Amazon Branding – Positioning

Picture of Author: Martyn N.

Author: Martyn N.

Hi! I’m Martyn, a full-time Amazon E-Commerce Manager with over 5 years of experience selling and managing a wide range of products for various small businesses on Amazon.

Positioning your product

Brand positioning refers to establishing where your brand fits in your target market, how it’s different from existing brands, and what unique value you are offering to your customers.

In today’s world where consumers are easily overwhelmed by the sheer amount of choice there is, their mind is most focused on contrast – what makes a product or a brand stand out from others, which makes positioning extremely important.

If you sell bottled water on Amazon and it looks exactly like a generic water bottle that doesn’t distinguish itself in any way to any other bottle of water, why would anyone want to buy your product except for one thing – if it was the cheapest of them all?

As we’ve explained in lesson 3 which covered product differentiation, this is not a viable strategy for small sellers.

Let’s say you’re on the other side and looking for a bottle of water on Amazon.

Almost all bottles will have a standardized design – plastic, transparent, with a label wrapped along the center line.

Now imagine if between all of these, you saw a black, fully metallic bottle, priced at twice the average market price with a premium font saying just “H2O.”

 How striking would that be?

…I noticed this after writing and recording this article – looks like someone had the same idea! All designs are nice, but repetitive – white and blue, nature-themed, none of them stand out to the eye…then suddenly, a mould-breaker, the eye-catcher: Sleek, all-black design.

Makes you want to click on it, right?

Now I’m not talking about whether this would be a good idea or not – that’s irrelevant for this point.

The point is, that you would most likely remember this particular design and brand much more than the others.

And getting your customers to remember your product or brand is critical to establish a memory base of that product’s brand, which you can then build every time your customers are exposed to your brand.

There are many strategies to position your brand. Here are a some of the most common ones:

There are many more strategies that you can adopt – which is part of the fun of building your brand, as there’s limitless potential for creativity here.

Each strategy has its own pros and cons, and which strategy is best for your brand is completely dependent on your customers, their needs and your products.

You can also combine different positioning strategies together to create a unique feel to your brand – in fact, many brands adopt a mix of these different strategies to further differentiate themselves from competing brands which may already have gone full-throttle into a single positioning strategy, effectively “filling that spot” in the customer’s mind.

In the case of the premium black water bottle for instance, this would most likely be a combination of quality-based positioning strategy and innovation leader strategy.

You will want your strategy to follow your business advantages – for instance, for the sale of premium water bottles, you will want to ensure that you have some form of valuable advantage in terms of providing premium water bottles between the very first steps of design and the final listing which your competitors would have a tough time reproducing.

Basically, you want to position yourself somewhere where you know you’re going to be secure in the long term and be able to maintain strong sales through competitive advantages, and not somewhere where you do not have any advantages, just like you wouldn’t build a house in a middle of a lake if you didn’t know how to swim.

Here’s a classic Price/Quality positioning matrix. Price and quality are the two major axis used for positioning, but you can change them to whatever is appropriate to your business.

Creating a matrix can help you visualize where your competitors stand (following your market research) and as such, let you see where you can position yourself.

Pitfalls to avoid when positioning your brand

One thing to keep in mind though – be careful about not trying to cover too many positions.

Remember the saying: “If you chase two rabbits, you will lose them both.”

Trying to position yourself on too many aspects will most likely result in your brand not being positioned at all, and instead of increased success, it will most likely end up feeling generic and uninspiring.

Would you trust a restaurant who offered you: “The worlds’ best tastiest biggest healthiest cheapest environmentally-friendliest meat-tasting vegan burger”?

Like most people, you’d end up believing they are exaggerating and are untrustworthy, and might believe they don’t meet any of these criteria at all!

Furthermore, having an unclear position or shifting position can create a lot of confusion for your customers.

Imagine you see a product with a premium-looking design which tries to position itself as the cheapest option in the market – let’s say, if Rollex suddenly started selling watches under 100 dollars with “70% off! Best value!” signs all over the products.

Wouldn’t that put you off?

In fact, you probably would think that these must be fake, which is a great example of branding from Rollex, who managed to position and brand themselves so well in the luxury watch market that it became impossible to believe that they have made a high price point a literal point of value.

Alright, so after doing your market research and finding out who your customers are, what your competitors are lacking and where you can position your brand, it’s time to take the first step into making your brand a reality.

It’s time to define your brand!

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