Branding vs. Positioning

And How They Are Related

Branding and positioning are related to one another; however, they do not have the same meaning. It is important for companies to understand this in order to be successful in their marketing efforts.

Branding is the personality of a business. It is long term and typically based off what a businesses’ customers say about them. Branding influences the marketing mix and is the overall identity of a product or service.

Positioning is when you claim a reputation in the marketplace. Influenced by your brand’s personality, positioning is how you position yourself against your competition. An article by Leigh Richards (Links to an external site.) explains the differences best.

You can see an example of this with Kia Motors former branding. Kia’s branding was defined as safe and affordable. This was an identity created both by the company and controlled by its audience segments. Kia positioned itself as the family safe vehicle when promoting its SUVs and vans. The family safety became a position while the affordability and humble nature was the brand.

Kia eventually used the slogan “The Power to Surprise” (Links to an external site.) as they started making bolder moves in product innovation and changing their positioning in the market from being so humble. Now, Kia has made a shift (Links to an external site.) in its positioning to be much more sophisticated and the gap between the branding and positioning is closing in a little more for them.

The key takeaway for you, as the reader, is to understand your brand identity and then create how you plan to position yourself or your products in the marketplace. Branding and positioning can make shifts to stay agile in today’s changing world, but they are very much their own definitions.

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