Positioning is not Branding—Do You Think Differently?
If you don't think of branding and positioning as two different things…you should.
In actuality, one is the springboard for the other. The positioning for your Brand should be one of the key inputs into your Creative Brief to develop the branding with your advertising agency. You can think of the positioning for your product as the infrastructure and the branding as the cosmetics (colors, logo, typefaces, graphics, etc) you wrap around it. Take Nexium as a clear example. The positioning is "heals the damage" and the branding is "the purple pill" with the purple and white type that accompanies all promotion.
Many of our Clients with products that are marketed in both the US and abroad speak about the idea of "global branding." We like to challenge this with the concept of "global positioning." It is our belief that ensuring consistency of positioning and message is more critical to a Brand's success than ensuring consistency of look. Now, we're not suggesting that unified branding is not important, just that content might be more important than color.
Isn't the preferred situation one in which all affiliates deliver the same centralized positioning for a Brand, regardless of design and logo placement, rather than one in which all the materials look alike, but the main idea communicated is highly variable? It's just something to think about.