Brand marketing strategies that do not incorporate an element of brand juxtaposition can fail to effectively communicate the relevance of the brand’s position to its target audience. The brand position of a business, service or product is central to its perception among prospective customers as well as current ones. Classic marketing strategies define a brand position based upon identification of brand attributes, brand persona and brand experience, which set the brand apart from competitors. Success of a brand marketing campaign rests heavily on the relevance and recognition of this brand position across its customer universe. Often overlooked is the degree of contrast necessary to for a brand positioning message to stand out in the minds of its target audience, who are bombarded daily with competing brand messaging. A brand attribute that I see touted almost universally in brand marketing communications is “quality service”; a mandatory requirement for any brand with a customer service component (what customer wants a brand offering “no quality” service?). Since most brand marketing strategies deploy a “quality service” claim, differentiation comes down to using brand juxtaposition to create a positive contrast versus competition. Stating the claim of “quality service” in a non-generic way draws a contrast that makes the claim more relevant its audience. An example of positive contrast is, “For The Ones Who Get It Done”, which is the brand marketing claim (a.k.a. tagline) of W.W. Grainger, a product distributor to all types of businesses. The message implies that Grainger provides quality service based on a true understanding of what high-performance customers need to “Get It Done” and is also central to a brand persona that is customer-focused “For The Ones”.
It is also important to reinforce the brand position with a visual identity system that aligns with the brand attributes/persona/experience. This does not imply that a new logo design is requisite to reposition or realign the positioning of a brand (although, a supportive logo design would help), but the color scheme and visual elements need to meld with the brand position. The visual identity is also a means to draw a contrast between the brand and its competitors. Another visual way to highlight the brand juxtaposition is to create a tagline that states a brand claim and incorporates it into the logo design.
-Ira Lieberman – Brand Solutionist