A Brief on Global Positioning

With this Positioning Tip we thought we would answer a question that we receive from many of our global brand team managers.  “If we are developing a brand position across multiple countries and across multiple customers, should there be only one brand position?”  The simple answer is “Yes”.  The purpose of brand positioning is to create recognition and differentiation of your brand in the marketplace, defining a memorable perception that facilitates the selection of your product above competitive choices.  Given the globalization of nearly every market, choosing multiple positions to represent your brand is a sure way to cause confusion among your potential customers. Consumers today, be they physicians, moms, or teens, are exposed to a wide variety of promotion that can be difficult to filter by geographic boundaries.  When dealing with multiple markets and targets this becomes more important and potentially daunting. 

In order to create a global brand position the first step is to identify commonality among your potential audiences.  What is it that joins these potentially diverse groups together?  Do they have similar needs?  Do they share attitudes that no competitor has identified?  Is there an attribute or benefit that surpasses existing competitors?  Whatever common thread is identified to help unify your target customers, the brand positioning must be relevant, distinct, and unique compared to your competitors. Without a strong, focused and clear positioning the maximum brand potential cannot be reached. 

The global brand position, once identified, can then be communicated efficiently to different targets by utilizing customized key messages.  Since your customers are not exposed to the brand positioning directly, it is critical that the messages speak to each customer group in a way that clearly communicates the brand’s benefits in terms that are appealing to them.  Messaging differently to each of the diverse customer groups allows the flexibility needed to establish a cohesive global brand position

The outcome of not establishing a clear, concise, and unified position often results in both time and financial losses that can take years to overcome.  The goal is to establish a strong global customer base that recognizes the differentiation of your product and perceives it as the best choice within the marketplace, regardless of geographic location.  Brand teams cannot afford to have the brand positioning be unfocused and confusing especially in today’s highly charged, global competitive marketplace.


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