As humans we simply don’t have the time or brain capacity to make all our decisions consciously and rationally using System 2 thinking.
That is why, when it comes to everyday brand purchases, the majority of our decision-making is driven by our subconscious minds, using instinctive, System 1 thinking.
And even when it comes to more significant purchases, we still tend to rely on subconscious intervention to guide us towards the final purchase decision.
This means that in order to become part of our consideration set a brand must be capable of appealing to our subconscious mind as well as our conscious one.
Subconscious appeal requires high levels of brand saliency, impact and differentiation, delivered via the brand’s:
Product quality and performance
Proposition and positioning
However, as every marketer knows, achieving brand stand-out has never been more challenging.
That is where Brandspeak comes in.
Our Brand Research capabilities
Whether you are developing a new B2C brand, or re-energising an existing one, Brandspeak’s brand research toolkit and experience will enable you to successfully access instinctive, emotional, System 1 thinking.
We’ll help you ensure your brand is both salient and differentiated by:
Defining the brand needs, expectations and behaviours of your target customers – including the intuitive, emotional ones that are critical to System 1 thinking.
Benchmark your competitors – to determine the extent of their brand salience and differentiation across the different elements of the marketing mix.
Identifying the nature of the brand positioning that best reflects the priorities of your consumer and the weaknesses of your competition.
Determining the brand values, personality and essence best able to support your positioning.
Identifying the most important KPIs to monitor how brand is performing versus strategy and in relation to the competition.
Brand positioning development
It can be a a simple enough task to write a brand positioning statement but powerful brand positiong statements are the result of significant amounts of quantitative and qualitative research combined with creative strategizing to:
- Identify the ‘defining’ needs, expectations and behaviours of the target audience
- Harness the brand’s DNA and identify its ‘unfair advantages’
- Determine the weaknesses of competitors
Using a brand research agency like Brandspeak can help build your positioning statement correctly. A correctly configured positioning statement will act as a strategic mantra and guide for internal stakeholders, ensuring common understanding about what you are offering, at whom and why. The brand positioning statement also has an external role; as a summary of the brand take-outs that must ‘land’ with consumers if the brand is to be a success.
In its long form, the positioning statement may reflect all of the following elements:
- The category : (e.g. energy bars)
- The defining characteristics: .(e.g. delicious, healthy, slow release energy)
- The target audience: (e.g. busy professionals)
- The underlying need: (e.g. can’t take time-out for regular meals)
- The underlying context: (e.g. work life today is too demanding)
Consider this excellent example from Harley Davidson:
The only motorcycle manufacturer - that makes big, loud motorcycles - For macho guys (and “macho wannabes”), Mostly in the United States - Who want to join a gang of cowboys - In an era of decreasing personal freedom
Of course, that version is fine for the internal, strategic mantra but there’s too much information for the consumer. That’s why Harley Davidson shortened it further:
American by birth. Rebel by choice.