One marketing outcome consistently sits at the top of a business's priorities: brand awareness. Brand awareness is your client/customer's ability to recognise your brand under varying conditions. Recognition of a brand is your target market's ability to recall prior exposure to your brand when presented with a cue (such as an Instagram ad). An, “Oh yeah, those guys!” moment.
Building brand awareness is central to achieving a long-term competitive advantage in the form of recall. Brand recall is the ability of clients/customers to associate a brand with a service category or environmental cue that requires a specific need be fulfilled.
At the centre of brand awareness is your customers' frame of reference regarding the nature of competition. At Zimple, for example, we spend significant time evaluating these frames of reference by establishing points of parity (POPs) and points of difference (PODs). This brings us to an often-overlooked element of any messaging strategy, positioning.
POPs are those qualities not unique to your business, but instead shared amongst the competitive set. These qualities are not dominant enough to influence brand choice but rather conditional prerequisites to compete for clients.
Deviation from expected points of parity will lead to increases in preference for your business. PODs, on the other hand, are those attributes that form strong associations in client's minds in a succinct way via function, imagery or performance. Classification for POD includes desirability, deliverability and differentiation capacity.
A top level example would be: you’re a trade (a plumber, say). An expectation would be that you include plumbing in your title or description, turn up jobs and complete the work. A deviation would be that you have a memorable business name, an interesting brand logo, a digital booking and real time tracking/communication system, high quality work completed and a highly engaged customer service process.
Forming a positioning statement requires you to define four key elements:
Your target market
The services/products you provide
Your point of difference in service and product delivery
How these points of difference benefit your customers
Once the above elements are defined, you are ready to position your company. In the same way, a vision and mission statement act as north stars for your business, a well-crafted positioning statement will prove to be a strong anchor for all your marketing communications and form brand awareness for the right reasons.