Monday, June 9, 2008

How to Create a Brand Positioning for a Small Business

While big corporations spend millions of dollars promoting their brands, few small businesses and startup companies have taken the time to rigorously determine their brand positioning. Dedicate several hours of time and you can develop a company positioning to differentiate your brand and speak with a unified voice to the market.

Steps that you must to do :

Block out three hours for the meeting and gather your key employees in a conference room.
Hire an outside consultant or nominate one employee to serve as the moderator and note taker to capture all the ideas the team develops.
Brainstorm, brainstorm, brainstorm. Make separate lists of the way you want to be perceived by customers, investors, employees, and shareholders.

Create an honest assessment of your company's unique value proposition. Think about how your competitors would attack this value proposition, if they were talking to your customers.
List positionings you wish to avoid. Do you not want your cookie store to be seen as the local bakery? Or vice versa?
Analyze how your competitors are positioning themselves. Is your business differentiated from them in a way your customers care about?
Synthesize the results of your brainstorming session a few days after the initial meeting. Use the results to develop your positioning statement and the associated corporate messaging it implies.
Test the new positioning statement on customers, employees, and investors to confirm you created a good positioning.
Create action items in establishing your brand in the market place for your team to accomplish. Start small with yellow page ad placement/copy, work your towards a goal of propagating your brand's position in anything that relates to your company, including collateral, invoices, etc.

Most of the world's best businesses have strong brands positioned against competitors. Even the smallest business can enjoy the benefits of brand positioning by devoting several hours to the process.
Brand positioning consultants who have experience conducting this process with multiple companies can help a business develop the best possible positioning. Prices for the service can range from a few hundred dollars to hundreds of thousands of dollars for the large consulting firms or PR and advertising agencies.
Brand positioning impacts everything, including the corporate culture of your small business. Make sure that the culture that you have within your organization is in line with your proposed brand identity.

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