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How are Branding and Positioning related?

How are Branding and Positioning related?

Graphic designers, business owners, marketing experts – everyone is aware of the importance of branding for the success of each startup, regardless of their field of specialisation.

Having a good brand name has a huge impact on the quality and number of customers one receives at any given time. A reputable company attracts new clients and can easily meet its sales targets every month.

With all that focus on branding, it seems we are forgetting about something: brand positioning.

These two go hand in hand in any marketing strategy and focusing on both results to positive results.

Unfortunately, many of us confuse positioning as an aspect of branding, but it is an entirely different concept that requires a unique approach.

Let's clarify things once and for all.

What's the difference between branding and positioning?

How do these two concepts work together?

Do you need both or can you get good results by focusing on one of them?

Here is the most straightforward explanation that helps you make a distinction between the two concepts:

Branding is all about creating positive user expectations.

When you engage in branding, you focus on the users.

Positioning is about making your brand the preferred option among all competitors.

When you engage in positioning, you focus on the way your offer competes with all other players in the industry.

What is Branding Exactly?

What Is Branding Quote

To better understand branding, it’s imperative that you know the meaning of the term “brand.”

It basically refers to a name, design, or feature that makes one company’s products distinct from its competitors.

For instance, there are many smartphone manufacturers but you can easily tell the difference between an iPhone and a Samsung device because of the unique feature and branding integrated into each of them.

That said, branding can be defined as a design process of establishing the personality of a product, service, or company.

When you start a company, or you launch a new product/service, you know how you want the audience to perceive it.

Then, you take various steps to influence the opinions of your target customers regarding this brand.

Your brand conveys what your company is, what you want it to be, and what people perceive it to be.

Effective branding helps you set a price your customers are willing to pay.

It convinces them that you are offering great value for their money.

To become successful in the modern digital world, it’s imperative that you adjust to the current trends. More businesses are turning to digital asset management (DAM) systems to help them succeed in their branding strategies.

It goes without saying, that for you to enjoy any form of success in this department, you’ll need to find the most up-to-date assets. This will ensure that your branding campaign resonates with today’s consumer demands, making it easier for them to understand whatever you’re presenting.

The brand is distinguished by a few elements:

When you combine all these elements, and you come up with methods that help you promote the brand, you get your brand strategy.

Through this strategy, you will plan a specific branding campaign via various distribution channels.

Several steps lead you to a successful branding strategy:

  • Setting a purpose and making a promise that corresponds to that goal.
  • Establishing a promotion that's consistent with the brand's message.
  • Triggering strong emotions with the target customer.
  • Involving all employees in the brand's promotion.
  • Altering the campaign concerning latest trends.
  • Staying aware of the competition.

Competition awareness, which is an integral part of branding, is precisely what brings this concept close to the positioning.

Why Is Branding Important?

A consistent branding strategy will get your target audience to develop positive impressions about your product/service and company.

This will add value to whatever you are selling, so you will be able to charge more.

A strong brand will justify the price, just like Estée Lauder can easily sell facial creams at a higher rate than the one random company sets, even if this unpopular company uses similar ingredients.

Estée's consistent and robust strategy built powerful brand equity.

The customers are willing to pay the higher price.

Estee Lauder Brand Positioning

Most of them do not even bother experimenting with other brands since they know they will get what they expect from this one.

The added value comes not only from perceived quality but through emotional attachment as well.

This luxury cosmetics brand, for example, associates its products with Hollywood stars and beautiful people.

It is not just the cream that sells the cream.

It is also its status.

If a branding strategy helps you get a higher status for your brand, it is clear why it is so essential for the development of your brand.

It would be crazy not to invest in it.

What Is Brand Positioning?

For the process of positioning to start, you need a product or service that you are going to place.

Through these efforts, you are going to manage the way your users perceive your brand.

You will imply that they cannot get that experience from competitive offers.

In some cases, the company can decide to start a new positioning campaign for an already existing brand.

In most cases, however, the positioning process comes before branding.

Reebok, for example, was already an established name when it started shifting its brand positioning strategy.

This company had a hard time convincing its target audience that it is a better choice than Nike and Adidas.

After the exclusive deal with CrossFit, Reebok's positioning strategy was reinvented.

Branding And Positioning Reebok

It started developing its niche market, with customers who would pick this brand before any other option on the market.

Effective positioning is about creating a unique emotional benefit that makes your brand different from the competition.

It involves several stages:

  • Creating a brand positioning statement.
  • Comparing the brand to the competition to identify its uniqueness.
  • Analyzing the competition.
  • Determining the current position.
  • Analyzing the position of competitors.
  • Developing a unique positioning strategy.
  • Implementing the plan and testing its effectiveness.
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As you can see, this is a different process from the one you undertake for branding.

Instead of being focused solely on your users and their experience with the product, you are focused on the competition and finding ways to rank higher.

Why Is Positioning Important?

In its essence, positioning is much more than identifying and improving your position in the market.

It is also about seeing how your product or service is significant and encouraging to the niche market.

It is also about making your offer sustainable, so you can continuously deliver it and beat the competition across all points of contact with the customer.

With that, your offer will occupy a distinctive place and value in the mind of your target customer.

Let's take Estée Lauder as an example again.

It is not just a brand.

It is a brand that its target audience prefers among all competitive offers.

It is evident that the creators of the positioning strategy have identified and determined points of comparison and contrast with other brands.

Then, they developed a compelling brand promise, and they gave us reasons to believe it.

That is why the target audience chooses this brand over competitive offers.

I recently came across a compelling new brand: Fedor.

It is a small family business focused on producing all-natural shaving products and soaps.

Branding Positioning Statement Fedor

You will see an excellent positioning strategy all over its website and social media profiles.

We can see how these products compare to the competition and we know believable reasons why we should choose them.

Without such a strategy, this would be yet another small business from a country most of us have never heard of.

Thanks to the smart positioning, however, the brand is an international success.

Brand Positioning is not only important.

It is an absolute necessity!

When you start offering a product or a service, you have to claim your spot in the industry.

Otherwise, you will just get lost in the crowd.

How Are Branding and Positioning Related?

To make the difference easier to understand:

Branding focuses on a user's reaction to using the product, and Positioning focuses on a specific benefit that sets the brand above the competition.

With this logic, you need an establish a strong brand before you start the positioning.

In reality, however, these processes are closely intertwined.

Great positioning will help you establish a stronger brand, and great branding will help you set up a position.

If you start with the positioning strategy, you will lure your market to the brand.

The question is: do you need both?


With effective branding, your company will stay profitable because its users will be willing to pay the price you ask for.

Through the positioning process, you are implying that the user cannot get your brand's experience from competitive offerings.

Let's examine Reebok's campaign again.

First of all, it repositioned itself.

Instead of competing with Nike, Adidas, and other brands in the way it did before, it found a unique market to position itself on – CrossFit.

Then, Reebok came out with a new logo, which reflects this change.

That is branding.

Reebok also started a new marketing campaign, based on consumer-focused events and influencer marketing.

That is positioning and branding combined.

Here's an interesting fact for you: the positioning will occur whether or not you develop a proactive positioning campaign.

Every brand has its position in the market.

However, this position will not be impressive if you are not working on it.

If you take an intelligent and proactive approach, you can influence the way your target customers rank your brand among all that competition.

Further reading: Check out this fantastic list of the top branding agencies in San Francisco.

Now You Know the Difference. It is Time for Action!

Branding And Positioning Related

Branding and positioning have a few elements in common.

When creating a logo design, for example, the graphic designer has to convey both the position and the emotional appeal of the brand.

When creating a marketing campaign, you will get content that combines both these concepts.

An owner of a new business has to identify the brand image they want, as well as the position they want to hold in the marketplace.

If you first identify the factors that make your business different from the competition (in other words – you position it), it will be easier to build a strong brand on that foundation.

Top 10 Books on Branding and Positioning

Bestseller No. 1
The Brand Positioning Workbook: A Simple How-To Guide To More Compelling Brand Positionings, Faster
  • Appelbaum, Ulli (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 108 Pages - 02/02/2022 (Publication Date) - Independently published (Publisher)
SaleBestseller No. 2
Positioning for Advantage: Techniques and Strategies to Grow Brand Value
  • Hardcover Book
  • Whitler, Professor Kimberly A. (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 264 Pages - 09/07/2021 (Publication Date) - Columbia Business School Publishing (Publisher)
SaleBestseller No. 3
How to Launch a Brand: Your Step-by-Step Guide to Crafting a Brand: From Positioning to Naming and Brand Identity
  • Audible Audiobook
  • Fabian Geyrhalter (Author) - Chris Brinkley (Narrator)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 06/28/2016 (Publication Date) - Brandtro (Publisher)
Bestseller No. 4
Brand Positioning Formula: The practical step-by-step guide to use Brand Positioning in your marketing
  • De Veglia, Marco (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 64 Pages - 09/29/2018 (Publication Date) - CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (Publisher)
Bestseller No. 5
Brand Positioning: Strategies for Competitive Advantage
  • Sengupta,Subroto (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 316 Pages - 01/25/2005 (Publication Date) - Tata McGraw-Hill Publishing Company (Publisher)
SaleBestseller No. 6
Chicco KidFit® ClearTex® Plus 2-in-1 Belt-Positioning Booster Car Seat, Backless and High Back Booster Seat, for Children Aged 4 Years and up and 40-100 lbs. | Drift/Grey
  • HEAD AND TORSO PROTECTION – Superior DuoGuard for head and body support and 10-position height adjustment from the waist instead of the neck offer reassuring protection and child comfort.
  • GRAB & GO CONVENIENCE – Equipped with premium LATCH connectors and a SuperCinch one-pull tightener to stabilize the seat and the quick-release LATCH provides one-hand removal for easy transfer creating an ideal portable booster seat.
  • NO ADDED CHEMICALS – ClearTex fabric features no added chemicals and meets federal flammability standards. All fabrics, including arm rests, are removable and machine washable.
  • COMFORT AND CONVENIENCE – A contoured ErgoBoost seat with double foam padding provides comfort and support in all the right places. Two dishwasher-safe CupFolders fold out of the way when empty for a narrow booster seat.
  • BUILT TO GROW – As a high back booster seat, the 2-position recline backrest adjusts to mimic the vehicle seat position. For older children, the backrest is removeable to create a backless booster seat.
Bestseller No. 7
Correct Position's Height Increase Insoles, Heel Cushion Inserts, Heel Lift Inserts for Leg Length Discrepancies (Black, 0.6" Height)
  • ღ【4 Heights Choices】This height increasing insole or heel lift called as well has 0.6 inch (1.5cm), 1 inch (2.5cm), 1.4inch (3.5cm inch),1.8inch (4.5cm). It focuses on invisible height increasing, more taller as you chose.
  • ღ【Certain Occasion Fit】Dating, Webbing, Meeting, Playing or Certain Occasion where require more heights.
  • ღ【Shock-absorb and anti-slippery】The shoe heel inserts is made of PU foam in between, good for shock absorption and super comfort provision, self-adhesive gel at bottom, for anti-slippery and the fabric on the fop for sweat absorption.
  • ღ【Heel Pain Relief】It is proved by podiatrist that this heel cushion is good for pain relief of heel spur, plantar fasciitis, Achilles Tendonitis, heel pain, leg pain, thigh pain and back pain.
  • ღ【Your Satisfaction is our priority 】 Text us with Order ID if you dissatisfy with our goods or need any more heights from us, the solutions will be given to you as soon as possible. We prefer you not sending back worn products to Amazon for second selling.Thanks so much for your much consideration.
Bestseller No. 8
ER KANG Power Cage Magnetic Position Markers, 1 Inch Power Rack Reminder Labels, Squat Rack Magnets Identifier Rings for Home Gym(5 Pairs)
  • 【Great Home Gym Companion】There are five different pairs of tiles in this position markers set: Flat x 2, Squat x 2, OHP x 2, Incline x 2, Decline x 2. Inner ring size: 1". Outer ring size: 2’’. The identifier rings can fit almost all the racks/cages in the market.
  • 【One Second to Find Your Training Positions】With these position markers, you won't need to retest or guess the proper height before each start of the exercise. Simply place it in the right hole to mark it, and the soft magnet on the back will precisely fit the post.
  • 【Professional Looking】The bright color design of these markers can help you identify them accurately while training. Better than ordinary tape and marker markings, they are less likely to damage your rack. They will greatly enhance your home gym experience.
  • 【Nice Fit to Different Racks】 These reminder labels are thin but can firmly attract and fix. The position markers are perfect for use with J hooks and jammer arms, and their large inner holes easily accommodate most racks/cages. The thinner edges provide ample space for multiple markers to fit seamlessly together.
Bestseller No. 9
Baby Walker with Wheels, Activity Center with Mute Wheels Anti-Rollover, 5-Position Height Adjustable Foldable Baby Walker for Boys and Girls from 6-18 Months with Footrest
  • 【9-Gear Height Adjustment】5 gears walker heights and 4 gears seat heights, which can meet the needs of children of different ages and heights, and effectively prevent O-ring. to ensure your child stay safe as they begin to crawl, stand and explore.It can support babies up to 35 pounds.
  • 【Easy Fold Design】The baby walker has foldable support arm, which can be quickly folded and unfolded, and it is very thin after folding, which is convenient for carrying and storage【Easy Fold Design】The baby walker has foldable support arm, which can be quickly folded and unfolded, and it is very thin after folding, which is convenient for carrying and storage
  • 【Cozy adjustable seat】Baby walkers for boys and girls features a soft seat with a raised back for extra support and comfort for your baby the seat cushion is machine washable.
  • 【High quality】Baby walkers are made of quality PP plastic, Thickened PU/Flax cushion, and a Heightened backrest, The Baby mobile dining table with safer and easy to care for, With universal wheels, the baby can move 360° easily, and the enlarged base prevents rollover
  • 【Note】Always use the walker under adult supervision and adjust the size of the baby walkers according to the child's height. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us. We will provide you with a solution within 24 hours
SaleBestseller No. 10
Electric Heated Blanket Heating Full 62"X 84",Thick Soft Warming Plush Electric Lap Sherpa Blanket for Adults with 5-Position Timer &10 Heating Levels,Machine Washable(Blue)
  • 【INTELLIGENT OVERHEAT PROTECTION】: The heated blanket full size has the recognized ETL authority certification and overheat protection. When you are busy with other things and forget to turn off the electric throw blanket or sleep at night and forget to set the time, once the temperature of the main body of the heating blanket is too high, the overheating protection will automatically trigger to turn off the heating automatically to protect the safety of you and your family.
  • 【UPGRADE HEATING SETTINGS】: Compared with the electric blanket with the common 3-gear or 4-gear heating settings on the market, our heated blanket has been upgraded to 10 heating settings (86℉- 113℉), and also has five timing settings (1, 2, 4, 6, 8 hours). Whether you are old or young, you can choose the temperature setting and timing scheme that suits your needs no matter what occasion you use it.
  • 【SUPER SOFT MATERIAL】:The heated throw uses high-quality 220gsm flannel+200gsm sherpa, which is very soft and skin friendly, thicker than ordinary cozy blanket, and warmer than ordinary sherpa blanket even without electricity. The fabric is durable and does not fall off. The diameter of the heating wire is 2.2mm, and the electric heating wire can hardly be felt during the use, which is more comfortable.
  • 【UNIFORM HEAT DISTRIBUTION】: The heated throw blanket will only heat your corner or edge, which is really annoying. In this heating blanket, we have optimized the wiring arrangement and fixed it with quilting, so that the wires are evenly distributed in the amazing soft cashmere blanket, providing you with a beautiful sleep experience.
  • 【TWO POINTS NEED TO BE NOTED】: First, our electric blankets can support washing, but try not to dry them to prevent the heating wire from melting and bring you losses; second,during use, try not to stack the blankets of the electric blankets together for a long time to prevent partial Excessive temperature will cause damage to your body, scientific use, warm cold winter.

Author Bio: Over the years, William has worked for a variety of marketing companies. He specialises mostly in visual marketing and is often tasked with teaching new staff how to market visually in an online world that is dominated by social media and fake news on Facebook and CNN. William also gives lectures on visual marketing in an online world too.

Last update on 2023-12-01 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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Stuart Crawford

Stuart Crawford is an award-winning creative director and brand strategist with over 15 years of experience building memorable and influential brands. As Creative Director at Inkbot Design, a leading branding agency, Stuart oversees all creative projects and ensures each client receives a customised brand strategy and visual identity.

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