Brand positioning has never been more crucial than it is in 2018. The world of marketing – especially online – has expanded in ways we couldn’t have foreseen just a few years ago. Today’s consumers have unprecedented access to the brands they use. The right brand positioning can make or break your company.
Branding is a complex topic – and one that’s designed to evoke an emotional response in your target audience. Understanding the way people view their favorite brands, and what they consider is important, is essential if you want to be able to manage your brand and build a solid reputation.
With that in mind, we’ve compiled 25 essential brand positioning statistics to help you chart a course for the future.
Memorability of Brands
Your brand is effective only if your present (and potential) customers remember it. Here are some statistics to help you make your brand memorable to your target audience.
1) First, you should know that 59% of consumers say they prefer to buy from brands that are familiar to them. For new companies, this statistic illustrates the importance of building brand recognition quickly. Established companies must maintain a consistent online presence, something we’ll talk more about later.
2) Color plays an important role in branding. A Loyola University study found that consistent use of colors can increase brand recognition by up to 80%. Using the same colors on your website, in marketing emails, and on social media will help make your brand more memorable whether you’re new to the market or have an established brand.
3) One-third of all consumers have a brand in mind when they go shopping. That might seem to indicate that there’s limited brand loyalty among consumers, but there’s another way to look at it. Some brands are doing a better job of connecting with their customers than others.
If you don’t understand what your target audience expects of you, you can’t give it to them. Consumers have certain expectations of the brands they follow (and buy from.)
4) One of the most important consumer expectations is consistency. A whopping 90% of buyers say that they expect brand consistency across all platforms. Whether a customer is visiting your website, following you on social media, or leaving a review of your business on Yelp, what they see must match the way you present your brand everywhere else.
5) Likewise, 80% of consumers say that the authenticity of a brand’s content affects how they feel about the brand. That means that if your content seems disingenuous or you’re using too much hype, people will be less likely to trust your brand.
6) Finally, remember that your target audience expects you to know them. 61% of consumers are willing to provide information to the brands they like – but they expect something in return. In fact, 48% of consumers say they expect brands to know them and suggest products that they might find useful.
Disengaging Your Audience
Just as you need to know what your audience expects, it’s important to know the kinds of things that will make them disengage from your brand.
7) For example, 45% of social media users say that they will unfollow a brand if their content is focused too much on self-promotion. The people who follow you on social media want content that’s relevant to them. They won’t mind an occasional sales pitch, but don’t overdo it.
8) 63% of people say that they have disengaged from brand content that they found disappointing. Your audience won’t thank you if you post irrelevant content or fail to share pertinent information.
9) It could hurt you financially – 23% say that they have been so disappointed in a brand’s content that they have never bought from them again.
10) A lack of transparency can really hurt you, especially with Millennials. 94% of consumers say that they’re more likely to be loyal to a brand if the brand is fully transparent. If you attempt to fool your followers or hide relevant information from them, they’re highly likely to look elsewhere for the products or services they need.
11) Finally, think twice before relying on branded content like native ads to engage with your audience. 53.9% of consumers say they distrust branded content. It can be effective but overusing it can have a net negative impact on your brand.
Your Brand’s Purpose
The days when brands could get by without a clear purpose are gone. Increasingly, consumers say that they want to buy from brands with a purpose.
12) In fact, 64% of consumers say that a brand’s values are important to them. A value might be related to the way you do business. For example, Southwest Airlines’ primary value is democratizing air travel. Their low prices and unique service underscore their values. Or, a value might relate to supporting a cause, the way Tom’s Shoes donates a pair whenever a customer buys a pair.
13) Now, let’s look at it from another angle. 65% of consumers say they’ve been disappointed in a brand’s political stance and 62% said they would boycott a company over its political stance. If you decide to get political, be prepared for some backlash.
14) But keep in mind that sometimes taking a stand can earn you points. A recent example is Penzey’s Spices, which lost 3% of its customers after its owner sent a political email to subscribers, but then experienced a 60% increase in online sales when news of the email spread.
15) Finally, don’t underestimate the importance of responding to negative reviews. 57% of consumers would break up with a brand because it mishandled negative reviews.
Digital Marketing and Branding
It wasn’t long ago that digital marketing was barely a blip on the radar. Today, the way brands present themselves online can have a huge impact on their bottom line.
16) 67% of all consumers research brands online before they make a purchase. That means that even brands who don’t have online stores must think about how to engage consumers online and educate them about their products or services.
17) Web users have a variety of ways to learn about brands. 32% say that they find brand information on company websites and social media accounts.
18) Following brands online is nearly a universal experience – but the number of brands followed varies from person to person. Here’s how it breaks down:
• 50% of consumers follow one to four brands
• 26% follow five to nine brands
• 22% follow 10 or more brands
• 3% do not follow any brands online
Remember that if you want people to follow your brand, you must provide them with content that’s relevant to them. If your content seems inauthentic or overly self-promoting, they’ll disengage.
Engaging Customers’ Emotions
Consumers spend a lot of time researching brands online but that doesn’t mean that all their decisions are financial. In fact, emotional engagement and branding go hand in hand.
19) 94% of consumers say that they’re more likely to recommend a brand to their friends if they feel emotionally engaged to it.
20) 65% of consumers say they have a positive emotional connection with at least one brand. A Harvard Business Review study found that emotionally engaged customers were up to 50% more valuable than customers who described themselves as “very satisfied.”
21) When it comes to engaging customer emotions, visual content is the way to go. A University of Minnesota study found that visual presentations were, on average, 43% more persuasive than non-visual presentations.
22) Marketing professionals agree with that statistic. 65% say that visual content, including photos, illustrations, infographics, and videos, are the key to building a strong brand and connecting with their target audience.
Audience Building and Conversions
23) When it comes to brand positioning, the focus is less on increasing sales and more on building trust with your audience. 70% of marketing managers say that sales are a secondary concern of their branding strategy.
24) Content marketing is still the king of branding. 91% of companies say they use some form of content marketing to build their brand and engage customers. Some popular formats are:
• Case studies
Well-conceived content can do a great deal to build trust and get potential customers to understand and value your brand.
25) How important is branding? 77% of marketers say that building a strong brand is crucial to their future growth. It’s easy for branding to get overlooked because it doesn’t always return an immediate ROI. However, when consumers trust and identify with your brand, they’ll be more likely to turn into loyal customers in the future.
Creating a strong brand is a must in today’s marketing environment. Consumers expect brands to be consistent and provide content that’s relevant to them and their needs. And, just as important, they look for brands whose values and purpose they can feel good about supporting. These 25 statistics illustrate the importance of branding for your company’s success.