Think of all the brand messaging you’ve seen today—even in the last hour. On TV, on the radio, in every open browser tab, on Instagram and Twitter.

How can your brand rise above all that noise? How can you carve out a space for your brand in that chaos, and get people to actually notice?

If you remember a few of those messages—and a few of those brands—it’s likely they did their research, claimed a strong position and stuck to it consistently.

To figure out where your brand fits in the competitive landscape, start by figuring out what it’s known for—how customers see it. Smart brands conduct research to get that insight, using focus groups, online surveys, qualitative and quantitative analyses, and more. In the end, you should know the answers to these questions:

  • What is the brand known for?
  • How do customers perceive the brand? 
  • How is the brand different from its competition?

In knowing these answers—especially in relation to competitors—brands start to understand what the competitive landscape looks like in the first place. 

With research findings to guide them, successful brands develop a brand position. A brand position is a statement that defines who your brand is, what your brand does, and what key difference separates you from the competition. 

That key difference literally positions your brand within the competitive landscape, carving out a unique space where you can stand apart from competitors. That position makes it easy for consumers to quickly understand what your brand does differently (or better) than others—and it should drive all your messaging. 

People find it easier to recognize and connect with brands when brands keep their messaging consistent. Part of that consistency includes continuously highlighting the key difference that sets the brand apart.

To help keep consistency across platforms and prospects, most brands rely on a toolbox full of visual and verbal guidelines. Good agency partners create that toolbox so brands can reach for it again and again, sticking to its guidelines to ensure every post, every ad, and every interaction consistently reinforces the key difference that sets them apart.

Research and a brand position will help your brand find its place in the competitive landscape—and consistency will ensure it stays there. Follow those steps, and in the minds of consumers, your brand will stand far apart from its competitors.