Positioning or Branding? People often confuse the two marketing terms to the joy of the academics, who will argue until the cows come home about the meanings of the two words.
From my point of view, positioning describes the measurable differences between your solution and that of the competitors. It really is a look backwards (i.e., a historical view) based on the evidence gathered by experience or market research. It says what is in your target market’s minds. Good positioning is what makes you unique. It is an expression of how your target market describes your firm when compared to your competitors. It is important to understand this is the customers’ view, not yours. It is their perception of your firm and how it stacks up to the competition.
Meanwhile, branding is bigger in scope and more ethereal in that it expresses why your customers are loyal or prefer your brand. Maybe less measurable than positioning, but still real, branding is a covenant between the provider and the customer. Branding is a promise of value. For example, when you go into a McDonalds in Topeka or a McDonalds in Bombay you will have the same experience with the same food (more or less).
That is all you really need to know.
John Bradley Jackson
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