Repositioning your brand.
Your brand repositioning is different from rebranding
Brand repositioning and rebranding share many strategic considerations. And, one can dramatically turn INTO the other. But brand repositioning leaves many existing marketing and sales tools in place.
As a result, brand repositioning is a cost-effective means of growing your market share. It is a focused tool designed to change behavior. So, rebranding is more like a sledge hammer.
When is the time to reposition your brand? Odds are right now if you are reading this article. Something is not working. Market share is shrinking. And, successful brands are challenging your market position. Or the category or target audience changes suddenly.
So, it’s time to take stock of your brand’s value propositions and reimagine the reasons a prospect should choose differently.
Challenge all your assumptions
You have a problem. Identifying the solution requires a dispassionate view. And, most brand repositioning failures are traceable to self-fulfilling blindness.
Because Stealing Share is unbiased and objective we look at what IS. Not what we want to be true.
Research. Research and more research.
If you have ever been the smartest guy in the room you understand its limitations. Invested people need proof. And, there is no room of supposition in brand repositioning. Certainty is your only ally.
Arming yourself with projectable market research addresses that weakness. So, instead of being smartest guy in the room, you are the best-informed guy (or gal) in the room. Speaking with the clarity of the customer’s perceptions clears the way to change.
As a result, we always conduct market research.
Brand Positioning Research
And, you don’t need or want focus groups. They are worthless at their best and deceiving at their worst. So, I don’t care how skilled the moderator pretends to be.
And, the results are not projectable. You need a mixture of blinded qualitative one-one-one qualitative interviews, behavioral modeling, and double-blinded quantitative research. This tests your assumptions. And they NEED testing.
Our research company, Resultant Research, has taught us much over the years. And, because of that tutelage, we rarely ask open-ended questions. Experience teaches us that open-ended questions provide worthless answers.
So, let’s pretend for a moment that you are a beer brand. And, let’s assume you need to reposition your brand to increase preference and grow your share.
What questions should you ask?
Brand repositioning to increase brand preference requires insights. As a result, it feels right to ask why the beer drinker prefers the brand of beer they drink. But, nothing could be more useless.
Target audiences make up reasons
So, go ahead and ask the beer drinker why they prefer the brand of beer they drink. And, they will tell you “I like the taste.”
Duh. No kidding. So, beer drinkers like the taste of the beer they drink? Who would have thought. And, I thought that beer drinkers HATE their favorite beer. A few respondents might tell you it’s cheapest. And, a few will tell you they have no favorite. Beer brand managers KNOW that the reason for preference is not taste.
It may be an affinity for a brand message. And, it might be the style. India pale ale, for example.
The problem is beer drinkers can’t tell most beers from competitors except for style. Beacause, taste is the least acute memory sense.
Reinventing the brand’s position
Brand repositioning requires you to understand the brand’s permissions. And, identify barriers to trial and acceptance. It demands that you reflect your target audiences’ values.
This is more than price and awareness.
So, we create the quantitative questionnaire strategically. Because we model behavior, we test the brand’s propositions. And we ask questions on a Likert scale.
Why? Because repositioning your brand demands that you learn intensities. And, not simply agreement or dissonance.
Brand Repositioning. Compare intensities.
Using Likert scales in your research allows you to accurately compare apples to oranges. After all, you seek the highest emotional intensity. You seek a hook that positions the brand into the considered set. And, the hook moves it to preference.
As a result, we do most of the strategic work BEFORE we field the quantitative research. We take more time in creating the study than we do in fielding it. Likert scales demand that you have the specific ideas to test.
Brand repositioning research does not uncover opportunities. It is validation and testing of new suppositions.
Steve Jobs was correct
So, in repositioning research, you MUST show them new values, emotional connections and posited switching triggers. You must test the intensity of all of them.
As a result, the research requires strategy. It never directs it.
Strategy comes first. Research comes second. Validation comes next and execution comes last.
What will you need to reposition the brand?
You need openness. A willingness to change anything that stands in the way of the brand’s success.
That may include an identity change (rebranding). But it will certainly include adjustment to positioning and meaning. Rebranding becomes necessary ONLY when fertile new ground is, in the eyes of the prospect, NOT within reach of current brand believability.
The space must be malleable enough to change permissions.
Truth well told
Brand repositioning means the BRAND’S behavior must change. (Read about brand persuasion here) The perception of the brand’s permissions reflects the emotional fabric of the target’s. Not the other way around.
What your brand ultimately owns is a believable and trusted relationship with the customer. Knowing their intensities is how you do it.
If you want to learn more and change your brand’s position. Contact us.