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Mapping a Brand Strategy and Positioning as a Market Leader

By Ashleigh Hansberger
Posted on 10/07/23
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The market is teeming with competition, and it’s every brand’s quest to stand out. At the crux of this journey lies the power of brand strategy, a framework every company should invest in. Beyond mere aesthetics or slogans, a brand strategy is the master blueprint that defines your brand’s essence, its future, and its unique stance in the marketplace. When employed judiciously, it can catapult your brand to the coveted market leader position.

Delving Deep: What is Brand Strategy?

To simplify a complex concept, consider a ship embarking on a voyage. The ship symbolizes your product or service, the sea represents the market, and the compass guiding the ship? That’s your brand strategy. It’s a cohesive plan designed around specific long-term goals that are achieved through the evolution of a unique and memorable brand.

The Powerhouse Principles of Brand Strategy

To navigate business, you need more than just a compass; you need guiding principles. Here are the linchpins:

Purpose Over Profit: While revenue is vital, modern consumers resonate with brands that offer more than just a product. They align with purpose-driven missions akin to Patagonia’s commitment to environmental responsibility.

Consistent Voice: Imagine if Shakespeare switched to texting slang mid-way through a sonnet. Jarring, right? Maintain a consistent brand voice across all touchpoints to avoid alienating or confusing your audience.

Emotional Resonance: Humans are emotional creatures. Brands that evoke emotions, like Dove championing real beauty, form deeper, lasting connections.

Adaptability: Stagnation is the nemesis of innovation. While maintaining consistency, it’s paramount to evolve, adapt, and remain relevant.

Empower Your Troops: Employees are the frontline ambassadors. When they believe in the brand, it resonates with authenticity.

Loyalty Pays: Invest in loyalty programs. According to Forbes, retaining an existing customer is five times less expensive than attracting a new one.

Laying the Groundwork: Crafting a Brand Strategy Blueprint

Embarking on a strategic journey to define your brand strategy? Here’s a step-by-step guide to ensure you get the basics in place.

  • Exploration: Understand your brand’s current standing, target audience, and unique selling points. Use market research, competitor analysis, and SWOT to gather insights.
  • Definition: Armed with knowledge, sculpt your brand’s narrative. What promises are you making? What emotions do you want to trigger? Consider McDonald’s “I’m Lovin’ It.” It isn’t about food; it’s about the experience.
  • Implementation: Once defined, weave your strategy across all platforms and touchpoints. And remember, this isn’t a one-off. Regularly revisit, refine, and revitalize your strategy.

Positioning as a Market Leader: Beyond Brand Strategy

While a strong brand strategy is a game-changer, positioning as a market leader requires additional firepower.

Here’s what else you need to know:

  • Quality Assurance: Market leaders never compromise on quality. Period.
  • Thought Leadership: Position yourself as an expert. Regularly publish insightful content, research, and engage in meaningful conversations.
  • Engage and Listen: Interact with consumers. Listen to their feedback, understand their pain points, and continually refine your offerings.

A Glimpse of Brilliance: Case Studies

Tesla: Beyond electric cars, Tesla positioned itself as the vanguard of sustainable energy solutions. Elon Musk’s vision, impeccable branding, and relentless innovation cemented Tesla as a market leader.

Amazon: From a humble online bookstore to the colossal marketplace it is today, Amazon’s customer-centric approach, coupled with its ambitious brand strategy, has made it an e-commerce titan.

Reinforce by Research

The CEB (now Gartner) conducted a study that found that brands that present unique and compelling brand values, combined with personal benefits, had an 86% higher chance of purchase intent than others. Furthermore, such brands also witnessed a 172% higher potential for customer advocacy.

Another research piece by the Harvard Business Review highlighted that brands driven by purpose and integrating societal issues into their brand strategy outperformed others in the stock market by 134% between 1993 and 2007.

In the tapestry of the business realm, a robust brand strategy is the thread that can weave a brand’s legacy. It’s more than just colors, logos, or taglines; it’s a promise, a commitment, and a vision that positions a brand as a beacon for others to follow.

As you craft a strategy that propels your brand to market leadership, remember this: True leaders don’t create followers; they create more leaders. By fostering trust, authenticity, and innovation, your brand can dominate the market and inspire and guide others on their journeys. In the words of Peter Drucker, “The best way to predict the future is to create it.”

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By Ashleigh Hansberger