Your Market Position: The Birthplace of Your Brand

Brands live in consumer minds. But just like you need to find an empty lot if you want to build a home to live in, you need to find an empty mind space if you want to embed your brand in your customer’s brain.

Positioning involves figuring out what meaningful and available niche in the market ­— and in your customer’s head — your business is designed to fill, and then filling it and performing so well that people have no reason to allow anyone else into the space in their minds they hold for your brand.

Seeing how positioning happens

When people learn about your business, they subconsciously slot you into a business hierarchy composed of the following:

check.png Me-too businesses: If the mind slot — or position — that you want for your business is already taken, you have to persuade consumers to switch allegiances on your behalf, and that’s a tough job. The best advice for a “me-too” business is to find a way to become a “similar-but-different” business (see the next bullet) by targeting an unserved market niche or providing a differentiating benefit.

check.png Similar-but-different businesses: These businesses market a meaningful difference in a crowded field. Depending on the nature of your business, your positioning distinction may be based on pricing, ...

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