As human-beings we simply don’t have the time or brain capacity to make all our decisions consciously and rationally, using System 2 thinking.

System 1 versus System 2 thinking

That is why, when it comes to everyday brand purchases, the majority of our decision-making is driven by our subconscious mind, 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 able to appeal to both our rational, conscious brand and also our subconscious, emotional one.

In order to have subconscious appeal a brand must first create awareness and also demonstrate relevance and differentiation.

This is the result of appropriate:

  • Advertising
  • Product quality and performance
  • Proposition and positioning
  • Pricing

However, as every marketer knows, achieving brand stand-out has never been more challenging.

That’s where Brandspeak comes in.

Our Brand Research capabilities

Whether you are developing a new brand, or re-energising an existing one, we’ll use our brand research toolkit and experience to ensure your brand has both System 1 and System 2 stickiness.

We do this 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 strategy development

The success of your brand depends on the strength of its positioning.

Internally, brand positioning acts as a strategic mantra, ensuring colleagues are working to a common brand vision.

Externally, the brand’s positioning tells customers whether or not it is the brand for them, exactly what it offering and why they should buy it.

In its long form, the positioning 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)

Creating a market-leading positioning requires research to:

  • Ensure the brand’s ‘must succeed with’ customers are understood correctly
  • Identify their ‘defining’ needs, expectations and behaviours
  • Determine the perceived weaknesses of competitors
  • Isolate your brand’s ‘unfair advantages’ and unique essence

Consider this excellent brand positioning 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 mantra but there’s too much information for the consumer. That’s why Harley Davidson shortened it further:

American by birth. Rebel by choice.

Brandspeak specialises in brand positioning development. If you would like to discuss how we can help your brand  please get in touch or call: +44 (0) 203 858 0052.

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Case Studies

Successfully repositioning a building society

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Using customer experience to drive brand positioning

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Developing a brand through consumer engagement

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