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Exclusive Research on Brand Positioning in 2021

Exclusive Research on Brand Positioning by Grant Polachek, Head of Branding at Squadhelp.com

Everyone who has ever struggled with brand positioning or is presently trying to figure it out will agree that it is not a simple task. Making a poor choice in positioning your business will put it in front of the incorrect audience, jeopardising its development and chances of success.

That’s why any entrepreneur who wants to make a successful start in the market must know how to carefully apply brand positioning principles so they can build a brand that appeals to their target market.

And, to make things even easier for you, we put a few brand positioning concepts to the test to see how people react to businesses that adopt a modern vs traditional position.

Why This Brand Positioning Survey is Critical

Our objective was to determine which brands people were drawn to and how that varied based on customer demographics.

It doesn’t matter whether you run a small, medium, or large business; this information would play a key role in helping you make quick branding decisions and selecting the best position for your company.

And to achieve the aims of the survey, we asked people in the United States whether they would prefer working with a historied or trusted company or with a new and innovative one.

So Why’s This Question Necessary?

Understand that selecting your business’s tone is one of the most fundamental and defining decisions you’ll make when creating or rebranding your company. This decision is critical because it allows entrepreneurs, product managers, and brand executives to define their brand’s future.

Consider how the market would’ve changed today if:

  • Apple was known as Executex
  • Zappos was still known as Shoestore
  • Amazon had remained Cadabra
  • Nike had remained Blue Ribbon Sports 
  • Hydrox had taken a better name 
  • Ayds diet candy had rebranded itself

The overall personality of your business and the emotions people associate with it are influenced by the tone of your brand. Therefore, your company’s name plays such a vital role in your branding that you cannot afford to ignore it in your naming strategy

Even though there are many brand tones, most of these tones lie somewhere between ‘historied and trusted’ and ‘modern and innovative’ tones.

Here are a few examples of traditional brands:

  • Liberty Mutual 
  • Warby Parker  
  • Gucci
  • Blackstone
  • IBM 

Here are some great examples of modern brands:

  • Robinhood
  • Urban Decay
  • Accenture
  • Slack
  • Apple
Trusted and Innovative Spectrum
Courtesy: Unsplash

We carefully constructed our survey to capture which customer demographics are drawn to modern or traditional brands. We did that because one of the most crucial issues almost every entrepreneur faces when developing a brand is whether their company should be contemporary or traditional.

Here’s What We Discovered from the Survey

Although the survey’s findings were anticipated to some extent, the results we obtained were unexpected and refreshing. Here’s a quick breakdown of what we learned from the 301 people that took part:

  • New and modern businesses appeal to people between the ages of 25–34. More than half of the persons we surveyed in this category favoured new and modern brands over historied and trusted brands.
Courtesy: Squadhelp
  • People between the ages of 35–45 favoured new and innovative businesses over traditional and trusted brands. It’s worth mentioning, though, that this group was split equally between the two alternatives.
Courtesy: Squadhelp
  • People aged 45–54 and 55–65 were more interested in traditional and trusted brands.
Survey Result 45-54
Courtesy: Squadhelp
  • People between the ages of 55 and 65 were particularly drawn to historied and trusted companies.
Courtesy: Squadhelp
  • The survey showed that men exhibited little to no preference for either modern or historied brands.
Survey Results Men
  • Women, according to the survey, are more inclined to pick historied and trusted brands.
Courtesy: Squadhelp
  • 153 participants out of 301 we surveyed chose historied and trusted brands, while 148 preferred new and innovative brands. The survey’s result clearly shows that businesses can adopt any stance they choose, as long as it aligns with their target audience.
Survey Result All
Courtesy: Squadhelp

What This Means for You

According to the survey findings, the majority of young people are interested in new, modern, and creative brands. So, consider giving your company a unique, modern, and innovative brand identity if you want it to appeal to a younger audience demographic.  

However, let’s say your target demographic is Baby Boomers and older Gen Xers. In such a scenario, it’s important to present your business as a classic, traditional, and trusted brand because customers between 45 to 65 are more attuned to classic brands.

Also, the survey reveals that every entrepreneur must pay close attention to their brand’s tone if they want to position their company perfectly. And one way to unite your audience and business is by getting a powerful brand name, and one of the best ways you can do this is by using a strong company name generator.

Here’s a Great Example of Brand Positioning

Hulu is a great example of a brand that is well-positioned. The company entered the market with a unique brand name that pushed the tone scale from average to the extreme by being very ‘modern and inventive.’ But, with over 40 million subscribers, it’s evident that their decision paid off handsomely.

Hulu’s success stems from the fact that its tone is perfect for its business and target demographic. Young people, from millennials to Gen Xers, make up the majority of their target market, and as the results of our survey showed, this group loves new and innovative brands.

About the Author

Grant Polachek is the Head of Branding at Inc 500 company Squadhelp.com, the worlds #1 naming platform, with 30,000+ customers from early-stage startups across the globe to the largest corporations including Nestle, Philips, Hilton, Pepsi, and AutoNation.

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