The Foundation For Brand Positioning

There are plenty of reasons to envy Netflix – most notably because it’s hard to copy. From scalability to original content, Netflix also provides easy access to content with great technology. Most importantly, Netflix has superior brand positioning and overall trust at a level that very few brands can touch.

“Brand” is a difficult term to define and I find that the “textbook” definitions don’t capture what it represents. For example, Google says that a brand is “a type of product manufactured by a particular company. Another definition reads “an identifying mark burned into livestock.” Clearly, both of these definitions are way off.

To me, a brand is a story that builds a trusted relationship between a customer and a product. With this, brands are defined by a series of components. More so than any other, brand positioning is essential to ensuring long-term success. However, much like defining what brand means, coming up with your positioning can be quite difficult.

Simply put, positioning is the space that your brand occupies in a customer’s mind. At its best, brand identity is synonymous with a single word that comes naturally to people. Think about these car brands and words that instantly come to mind for each:

  • BMW = Performance
  • Tesla = Innovation
  • Honda = Reliability
  • Volvo = Safety
  • Mercedes = Luxury

Through the years, these brands have significantly invested in positioning and messaging to own these terms. Ultimately, this makes your brand stand out and instantly recognizable.


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About the speaker
Gibson Biddle NerdWallet, Board Observer, Executive-In-Residence Product Member

Gib Biddle is the fmr Netflix VP Product Management and is currently the NerdWallet Board Observer and Executive-in-Residence for Product. He joined Netflix as VP of Product in 2005. In 2010 Gib became the Chief Product Officer of his next startup, Chegg, a textbook rental and homework help company that went public in 2014. Today he’s an adviser, speaker and guest lecturer at both Stanford and INSEAD.

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