Honey bees: photo cred Khoa ma via unsplash

Brand and Branding have become ten pound words that mean so much to businesses and consumers alike. Owners will argue that their brand is based on their logo, colors, tagline and unique catch phrases. Consumers will argue that your brand is what they feel, experience and the images that are conjured in their mind when they interact with your product. Both of those interpretations are right in varying context, but to err on the side of simplicity, we will agree that both definitions are correct but from different view points.

But before we start the important task of positioning your brand, we need to first identify whether your value proposition is a point of parity, point of relevance or point of difference.

Points of parity: These points are items that are generic to your category and industry. If your in the food takeout industry, your expected to produce good food, fast with a high degree of consistency. If your in retail, your expected to provide good customer service, a good shopping experience and a smooth checkout process. If your in a professional service industry such as accounting, your expected to be competent in numbers crunching and analysis, be able to balance the books and provide competent advice.

If you find yourself using generic expectations like these, as ways to distinguish yourselves in your mission or vision statement, core values or how you train your team; you are officially a follower not a leader.

When brands rely on points of parity, you don’t stand out in the consumers mind your just doing what your expected to do. “Tweet this

Points of Relevance: Points of relevance start to bring some focus to your brand. For example if your in the clothing industry, do you cater to Big and Tall men. If your a baker do you offer a selection of pastries to persons who have a gluten allergy. If your a photographer, do you only shoot weddings and baby photos.

When you begin to position your business on points of relevance, customers begin to take notice and they start to understand a little better how you are different than all of the other generic offerings in your industry. Having a point of relevance makes a difference, because this is when you begin to stand out, based on similarities to the customers needs or wants.​

Points of Difference: When your brand has arrived at a point of difference, this indicates your organization has decided to put a stake in the ground. This means that your are clear on what value you bring to the market, and you are okay turning customers away who are not a good fit. A good example of this would be Beyond Meat. While some of you may be nodding away, thinking they are just a non- meat alternative; lets look deeper at their points of difference:

  1. They decided to make plant based food options that taste good, but are good for you.
  2. They combined their company mission, with missions to save the climate, conserve natural resources and promote better human diets.
  3. They started out with a focus on one product, before expanding their product line.
  4. Diversified product lines, cut into your own market share unless you go into new categories.
  5. The biggest point that I saved for last, they decided to exclude an entire market of persons who eat and prefer meat.

In conclusion, spend some time identifying your value position as this may prove to be equally or more important than your brand colors or a fancy logo.