Designing a marketing strategy remains a crucial part of any business. It is the strategic planning of how the customers and markets feel about your product. While sales and marketing go hand in hand with any products or services, product positioning remains vital in global marketing expenditures. The US companies spent more than 4.75 billion USD in 2012 for product positioning.
Product positioning is a comprehensive process that includes analyzing competitor products, defining the new product positioning among the existing products, and communicating the brand image. Let us try to understand its importance for any business first.
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Why Is Product Positioning Important?
Do you know that a survey conducted in 2016 revealed that more than 77% of US customers have heard about the product positioning? Hence, the first and the foremost need of product positioning is its connection with the customers. Creating the brand image and the absorption of its conceptualization by customers is the first step in product positioning. It is followed by the showcasing of advantages of your brand over the existing competitors.
This difference established by the precise product positioning is communicated to the customers through offline and online means. These brand messages invoke customer consciousness and open the door for profitable business pricing. Just like everything has a special place in your room, it is all about defining the special place for your products or services to the targeted customers. Hence, it all comes down to the effective development of the product positioning strategy for any business.
What Is The Best Way To Develop A Product Positioning Strategy?
The base should be strong in the optimized use of the product positioning strategy. So, here are the quick three ways that ensure that your strategy is going in the right direction irrespective of your product or audience type.
Understand The Customers
It all starts with a deep understanding of the people who’re supposed to buy your products or services. It is essential to know all about these people, including their way of perceiving the world, fears, concerns, and the shared ideas or goals that influence them greatly. It is easy to understand your customer using different information gathering surveys, speaking with customers directly, or small group studies. It helps create compelling messages that can touch the customers at the right point, with your brand being the harbinger of the same idea.
Conduct Market Research
Once the customer understanding is acquired, the next step is to understand what makes your product better than the other competitors in the market. Businesses can work out the emotional triggers that other brands may have been missing currently. Hence, it is essential to conduct market research and understand the competitive landscape of the products. This detailed market research can be conducted by understanding the different brands operating for the same targeted audience.
Assess The Product
Once the market research and the customer research are conducted, the third way is to assess the product efficiency based on the above two. It is time for a comprehensive SWOT analysis that helps product assessment while assuring that the gaps can be filled positively. It is all about aligning the market messages with the product experiences to ensure customers can make the right decisions for their product needs.
Benefits Of Product Positioning
Do you know that the global product positioning industry is estimated to be 23 billion USD market in 2021? The reasons are evident as the product positioning has immense advantages for any business. It is much more than simple sales and marketing and covers the essential needs of the businesses, including:
- Product positioning helps identify the product’s primary advantages over the other available options in the market. It further effectively makes the quick matching of these benefits with customer needs.
- It gives a competitive advantage to the brands even in dynamic markets. Businesses can effectively sail over the market changes with the correct product positioning.
- As product positioning involves detailed research on the customer’s needs, it becomes easy for the brands to match their expectations. Hence, it helps businesses work on customer experiences.
- It becomes easy for businesses to establish their brand name and product range. Their reinforcing of the brand is crucial in boosting the business revenue.
- Winning the heart of your customers using product positioning ensures that they remain loyal to your brand.
Any marketing strategy fails it doesn’t complement the product positioning. Hence, the effective positioning of the brand helps businesses design an attractive promotional strategy.
- It is not only about the targeted customers, but the new customers also get to know about your brand and products based on the product positioning.
- As marketing research is a core part of product positioning, it offers brands a competitive advantage in dynamic markets.
- It becomes easy to add new products to the existing range when your business has an optimized product positioning strategy.
- Product positioning further helps businesses present new updates and features smoothly to the existing products. It effectively overcomes the challenges of the markets when businesses have to think about quick updates and up-gradation according to the changing market trends.
Ten Steps To Position Your Product
After going through the key advantages of the product positioning, it comes down to the proper planning. While product positioning is a comprehensive process, it can be bifurcated into different steps for effective development for getting the best market penetration and sales. So, here is a quick list of the ten steps to position your product.
1. Define Your Target Audience
It is essential to start with a detailed understanding of the target audience. It is all about knowing the right customer segment according to their needs, requirements, demographics, interests, etc. It helps create a base for the product positioning, motivating the right customers with your brand concept and serving them with good products.
2. Identify The Key Benefits Of Your Product
The sales team understands the benefits of the products, and the same is essential while designing your product positioning strategy. Hence, the second step is to define the product features and their peculiar advantages to your brand. It helps customers select your product out of all the possible options available in the market and make a natural selection based on differentiators.
3. Establish Brand Credibility
Customers are looking for experiences, not savings. Hence, the third step in product positioning is the creation of brand credibility. Brands can establish trusted relationships with customers that further promote repeat purchases. Credible brands ensure a good company’s reputation that, is the key factor for customers making decisions. Hence, establishing brand credibility is an important step in product positioning. It is all about prioritizing transparency and honesty while staying away from the over-the-top expenses while creating a practical product positioning strategy.
4. Offer A Unique Value Proposition
You’ve already defined the product benefits, and it is time for the unique product proposition. This unique value proposition can be at the core of the product positioning and hence help the sales and marketing team to attract customers accordingly. Look for the USP of your product out of all the possible advantages.
5. Consider Audience Segmentation
The next step in product positioning is to bifurcate your customers into different segments. It helps resolve the issues like not all customers can be served with the same product. Hence, it is crucial to divide the large customer segment into different groups based on their interests and tweak the messages and product pitches accordingly. Hence, it helps cater to the customer needs accordingly and get them personalized for their product needs without spending high on experiences.
6. Craft Your Messaging
It is time for defining the communication channels. The possible options for crafting the brand messaging are social media platforms, radio or TV advertisements, etc. The product positioning statement is defined at this step that goes in the long run with the core marketing strategy. Further, personalized and effective messages can handle quality communication over the decided channels.
7. Do A Competitive Analysis
The next step is to do some homework and start working on the competitor’s analysis. It helps find your competitor’s offerings, understand their products, and differentiate your product exclusively. It helps get a clear edge over the available products that can combine with the core brand values, brand innovations, etc., to form a powerful product positioning strategy.
8. Demonstrate Your Expertise
It is time to demonstrate your products, brands, etc. The trials, demonstrations, and testing activities can help your business showcase the product quality, your expertise, and your benefits over the other options positively.
9. Focus On Your Competitive Advantage
The next step in creating product positioning is the crystal clear focus on the competitive advantage. It requires clear demarcation of the product benefits and their need to the customers. Don’t refrain from sharing the visible value of your product and adapting innovations and trends in the production process.
10. Maintain Your Brand’s Position
Last but not least is consistent monitoring to maintain the brand’s position globally. It ensures that the customers continue to buy your products over a long time. Businesses must refrain from drastic price rises or decreases and focus on quality to keep pace with the evolving markets.
Examples Of Brilliant Product Positioning
Some crucial examples that stress the benefits of excellent product positioning by leading brands help understand this strategy better. Some of the famous product positioning examples are:
At one point in their market history, the Milk Duds candy brand struggled to compete with the existing brands. The reason was the highly successful chocolate bars on the other side. The marketing and product team of the company hit on the product’s USP that was its long-lasting use. This was evaluated when the Milk Duds chocolates were liked in theaters only as these can last throughout the movie. This long-lasting message resonated with the theatre audience and the entire market and made Milk Duds a famous chocolate brand.
2. Beautycounter — Clean Beauty
It is a skincare and cosmetics products brand with a message of clean beauty. The company aims to create products that are safe for the environment. Hence, it stands for the ingredients that never interfere with the environment and create sustainable products.
3. Nike — High Quality
Nike sportswear and running shoes are synonymous with high quality. The brand is promoting all its designs, development, and manufacturing processes to create fashionable and high-quality athletic wear.
4. Thrive Market — Healthy Living
It offers a variety of healthy foods from different organic brands. It promotes healthy living by offering selective and organic products only at highly affordable pricing. All the products on Thrive Market are available at wholesale rates.
What Elements Should Your Product Positioning Consider?
Not two businesses have the exact requirements; subsequently, it is essential to understand the vital elements for product positioning. There are seven important elements that any product positioning should incorporate:
It is important to share the main direction of your product and its progress path over the coming years.
It is the information about the steps required to make your product vision a reality in challenging markets.
3. Market Category
Defining the market segments and targeted audience is crucial.
The short slogan or a catchphrase best describes your product or company.
5. Customer Challenges
The key challenges faced by the customers in existing markets.
6. Company & Product Differentiators
It is important to communicate the unique and value-creating features of the company and the products.
7. Brand Essence
Last is the brand essence that ensures the core attributes of the product and the company.
What Is A Product Positioning Statement?
Businesses come across a product positioning statement while going through the product positioning strategy. It works as a single but effective line that can be used on different platforms under offline and online marketing strategies. Hence it should be short, crisp, and informative to create a necessary hit with the customers. Some of the examples for a powerful and impactful product positioning statement includes:
- Unlike (main competitive option), our product (statement of primary differentiation)
- For (your target customer) who (statement of customer’s need), the (your product name) is a (product domain) that (main product benefits).
What Influences How A product Is Perceived?
Your product may receive much-needed positioning in the market, but it is crucial to understand how the audience perceives it. Hence, it is equally important to understand the main factors determining what customers feel and think about the specific product or the detailed complete product experience (CPE). These factors are:
The different ways that helped customers reach your products and company.
The different ways that helped customers get information about the product’s pricing.
The technical features that can motivate the customers to pay for your products.
4. Supporting Systems
The detailed internal systems make the product reach customers.
5. Third-party Integrations
The entire products ecosystem of the company.
The company’s key offerings include product training and assistance.
The business rules that your company abides by.
What Are Some Types Of Product Positioning Strategies?
With so much talk about product positioning, it is important to discuss the different types of product positioning strategies. Some of the standard product positioning strategies that different businesses can use include:
Your product should be highly affordable when it comes to the available options in the market.
The second sought-after strategy has a competitive edge over the brands that fight on pricing. Ensure that your product has luxury quality over the other competitors.
It is essential to work on the targeted customers rather than marketing your product to a random audience.
4. Product Type
The selection of the alternative category for the product can help businesses shift customer perceptions and reach new market segments.
It is crucial to demonstrate your product’s ability over the competitors’ directly or indirectly.
Your company’s offering should be unique and possess a minor threat of copying. It is important to demonstrate the key differentiators.
What Is Brand Positioning?
Brand positioning has been defined by Philip Kotler as “the act of designing the company’s offering and image to occupy a distinctive place in the mind of the target market”
In the other words, Brand positioning refers to the mental image of your product that you create in the minds of prospective customers using marketing tactics.
Difference Between Product Positioning & Brand Positioning?
|Product Positioning||Brand Positioning|
|Definition||The process of determining how to best communicate product qualities to target clients based on their needs is known as product positioning.||The position of a company’s brand in the minds of customers in respect to the competition is referred to as brand positioning.|
|Nature||Competitive differentiation is used to determine product positioning.||The emotional experience of a brand is the basis for its positioning.|
|Measure||Market share can be used to determine the success of a product positioning strategy.||Brand positioning’s success is mostly intangible in nature.|
|Focus||The goal of product positioning is to fill all of the customer’s needs.||The goal of brand positioning is to cater to unique customer needs.|
With over 70% of the brand managers agreeing that building an audience is more crucial than sales, it all comes down to the optimized product positioning. It is a strategic approach to present your brand at the right place to the right customers. Understanding the customers, market analysis, and product assessments help create an effective product positioning process. The detailed but affirmative steps to position your product can help businesses get the best out of these strategies.
It is excellent to seek guidance from some of the top examples of product positioning and then work on the key elements that contribute to the same. Further, it is vital to go through the main points using which a customer perceives a brand and the product positioning statement. After going through all this, selecting your partner out of the different types of product position strategies becomes important.
If you want to implement proper product positioning strategies for your business then Emizentech an ecommerce development agency can help you with it.