Brand positioning is all about conveying the value you are offering to customers in a way that connects emotionally with them while also differentiating yourself from your competitors. Unless you occupy a unique space in your target customer’s mind, your brand will always be playing catch up.
In this article, we’ll be looking at some of the most successful brand positioning strategies and the lessons you can learn from them. As you will see from these examples, even brands operating in similar competitive spaces and targeting the same customers have differentiated themselves. The branding strategies they use are consistent in all their marketing and branding material as well. Let’s dive in:
Uber vs. Lyft
Both Uber and Lyft offer the same core service to their customers, but their branding strategies couldn’t be any more different. Uber promoted itself as “Everyone’s private driver” and promoted luxury and sophistication for the busy professional. Lyft, on the other hand, promoted itself as being cool, friendly, and relaxed. Anyone who’s used both applications can see the difference in everything from the logo to the user interface and the cabs themselves.
Mercedes Benz vs. BMW
Mercedes Benz and BMW sell luxury cars, but they’ve still managed to identify unique customer needs. Mercedes’ cars are timeless and elegant yet designed for comfort. On the other hand, BMW focuses on the performance capabilities of its vehicles and promotes them as the “Ultimate Driving Machine.” Basically, Mercedes is old-fashioned and classy, while BMW is sleek and modern.
Nike vs. Adidas
Competing with Nike, one of the world’s most valuable retail brands, is never easy. However, Adidas, often considered Nike’s biggest competitor, has continued giving Nike a run for its money with its branding strategy. Anyone who’s ever seen a Nike commercial knows that their core customer segment is athletes. Adidas, on the other hand, has marketed itself as a sporty lifestyle brand. This is also why Adidas benefited much more from the rise in athleisure than Nike.
H&M vs. Zara
H&M and Zara are often clubbed together in the fast-fashion category, and yet their core value propositions couldn’t be any more different. Zara has built its name on providing clothes inspired by luxury brands at an affordable price. The brand is known to design catalogs in rapid two-week cycles, and style is what they’re always selling. H&M, on the other hand, places price at the front and center of all of its marketing communications. By promoting itself as affordable and inclusive, H&M has become the darling of the young and the tech-savvy.
Amazon vs. Walmart
Amazon rules the e-commerce space, while Walmart is the king of retail. While they’re both competing for the same customers, they sell two very different things. Amazon’s core value proposition is convenience and access to thousands of products. After all, it doesn’t get any more convenient than ordering something sitting on the couch and having it delivered to your doorstep in two days. Walmart has differentiated itself from Amazon by saying it offers the lowest prices possible. Customers who’re more focused on cost would therefore go to their local Walmart than order from Amazon.