Establish Your Brand Positioning: The Earlier The Better

Paul Weber, October 30, 2013

A business plan. A marketing plan. A financial plan. All kinds of planning goes into starting a small business. We’ve got one more to add – planning your brand positioning. For entrepreneurs with their plates already full with the logistics of starting a business, establishing a “brand” seems like putting the cart before the horse. But it’s not… your brand should be positioned alongside with your business concept, and perhaps it could even help inspire your other business planning.

What is a brand? A brand is the emotional connection forged and then continually perpetuated between a customer and a product, service, company, individual or organization. That being said, as an advertising and marketing agency focused on small businesses, we’re not particularly fond of using the “brand” terminology with start up companies. Branding is a critically important concept to understand, but it is misspent energy for most entrepreneurs. There are entire textbooks devoted to defining and giving examples of brands if you’re interested in branding fundamentals.

Now brand positioning on the other hand… that is a far easier to grasp and a better use of an entrepreneur’s time to master. Every small business should have its brand positioning down pat and the earlier the better.

What makes brand positioning or brand identity such a big deal? In simplest terms, every purchase has some degree of emotional motivation – whether it’s the carpet cleaner, where you hold a child’s birthday party, or which accounting firm you trust with your business finances.

Branding positioning is creating that emotional connection. Emotions develop a sense of loyalty, even if it is perceived. Loyalty results in increased or repeat purchases. Creating the right emotional connection between a customer and a company results in greater sales. And there you have it: your brand positioning impacts your bottom line.

Brand positioning is far easier than you think, and much easier than a business plan (you’ve already created your business plan, right?). Set a brand expectation (your biggest company asset) and continually meet that expectation. It’s almost that simple to develop a brand position.

For example, let’s say you promise to deliver your product or service within a specific amount of time. At a time of two-hour delivery windows, even narrowing it down to 15 or 30 minutes can be a competitive differentiator. Deliver the product or service on time, every time. You’ll become known for reliability – in other words, you say what you do and do what you say. That’s brand positioning because when customers think of your company, they automatically associate “dependable” with your name.

Branding is not creating an identity, a logo design or writing a tag line. Your brand positioning (your biggest asset) is the cumulative effort of delivering the product or service that the customer wants while meeting or exceeding expectations. It is the promise that you make and keep.

Too often businesses mistakenly think that by creating a logo or tagline they have in fact created a brand. The tagline, “best in the business” does not make it so.  Continually delivering on your promise to customers makes you “best in the business” regardless of what your tag line says. That establishes the kind of brand value that stays with people even after locations or logos change, and it’s what will keep them coming back for more year after year.

*The preceding was written for and originally posted 10-29-13.


26 Responses

  1. Sitegar says:

    As someone fcuesod on the development of nation brands for small less advanced nations, I am always impressed with how national pride and the nation brand its self go hand in hand. When I see small Africa nations like Nigeria or Ghana and of course Tanzania creating offices specifically for branding of the nation, I am amazed. The reality is, region branding, city branding and place branding is marketing with meaning and heart. Keep up the good work-Richard H. Griffiths

  2. Hi there i am kavin, its my first time to commenting anyplace, when i read this post
    i thought i could also create comment due to this good article.
    asmr 0mniartist

  3. Fabulous, what a weblog it is! This blog presents valuable facts to us,
    keep it up. 0mniartist asmr

  4. 0mniartist says:

    I love it when folks get together and share thoughts. Great
    blog, stick with it! 0mniartist asmr

  5. says:

    Valuable information. Fortunate me I discovered your web site accidentally,
    and I’m surprised why this twist of fate did not happened in advance!
    I bookmarked it. asmr 0mniartist

  6. Just desire to say your article is as surprising. The clarity on your publish is
    simply nice and i can think you’re an expert on this subject.
    Well along with your permission let me to snatch your feed to keep up to date with
    coming near near post. Thanks a million and please carry on the gratifying work.
    asmr 0mniartist

  7. this gamefly says:

    Wow! After all I got a blog from where I know how to genuinely take useful information regarding my study and knowledge.

  8. asmr is says:

    Hello There. I found your blog using msn. This is an extremely well written article.
    I’ll make sure to bookmark it and come back to read
    more of your useful info. Thanks for the post.

    I’ll certainly comeback.

  9. asmr in says:

    It’s not my first time to pay a quick visit this website, i am browsing this web site dailly and get pleasant facts
    from here everyday.

  10. asmr off says:

    Hi there! Do you use Twitter? I’d like to follow you if that would be okay.
    I’m definitely enjoying your blog and look forward to new posts.

  11. gamefly but says:

    Your means of telling the whole thing in this paragraph is in fact fastidious, every one be
    able to effortlessly understand it, Thanks a lot.

  12. scoliosis
    always i used to read smaller content which also clear their
    motive, and that is also happening with this piece of writing which I am reading
    at this time. scoliosis

  13. says:

    Good way of telling, and fastidious article to get facts about my presentation subject matter, which i am
    going to present in academy. scoliosis

  14. free dating sites
    Hi, all is going fine here and ofcourse every one is sharing data, that’s genuinely fine, keep up writing.
    free dating sites

  15. scoliosis
    Greetings! Very useful advice within this article! It is
    the little changes that will make the greatest changes.
    Thanks a lot for sharing! scoliosis

  16. free dating sites
    I’ve learn several excellent stuff here. Definitely worth bookmarking for
    revisiting. I wonder how so much effort you place to create this type of magnificent informative
    website. free dating sites

  17. our asmr says:

    Howdy! Do you use Twitter? I’d like to follow you if that would be okay.
    I’m undoubtedly enjoying your blog and look forward to new updates.

  18. I was suggested this web site by my cousin. I’m not sure whether this
    post is written by him as nobody else know such detailed about my problem.
    You’re incredible! Thanks!

  19. It’s great that you are getting ideas from this piece of writing as well as from our dialogue made at
    this place.

  20. Hey! This is kind of off topic but I need some guidance from an established blog.

    Is it tough to set up your own blog? I’m not very techincal but I
    can figure things out pretty quick. I’m thinking about creating my own but I’m not sure where
    to start. Do you have any ideas or suggestions? Many thanks

  21. Hello, Neat post. There’s a problem together with your website in web explorer, may check this?
    IE nonetheless is the marketplace chief and a huge section of
    other folks will pass over your magnificent writing due to
    this problem.

  22. Wow that was strange. I just wrote an extremely
    long comment but after I clicked submit my comment didn’t show
    up. Grrrr… well I’m not writing all that over again. Anyhow, just wanted to say superb blog!

  23. Excellent, what a web site it is! This weblog presents useful data to us, keep it up.

  24. When I originally left a comment I appear to have clicked on the -Notify
    me when new comments are added- checkbox and now every time a comment is added I
    recieve 4 emails with the exact same comment. Perhaps there is
    an easy method you can remove me from that service?
    Thanks a lot!

  25. says:

    If some one desires expert view on the topic of running a blog after that i suggest him/her to pay a quick visit this web site, Keep up the good

  26. says:

    Hi there! This post could not be written any better!
    Reading this post reminds me of my previous room mate!
    He always kept talking about this. I will forward this post to him.
    Pretty sure he will have a good read. Thank you for sharing!

Tell Us What You Think