Resources > How to Create a Brand Positioning Map in 7 Steps

How to Create a Brand Positioning Map in 7 Steps

Updated on: 19 June 2024 | 10 min read
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Today, consumers form opinions about a brand in milliseconds, which makes the task of positioning your brand, product, or service becomes a high-stakes challenge. Marketers are continually tasked with the complex endeavor of creating a unique value proposition that not only sets their brand apart from the competition but also resonates deeply with their target audience.

Aligning a company’s desired market position with how consumers actually perceive it can seem like an insurmountable hurdle. This is where a brand positioning map becomes an indispensable tool. By leveraging a brand positioning map, marketers can visually plot where their brand stands relative to competitors, using key marketing elements such as branding, logo, strapline, mission statement, and imagery.

What is a Brand Positioning Map?

A brand positioning map is a visual tool that helps businesses understand their brand’s position in the market relative to competitors. It plots brands on a graph based on key attributes that are important to consumers, such as price, quality, or innovation. The primary purpose of a brand positioning map is to provide a clear visual representation of where a brand stands in the competitive landscape, helping businesses identify gaps and opportunities for differentiation.

By using a brand positioning map, companies can make informed strategic decisions about their marketing and product development efforts. This tool is particularly useful for identifying market opportunities, understanding consumer perceptions, and enhancing strategic planning.

Brand Positioning Template Map for Brand Strategy
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Brand Positioning Map Template for Brand Strategy

How to Create a Brand Positioning Map

Creating a brand positioning map is a strategic process that helps visualize your brand’s position in the market compared to competitors. Follow these steps to create an effective brand positioning map using Creately:

Step 1: Define Your Market and Target Personas

The first step is to define your market and target personas. Use keyword research, social listening, and focus groups to gather insights about your audience. These methods will help you understand the preferences, behaviors, and needs of your target customers.

  • Keyword Research: Identify the most relevant keywords that your target audience is using. This will give you insights into what they are searching for and what their interests are.

  • Social Listening: Monitor social media platforms to understand the conversations around your industry and brand. This will help you identify key trends and sentiments.

  • Focus Groups: Conduct focus group discussions to gain in-depth insights into your target audience’s perceptions and preferences. This qualitative research method allows for a deeper understanding of customer needs and expectations.

Step 2: Select Your Product Characteristics to Compare

Identify the key attributes that matter most to your customers. These attributes could include price, quality, customer service, innovation, and more. Choose characteristics that are relevant to your industry and that will help differentiate your brand from competitors.

For example, if you are in the tech industry, you might choose attributes like ‘innovation’ and ‘user-friendliness’. These attributes will form the basis of your brand positioning map.

Step 3: Identify Different Products in the Market

Identify the various products or brands that will be included in your map. This includes your own brand and your main competitors. Gather data on these brands based on the selected characteristics to understand where each brand stands.

Look at competitor websites, product reviews, and industry reports to gather data on their offerings. This information will help you plot the brands accurately on the map.

Step 4: Draw the Axes

Next, draw the axes of your brand positioning map. Typically, the x-axis and y-axis represent the key attributes you have identified. For instance, the x-axis could represent ‘price’ (low to high), and the y-axis could represent ‘quality’ (low to high). This visual representation helps in comparing different brands based on these attributes. Using Creately’s Perceptual Map Templates, you can easily draw and customize the axes to fit your specific needs.

Step 5: Plot Each Brand on the Map

Once the axes are drawn, the next step is to plot each brand on the map. This includes your brand and your competitors. Place each brand at the appropriate position based on the attributes. For example, if a competitor offers high-quality products at a high price, they would be placed in the upper right quadrant of the map. Creately’s drag-and-drop interface makes it simple to plot brands accurately. You can also use the extensive template library to find pre-designed maps that suit your industry.

Step 6: Share Your Map

After creating the brand positioning map, it’s important to share it with relevant stakeholders. This can include team members, managers, and other departments within your organization.

Sharing your map can be done easily using Creately’s platform, which allows for real-time collaboration and easy sharing options. You can export the map, embed it in presentations, or share a direct link for others to view and provide feedback.

Step 7: Iterate with Different Attributes

The final step is to iterate the process by experimenting with different attributes and re-plotting the brands. This iterative approach helps in refining your brand positioning strategy.

  • Analyze the map to identify positioning gaps and market opportunities. Look for areas where there are few or no competitors. These gaps can represent potential opportunities for your brand to differentiate itself.

  • Repeat the process with different attributes to see how changes in the characteristics affect the market positioning. This helps in understanding various strategic options and selecting the most advantageous positioning for your brand.

By following these steps and leveraging Creately’s powerful features, you can create a comprehensive brand positioning map that provides valuable insights into your market position and helps in strategic planning.

Brand Positioning Template

Positioning Map Example for Phone Brands
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Positioning Map Examples
Positioning Map Example for Fast Food Brands
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Positioning Map Examples for Fast Food Brands

Comparison with Perceptual Maps

While a brand positioning map and a perceptual map are often used interchangeably, there are some significant differences between the two. A perceptual map focuses on how consumers perceive different brands based on specific attributes, whereas a brand positioning map is more about the strategic placement of a brand in the market. Both tools, however, serve the purpose of visualizing market positioning and can be used to identify competitive advantages and areas for improvement.

For example, a perceptual map might show how consumers view various smartphone brands based on attributes like battery life and camera quality. In contrast, a brand positioning map would help a company decide where to position its new smartphone in the market to stand out from competitors.

Using tools like Creately, businesses can easily create and customize these maps, leveraging features such as real-time collaboration and an extensive template library to streamline the process. This makes it easier for teams to visualize, collaborate, and share their brand positioning strategies effectively.

Percetual Maps vs Positioning Maps
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Percetual Maps vs Positioning Maps

Benefits of Using a Brand Positioning Map

Visualization and Opportunities

A brand positioning map offers a clear visualization of your brand’s position in the market compared to competitors. This visual representation helps identify gaps and opportunities that might not be apparent through traditional analysis methods. By using a brand positioning map, you can uncover new market opportunities and strategically plan your next moves.

Strategic Planning and Analysis

With a brand positioning map, you can enhance your strategic planning and competitive analysis. The map allows you to see where your brand stands and how it can be differentiated from competitors. This insight is crucial for making informed decisions and aligning your marketing strategies with your business goals. For more on strategic planning, check out our complete guide to virtual strategic planning.

Consumer Perception

Understanding consumer perception is vital for any brand. A brand positioning map helps you gauge how consumers view your brand relative to others in the market. This understanding can guide your marketing efforts and help you better meet consumer needs. For a deeper dive into understanding consumer behavior, explore our guide on creating a buyer persona.

  • Clear visualization of market position

  • Identification of market opportunities

  • Enhanced strategic planning

  • Improved competitive analysis

  • Better understanding of consumer perception

Using Creately’s visual collaboration platform, you can easily create and share brand positioning maps. The platform’s real-time collaboration and drag-and-drop interface make it simple to visualize your market position and identify opportunities. Additionally, Creately’s extensive template library and integration with other tools streamline the process, making it more efficient and effective.

Converting Your Positioning Map into Positioning Statements

Once you’ve created a comprehensive brand positioning map, the next step is to translate this visual data into actionable positioning statements. These statements are crucial for communicating your brand’s unique value proposition to your target audience. Here’s how you can craft effective positioning statements:

How to Write a Positioning Statement

Writing a positioning statement involves distilling the insights from your brand positioning map into a concise and compelling message. Follow these steps:

  • Identify Your Target Audience: Clearly define who your product or service is for.

  • Highlight the Unique Value: What makes your brand stand out from competitors?

  • State the Benefits: Explain how your product or service solves a problem or meets a need.

  • Keep It Concise: Aim for a statement that is clear and to the point.

Brand Positioning Statement for Brand Strategy
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Brand Positioning Statement

Questions to Ask

To ensure your positioning statement is effective, consider these questions:

  • Who is our target customer?

  • What are their primary needs or pain points?

  • How does our product uniquely address these needs?

  • What are the key benefits we offer?

  • How do we want our brand to be perceived?

Elements of a Good Positioning Statement

A strong positioning statement should include the following elements:

  • Empathy: Show that you understand and care about your customer’s needs.

  • Understanding the Customer: Demonstrate a deep knowledge of your target audience.

  • Conciseness: Keep the statement brief and focused.

  • Alignment with Brand Values: Ensure the statement reflects your brand’s core values.

  • Transparency: Be honest and clear about what your brand offers.

For more insights on creating effective brand strategies, check out our guide on How to Create a Winning Brand Strategy

How Creately Enhances Brand Positioning Mapping

Collaboration and Interface

Creately’s platform is designed to make the creation of a brand positioning map not only efficient but also collaborative. With real-time collaboration features, team members can work together seamlessly, regardless of their location. The user-friendly drag-and-drop interface allows for quick adjustments and easy plotting of brands, making the process intuitive even for those new to brand positioning maps.

Templates and Integration

One of the standout features of Creately is its extensive template library. Users can choose from a variety of professionally designed templates to kickstart their brand positioning map. This saves time and ensures that the map adheres to industry standards. Additionally, Creately integrates with other tools, allowing for a smooth workflow. Whether you need to import data from a CRM or export your map to a presentation software, Creately has you covered.

Customization and Sharing

Creately offers extensive customization options, enabling users to tailor their brand positioning maps to their specific needs. You can easily adjust the axes, add annotations, and highlight key areas to make your map more informative. Once your map is complete, sharing it with stakeholders is a breeze. Creately supports various sharing options, from direct links to embedding the map in other documents. This ensures that everyone involved in the strategic planning process has access to the most up-to-date information.

By leveraging Creately’s features, you can create a brand positioning map that not only visualizes your market position clearly but also facilitates better strategic planning and competitive analysis. For more insights on how to use visual collaboration tools effectively, check out our guide on generating creative ideas.

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Chiraag George
Chiraag George Communication Specialist

Chiraag George is a communication specialist here at Creately. He is a marketing junkie that is fascinated by how brands occupy consumer mind space. A lover of all things tech, he writes a lot about the intersection of technology, branding and culture at large.

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