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Opinions of Monday, 4 June 2018

Columnist: Albert Amekudzi

Be a brand, not a commodity

Every brand has a story. The story is the full representation of the organization’s image. Building a strong brand with a unique value proposition is what in practice differentiates an organization from its competitors within the industry.

As Donald Trump (now President of United States of America) rightly puts it “If your business is not a brand, it is a commodity”. The worth of a business is in its brand.

A strong brand is not built overnight. Brand building requires consistency and alignment of all corporate communications activities with the organisation’s vision and mission. A strong brand deliberately targets and positions itself in the hearts and minds of the audience. With a strong brand position, marketing activities become focused, effective and efficient leading to the best of results.

Brand positioning emphasizes the distinctive features of the brand and its attributes as well as creating the greatest impression on the minds of the audience. Ellwood (2009, p.73) situated a brand position as “all of its external activities and at the same time determines its internal behaviour.” This makes the brand stand tall among its competitors. Marketing experts note that brand positioning should be credibly done, significant to the audience, stand tall apart from competitors.

Brand positioning strategies

Effective brand positioning can be achieved through price positioning, market differentiation creation, quality positioning, quantity positioning, size positioning, corporate name positioning, events positioning and visibility positioning among others. A strong and well positioned brand can be differentiated by many factors but four of such major factors are; relevance, differentiation, deliverance and communication.

Price positioning settles the issue of pricing by identifying and comparing the high value of your product/service in relation to competing product/service.

Additionally, market differentiation creation positions a brand to stand out of the crowd to become the delight of consumers. For a brand to effectively articulate its distinctive features from the rest of the market, it must demonstrate superiority in the industry.

Brand positioning and target audience

Brand positioning should come from brand identity because the latter sets the boundaries of positioning. According to Kapferer (1992), positioning needs to come from brand identity. “Brand identity consists of more detailed and useful information about a brand in the context of implementing the positioning idea in operations.”

Brand positioning must be relevant to the target audience and influence the position of the brand in their mind. Brand positioning goes a long way to influence purchase decision and also guarantees a competitive edge. Brand positioning is all about projecting the brand to stand tall among competitors in every industry.

Benefits of brand positioning

Brand positioning is one of the difficult task for most marketers but the end results are great.

A clearly and strongly differentiated brand builds loyalty, reduces sales cost, enhances competitive edge and ultimately brings repeated business. More so, all these can be easily achieved with a well-coordinated corporate communication strategy.

It is therefore important for corporate organisations in Ghana to build a strong brand and enhance their value in whichever industry or sector they operate.

The writer is the Corporate Communications and Events Manager at Origin8, a leading advertising, marketing and public relations company in Ghana.