competitors in pursuit of their customers is a risky strategy; those customers already belong to them. Target different segments instead.

Don’t cling to outdated brand positioning. It’s better to retire obsolete brands and launch new ones that resonate with current market demands.

While it may be tempting to claim superiority based on obvious product attributes, consumers are increasingly cynical. Building a unique value proposition requires authentic differentiation, not mere claims. Unfortunately, many differentiation tactics commonly deployed in markets fall short, contributing to the scarcity of true market leaders.

So, how does your brand stand out? What is your unique brand position?

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