Defining and defending your brand space

It is a noisy world out there. So much so, it can often feel crowded looking around at the competition. The fear sets in, panic rises and sweat beads form on the brows of your team as the marketplace closes in around you. Seemingly awash with more and more brands clambering to be seen and stand out amongst the crowd.

Sound familiar? Of course, it does. Because as a business you want to stay ahead of the pack, be the top dog in your own world and defend your status accordingly.

To fix this conundrum, you need to define (and hold on to) your ownable space. Think of it like your own castle. Your very own Troy if you like. Only this time you’re not going to be as honourably foolish as Hector. Your walls need to remain unbreached, and as a result your kingdom remains prosperous and, hopefully, everlasting. But just how is this done? Well, there’s a simple tool that when used correctly, allows you to test your brand’s positioning, understand exactly what your strengths are – and influences your customers as a result.

To think, look and act the part, you need to deliver the right messages to your customers at the right time, win more work, and charge what you know you’re worth.

Positioning – it’s all in the way you use it.

Depending on who you ask, positioning can mean a myriad of different things. When we talk about positioning however, we mean – and here it is again, that platinum-plated term – ownable space. What do you do, who do you do it for and what makes you the very best at it? In essence, how do you want to be known, and by whom.

There’s no point beating around the bush, no one has a USP. Unless of course you’re a once-in-a-lifetime-billionaire-backed-out-of-the-box-disruptor, in which case, you probably don’t need to be reading this at all. But in reality, most brands have a combination of things that make them successful, and it’s this package that makes your space in the market worth fighting for.

Putting your plan into action.

Now you’ve called all your banner men to the Dragonstone table, it’s time to get down to business. Or more specifically, strategy. You haven’t come this far without gathering some research and insights, so it’s high time to put them to the test in a way that really counts.

Here are 5 simple steps to get started:

1: Draw up a 4-quadrant matrix

2: Identify the 2 main differentiators you want to test your positioning against and put them at the top and right of the matrix

3: Mark the reverse at the other end

4: Plot your brand onto the matrix where you believe it sits

5: Add your competitors (to do this accurately you’ll need to know their messaging, activity, and ethos)

(Example matrix)

In an ideal world, you should see a buffer emerging around you – a wide, healthy moat if you like. If not, it’s likely you’re still a little too close for comfort to those you want to get ahead of. The aim is to be in the top right space of the quadrant, as far away as possible from any potential usurpers.

To get to the winning position you’ll need to ask yourself some honest questions. Do you need to alter your differentiators, or even simplify them? The key is always keeping your offer clear. This way you’ll be able to communicate your position effectively and see exactly what it is you need to do to move toward your goal.

Owning your kingdom and securing your brands defences.

Once you know your positioning, you need to make sure your customers understand it too. That means every communication you put out, from your blog posts to your customer services should reinforce and reiterate that. Live and breathe your story and soon people will believe, just like you do, that you have something worth protecting – something worth investing in.

How you look, what you say and the experience you give your customers should be uniform and seamless, creating a resilient brand identity to stand the test of time. At DesignMC we know how to dig out a brands distinctiveness and give them the tools they need to build a business worth defending.

If you’d like to know more about how we can help define and defend your brand, helping you beat of the competition and deliver the experiences your customers really want, get in touch at hello@designmc.org