Small business and startup tips: 5 traps of business branding

Original post by Mike via crowdSPRING

Several weeks ago I wrote a post on branding a business in tough competitive environments. I discussed the importance of  defining a frame of reference, leveraging points of parity, and articulating your brand’s points of differentiation. Today I want to talk about some of the pitfalls a business can become victim to when establishing a brand.

Great positioning requires that your offering is clearly associated with a product category the consumer explicitly or implicitly understands, and then distinguishing your product from others in that category. This is a three-step process: 1) establishing category membership, 2) clearly defining how the product fits into the category (determining those all-important points of parity), and 3) rising above the crowd by exclaiming the exclusive benefit(s) of the product that are unique and that the competing products simply don’t offer.

Dangers abound in this process and many brands have failed to execute the strategy effectively. Brand positioning can be a slippery slope, so here are 5 potential pitfalls to consider as you analyze your own brand’s positioning.

1. Establish your brand position first, build awareness second.
Establishing a strong brand position is an internal exercise that starts at product development and continues through rollout. Companies can easily fall ion the trap of working to build awareness of their product or brand without first positioning carefully. Understand and create your positioning before building awareness.



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