We live in exciting times, this crazy age of technology. With the explosion of the internet, the barrier to entry for launching an ecommerce brand has never been lower. That also means customers have never had more access to competing products and alternative solutions, making it challenging to be seen and heard above the noise.
So, how do you go about winning in such an increasingly competitive environment? You do like the big dogs do, and brainstorm a compelling brand positioning statement and strategy, so your ecommerce biz becomes the leader of the pack.
What is Brand Positioning and Why Should Ecommerce Businesses Care?
Brand positioning––and brand messaging––are important, impactful components of website design. Since your business IS your website, it only makes sense to test and optimize your positioning and messaging to ensure it’s resonating with your target market. After all, you do the same thing for your marketing campaigns and ads… why wouldn’t you do it for your website too?
That said, brand positioning is the core strategy that underlies your marketing and advertising efforts, and it shapes how customers perceive your brand. It’s how you differentiate yourself, by creating a unique and clear identity in the minds of your customers, one that they can feel connected to.
Doing this is important for ecommerce businesses in particular, because:
- It helps give you a competitive advantage
- It differentiates you from your rivals
- It makes it easier to attract and retain customers
- It cultivates customer loyalty
- It increases sales
Some common strategies for brand positioning include targeting a specific niche, being the low-cost leader or luxury option––or focusing on some other unique selling proposition––and/or creating an emotional connection with consumers through your brand story.
No matter what approach you take, the goal is to clearly communicate what makes your brand different, and why consumers should choose you over Joe Shmoe selling similar products.
Tips for Developing Your Own Brand Positioning Strategy
Below are a few recommendations to keep in the forefront of your mind as you develop your own brand positioning framework:
- Consider your target audience at all times.
- Who are you trying to reach with your positioning strategy?
- What needs and wants do they have?
- Why should customers buy from you instead of your competitors?
- What makes your ecommerce business different from other businesses in your industry?
- Be clear and concise in your messaging. Your target market should be able to understand what your brand stands for quickly and easily.
- Focus on creating an emotional connection with your target market. They should feel like they have a personal stake in your success.
- Make sure your actions support your words. Your brand positioning strategy won’t be effective if your actions don’t match up with your messaging. People can smell disingenuousness from a mile off.
- Be realistic about what you can achieve. It’s important to set reasonable goals for your brand positioning strategy. If you try to accomplish too much, you’ll likely end up disappointed with the results.
- Test and measure regularly, and make adjustments as needed. Pay attention to how consumers are responding to your strategy, and use that data to inform your next steps.
April Dunbar developed a 10 step framework to help brands nail product positioning in her book Obviously Awesome. However, that framework could be distilled down further into 5 key components, which she shares as part of her quickstart guide to brand positioning.
Those 5 components are:
- Defining your alternatives: in other words, if your product didn’t exist, what else would customers use?
- Defining your key unique attributes: what are the unique capabilities or features your product has that alternatives don’t?
- Defining your value: what are you giving your customers that they find valuable?
- Defining who cares: this is just customer segmentation and delineating exactly who you’re selling to.
- Defining your market category: what context makes your value obvious to your target customers?
One of the key aspects of using this brand positioning strategy successfully is working through each component in order. They are all interconnected and related, and one sort of builds upon the next. Neglecting this order might help you develop a position that looks good on paper, but it won’t perform well in the race.
Crafting Your Brand Positioning Statement
There’s no doubt that investing in developing your brand position can be a potent way to grow your ecommerce business. By creating a powerful and remarkable identity, you can attract more customers, build deeper relationships with them, and ultimately boost your bottom line.
Part of that process involves crafting your brand positioning statement. Today’s ecommerce landscape is pretty cutthroat, which means a strong brand positioning statement can help set you apart.
This statement should make it clear who your product serves, how it improves their life, and how it’s different or better than alternatives. It should create a visual picture in the mind’s eye of exactly how you want your brand perceived by your customers.
A brand positioning statement can be distilled into 4 essential elements.
- Your most rabid fans-AKA your target audience
- Your category that you compete in-AKA your frame of reference
- Your best and most compelling benefit-AKA your point of difference
- Your proof your brand delivers on your promises-AKA their reason to believe
Though there’s always more than one way to skin a cat, one of the best ways to craft a compelling brand positioning statement is to look at examples from successful companies who have already done it. Below are 7 examples of ecommerce companies who have nailed their brand positioning statements:
“We intentionally partner with women-founded, owned, and run beauty brands, making it easy for our community to shop with their values while finding products that suit their needs.”
Tagline: “The Beauty Box You Actually Want”
Sundays for Dogs
“Only the best for our best friends. The best ingredients. The best science. The best customer experience: for humans and hounds alike. The best for the best.”
Tagline: “Fresh Without the Mess”
“At BARK, we want to make dogs as happy as they make us. Because dogs and humans are better together.”
Tagline: “Dog Happiness, Delivered Monthly”
“At Everlane, we want the right choice to be as easy as putting on a great T-shirt. That’s why we partner with the best, ethical factories around the world. Source only the finest materials. And share those stories with you—down to the true cost of every product we make. It’s a new way of doing things. We call it Radical Transparency.”
Tagline: “Exceptional Quality, Ethical Factories, Radical Transparency”
“Harry’s is a global CPG company that is dedicated to creating amazing products for today’s consumers. From our iconic Harry’s men’s brand to our women’s brand Flamingo and beyond, we are constantly innovating and looking for new ways to answer consumer needs.”
Tagline: “The Shaving Company That’s Fixing Shaving”
“We offer a full lineup of carefully curated groceries that are the best of their kind, a little imperfect, and always delicious. Most importantly, our groceries help build a less wasteful world.”
Tagline: “Groceries that Help You Fight Food Waste”
“We believe that buying glasses should be easy and fun. It should leave you happy and good-looking, with money in your pocket.”
Tagline: “We’ve Got Your Eyes Covered”
As these examples show, a compelling brand positioning statement doesn’t have to be long. It can be short and sweet, too. Just make sure it’s memorable! A company’s tagline often sums up a brand’s positioning statement succinctly in a way that sticks.
Ultimately, your positioning statement should briefly answer the three questions of who your product is for, how it improves their life, and how it’s different or better than alternatives. And by crafting your own strong brand positioning statement, you’ll find you’re able to convert more website visitors into buyers.
Are you wondering if your brand positioning resonates with customers? We can help! Consider running a Customer Feedback project to get a definitive answer, and begin the investment of positioning your brand as the leader of the pack within your market.