Repositioning Your Brand

Could your brand capture true success through repositioning? It’s difficult to know for sure, but one thing is for certain. If a brand doesn’t reposition at the right time, it could lose that opportunity forever.

Here are few tips to consider in repositioning your brand:

* Sales are declining –If your sales are dropping, it is important that you take a step back and figure out why this is happening. It could be that your brand needs to be refreshed.

* Your target audience is no longer the best target –Is the customer you are targeting really the customer that is going to make you the most money?

* Your products and services have evolved significantly –Over time, companies change. You add new products, refine old products, expand the business, and so on. This helps you stay relevant, fresh. But after adding and changing your offerings up over a long stretch of time, it’s very likely that the branding strategy you started with no longer reflects what your brand really is. It’s out of sync, and it needs to be changed.

* New competitors have a better value proposition –Rest assured, the competition will eventually render your initial position ineffectual. In that case, it is keep up or get left behind.

* Customers think you are outdated instead of established –There is something to be said for being an established brand that customers can trust. But just because your brand is old doesn’t mean it’s good. Customers may see you as outdated, out of touch, and irrelevant.

* Brand repositioning is also necessary when: Your brand has a bad, confusing or nonexistent image; your organisation is significantly altering its strategic direction; corporate culture renewal dictates at least a revision of the brand personality.

According to Felicia Joy, an author and entrepreneur, if a company wants to increase prices in its business and make more of a margin on each sale, it is essential for the company to analyse its brand to see how it can reposition it to be more valuable in the minds of current and potential customers.  Doing this would boost actual value or perceived value.

Actual Value
Increasing actual value likely will cost your business more money but will enable you to charge more too if your customers care about the improvements. For example, in the auto business, a sunroof, leather seats and chrome wheels are considered upgrades.  It actually costs manufacturers more to install sunroofs than solid roofs; more to use leather rather than cloth and more to make chrome instead of aluminium wheels.  Since car buyers think these features make a car more comfortable, sporty, luxurious, durable or flashy, these add-ons increase the value of the car and customers will pay more for them.

In your business you are adding actual value anytime you are paying more on a continuous basis for the cost of materials or labour to improve the customer’s view and desire for your product or service. Using premium or preferred materials or skill sets rather than just “good” or “good enough” materials and labour will allow you to have higher price points if your add-ons are desirable to your customers.

Perceived Value
Increases in perceived value are generally more profitable than increases in actual value because you do not necessarily have to spend money ongoing—or any money at all—to achieve increases in perceived value but you can still charge more for the added value.

Martin Reimann, a psychologist at the University of Southern California, found in his research that consumers will pay higher prices for attractively packaged products.  Making a product package more attractive may not cost more —it can be as simple as using a brighter or darker brand colour, a more commanding or refined font or a different shape for a bottle.  These changes can make a product appear richer or of higher quality, yet the inside product may be the same as a lower priced competitor. It’s all about the perception.

Associations, affiliations and trust also boost perceived value.  For example, two identical items may sell for vastly different prices if one is used or favoured by a celebrity.

Professional certifications work the same way.  A Certified Public Accountant may be able to charge a premium for bookkeeping and accounting services than an accountant with a degree but no certification.

Protect, build and analyse your brand to figure out ways to boost value for your customers. Whether it is actual or perceived, the added sales can help you reach your annual profit goals faster.