Companies like Apple, Google, Coca-Cola and Woolworths have been able to create unique selling points by effective product positioning to the point where they have enmeshed themselves in the consumers’ product purchase decisions. If you’re a replicative entrepreneur, in the “me too” market (entrepreneurs selling products or services that are sold by many other entrepreneurs), creating a brand positioning strategy is crucial.
Brand positioning is defined as developing a specific marketing mix to influence the potential customer’s overall perception of a firm or brand. With this definition, you need to ask yourself, what marketing mix (mix of the right price, product, promotion and place) can I use to become to go-to brand for my target market.
A local brand that has been excellent in defining their unique selling point is House of BNG, a luxury beverage brand founded by sought after TV-Personality and MC, Bonang Matheba. Besides her global fame that became a massive boost for her marketing strategy, she gave her brand its own identity in a pool of existing MCC’s and bubbly brands that have existed way before she started her brand. Essentially, she did not invent anything new, but she used social media, commercials, her wide following and strategy to tell a unique story through her brand. She commonly refers to her alcohol brand as her “love letter to Africa” and through her past reality show, almost every episode included her having her favourite drink-champagne- often also saying the word in a “Bonang way” that is imitated by comedians and social media personalities numerously. She sold her personality, being the girl, you could sit and have a glass of bubbly with. Her partnership with SA’s top retailer, Woolworths, was emphatic of her brand being a luxury brand. By choosing to differentiate her product through symbols, images and her own personality, her fans now by the MCC not just for the taste, but to have the “Bonang” experience.
There are 4 ways one can differentiate their product:
1. Product differentiation: you can create real or perceived product distinctions by focusing on the unique features your product has as your USP
2. Services accompanying product differentiation: In addition to your primary product, you could incorporate services such as the delivery of the product. Repairs in store, installation for the customer or a website that gives your customers food recipes if you run a grocery store or a restaurant.
3. Personnel differentiation: You could instill a culture in your business through your employee’s that other shops don’t have and draw in customers through that. An example is Ulta Beauty. It differentiates itself from other retailers by offering in-store services such as hair, skin and brow treatments. This type of service creates an almost spa-like environment. This also means that the store has become a destination for consumers – somewhere people want to hang out or specifically visit – rather than a place to pop into.
4. Image Differentiation: you can create an identity for your business through images, logos, symbols, music, videos and written content that will make you stand out.
Whether you’re selling soap or cooking oil, look beyond the product and look at what feeling you want to leave a client with. Then create a brand that replicates that feeling over and over again. Tell a unique story through an effective marketing mix and then proceed to differentiate yourself. Know your niche and be so good at it, that consumers end up pinning you mentally as the best business for a specific product.