I've developed numerous brand strategies and one of the most important aspects from each one is being able to figure out how to position the brand in its industry. Positioning is vital for a brand to stand out, but it takes a lot of research, analysis, and time. Being able to position accurately allows you to build off of your competitor's weaknesses, as well as fill unmet needs for your audience. Here's how you do it.
Step 1: Find Your Competitors
A lot of people are so focused on their own business that they don't take the time to look at their competitors. I've heard "oh, I just put my head down and worry about what I'm doing, not others" which is great, but this is potentially losing you business. You need to know what others in your industry are doing so you can plan to make something better.
First, you need to make a list of your competitors, both direct and indirect. After you have a strong selection of 5 to 6 companies, you should list out everything you can find on each one. This could include their:
products or services
reach & where they show up the most (website, social media, blog post, email, podcast, guess blogging, local networking, guest speaking, etc.)
Step 2: Ask the tougher questions
It's important to not only know who your competitors are, but understand what they do well and where they're lacking. So, ask yourself these questions:
What are they doing really well?
What could they improve?
What do you do better than them?
Things that your competitors exceed at are considered their strengths, these are important to note because it might be hard to compete with them on something your audience already sees as their winning attribute.
Areas where your competitors could improve are considered their weaknesses. These are important because where they lack, you can exceed in the minds of your audience.
Looking strategically at what you do better than your competitors is a great way to start a conversation on how you can start positioning your brand in that area.
Step 3: Analyze and Create
After you've gotten a better understanding of where your competitors miss the mark, what their weaknesses are, and what you do better than them, this is a great time to start analyzing how you can create value to meet your audience's unmet needs.
Between your competitor's weaknesses and your brand's strengths you should be able to find a path where your brand can shine, provide value, and create a unique selling point.
With what you've found, you should be able to create a new product or specific message that speaks specifically about the market's unmet needs and how you can help.
For example, if you're a photographer and you find a part of your process that is better than your competitors, use that uniqueness to market and position your brand. Create messaging and visuals that learn more into your unique process and way of doing things. This will help you stand out among your competitors.
Ultimately, an unmet need is an opportunity to create value for your community. When you fill the needs your competitors overlooked, you can use them to create a unique selling point for your business.