In order to position your product — and by extension, your brand — to win in a home improvement Product Line Review (PLR), you must start developing real, actionable strategies based on the data you’ve mined and insights you’ve uncovered. This is where you can demonstrate to your merchant the ways your products and brand fit into the broader market context. What do consumers think about your brand? If end users have a favorable impression of your brand, how can you leverage that? If they have negative associations, how can you flip them into positives? The market is forever changing, and by taking a proactive approach with your products and brand, you can chart a course that shows your merchant that you’ll always be ahead.
Positioning starts by clearly articulating your brand and your products.
In order to clearly articulate who you are as a brand and what your products can do for customers, it’s important to study and understand your end users, as we mentioned in a previous article, “Solving End User Problems”. By utilizing behavioral segmentation research for your specific product category and the dynamics within that category, you can learn what influences the consumer and figure out how to solve their problems.
It’s not enough to just solve your end users’ problems. If you have competitors who have already found ways to mitigate consumer issues, then you need to uncover an even better solution. So look back at your research to learn what consumers think about the brands and products in the marketplace to determine what your strengths and weaknesses are in comparison to your competitors. Then, tailor your strategy to highlight your competitive advantage, as well as point out your competitors’ shortcomings.
Remember: you don’t determine your brand. Consumers do.
Your brand is never what you say it is — it’s what consumers say about it. A brand isn’t some tangible thing;it’s a feeling evoked by consumer perception. It reflects the experiences and emotional reactions they have when they see your product or logo, or even hear your name.
Essentially, brand positioning speaks to the idea that a single brand can hold a specific place in the end user’s heart and mind, and that place is determined by how they feel about your brand in comparison to others. The distance in the consumer’s mind between your brand position and that of your competitors all comes down to each consumer’s perception of the similarity — or dissimilarity — between different products and brands.
Effective positioning comes down to three consumer perceptions.
Effective positioning can be understood by examining how favorable, different and credible your products and brand are in the mind of any end user demographic. When you’re trying to generate retail sales opportunities, it’s highly important to cultivate a positive and trustworthy reputation. The merchant needs to see it and believe it in order for you to win your PLR. The merchant will have a distinctly different perspective than the consumer, so your branding will have to win them over as you explain how it will win over end users.
There are a lot of ways to organize your inputs and data to help push a specific positioning, and as you know, segmentation is one of the most powerful ways to organize your prime prospects. You need to put these elements into an understandable context, and there are a lot of ways to do that, including 2x2 grids, informational hierarchies and more. If you are unclear about brand positioning (your core identity) we recommend utilizing the Brand Fingerprint process.
How does a Brand Fingerprint work?
A Brand Fingerprint puts features and benefits into context. It helps you answer the biggest brand positioning questions, like:
- Who are we?
- What do we stand for?
- What do we believe in? Why?
The Brand Fingerprint process works by peeling back your brand attributes, layer by layer, to reveal a core identity that will determine your brand’s overall essence. The deeper you go, the more information emerges, like your brand’s unique head and heart dimensions, as well as your target audience’s emotional and rational drivers that only you can own. But getting there requires knowing what matters to the end user, as well as finding white space in the market in which to play.
Need a white space of your own? Look back at your data.
To find your own white space, you need to mine your data, develop fresh insights and create a workable strategy. One of our favorite examples is the classic candy: Milk Duds. It’s a name you might not know today had it not been for a clever insight brought to light by research. Originally, most of its sales were at movie theaters — purchases in standard retail stores were rare. But when the data started coming in, it was clear that they were the choice of moviegoers because they lasted longer than other candy choices. “Long-lasting” became their brand position, and they soon found themselves doing well outside of the theaters.
It’s all about connecting dots between end users’ problems and your positioning.
When your end users can clearly and easily see that their problems go hand-in-hand with your product and brand positioning, they’re going to see your core identity as favorable, different and credible. So take your time to really look into the data and research. When you can show how well your product and brand resonate with your end users, they will resonate with merchants as well.
Don’t stop there! In the next article in this series, we’ll show you how to Build a Program and Bring it to Life so you can win your PLR.