Product positioning is the process of determining the position of a new product in the minds of consumers. It includes analyzing the market and competitors’ positions, defining the position of a new product among the existing ones, and communicating the brand's product image.
Companies can do product positioning by using communication channels, pricing, or quality of the products to stand out and be recognizable. In this article, we’ll discuss the importance of product positioning, its benefits, several strategies, explore the steps to positioning your product, and see several examples.
Why is Product Positioning Important?
Each brand has to know its customers to provide a product that resonates with consumers’ needs. A thought-out strategy determines the position within the market and identifies its benefits for consumers.
The process involves creating a certain image of a brand and products in the minds of consumers and identifying the key benefits to show how a certain product differs from competitors. After, the difference is communicated to the target audience through the most effective communication channels. The messages brands convey to their customers evoke interest.
Marketers find out the best ways to present the products and reach the target audience based on customers’ needs, competitive alternatives, the most effective communication channels, and tailored messages. The appropriate product positioning enables companies to create messages that address customer needs and wants, and entice them to purchase.
There are even more pros this type of marketing can bring, so check out our list to know all of them.
Benefits of Product Positioning
Below, we’ve prepared the top benefits of product positioning, which show why it's one of the most effective marketing tactics. It helps in:
- identifying the main benefits of a product and matching them with customers;
- finding the competitive advantage even when the market changes;
- meeting customers’ expectations;
- reinforcing brand’s name and its products;
- winning customer loyalty;
- creating an effective promotional strategy;
- attracting different customers;
- improving competitive strength;
- launching new products;
- presenting new features of existing products.
Now that you know the advantages, we’ll move to the next section to review product positioning strategies.
5 Product Positioning Strategies
- Characteristics-based positioning
- Pricing-based positioning
- Use or application-based positioning
- The quality or prestige-based positioning<
- Competitor-based positioning
While a lot of time is devoted to product development, only a few companies think about how consumers will perceive the product when it’s already in the market. Product positioning is about an understanding of the products you decide to introduce to the masses. That’s why it’s critical to pay attention to what customers think. So, let’s explore the key five strategies that will help you define the position of your product.
- Characteristics-based positioning. Brands give certain characteristics to their products that aim at creating associations. It’s done to make consumers choose based on brand image and product characteristics. Let’s take the automobile industry, for example. A person who worries about safety will probably choose Volvo because of the brand’s positioning. At the same time, another customer who pays attention to reliability would prefer Toyota.
- Pricing-based positioning. This strategy involves associating your company with competitive pricing. Brands position themselves as those that offer the products or services for the cheapest price. Let’s take supermarkets, for example. They can afford to provide customers with products for lower prices because of the lower costs they pay for shipping and distribution, huge turnover, and a large procurement of goods. As a result, many consumers already know the supermarkets with attractive prices and choose them without considering the other options.
- Use or application-based positioning. Companies can also position themselves by associating with a certain use or application. People who adhere to a healthy lifestyle create a great demand for products that help increase performance in the gym. So, many businesses offer nutritional supplements. These brands sell supplements high in calories, vitamins, and minerals.
- The quality or prestige-based positioning. The brands we are talking about now don’t concentrate on their price point; they rather focus on prestige or high quality. Sometimes, it’s the reputation that makes a brand attract customers. Let’s take Rolex, for example. This famous watch brand is associated with human achievement and excellence in sport and is popular among powerful and rich people.
- Competitor-based positioning. The strategy involves using competitors’ alternatives to differentiate products and highlight their advantages. It helps brands distinguish the product from the rest and show its uniqueness.
The difference is clear now, so it’s time to jump into the steps required for successful product positioning.
10 Steps to Positioning Your Product
- Define your target audience
- Identify the main benefits of your product
- Establish brand credibility
- Offer a unique value proposition
- Consider audience segmentation
- Craft your messaging
- Do competitor research
- Demonstrate your expertise
- Focus on competitive advantage
- Maintain brand’s position
The way your customers perceive your brand and product is very important since they define your sales volume, the success of your brand, and the profits your business will earn. So, you should be ready to present your products most honestly and effectively. To do this, you need to consider the following steps.
- Define your target audience. Knowing your customers, their needs, wants, demographics, interests allows you to give them the product they strive for. This way, you can reach your target audience and entice them to buy your products. For this purpose, you need to be well-prepared and operate the necessary information.
- Identify the main benefits of your product. As a business owner, you need to know all the peculiarities of your products or services, their features, and their advantages. Benefits are the top priority for any customer who wants to solve the problem. You need to identify the key perks and communicate them to the masses so that they can consider your product when reviewing several options.
- Establish brand credibility. To build trusting relationships and encourage customers to make repeat purchases, you need to create a brand people can rely on. Consumers are more inclined to make repeat purchases from companies with a good reputation and high credibility. Remember not to make promises you can't keep and claims that can’t be verified. Prioritize honesty and transparency since they will help you build a healthy product positioning.
- Offer a unique value proposition. Communicate the value your product can bring to your target audience. You need to be aware of the fact that consumers won’t choose a product if they can't benefit from it. Explore your product, find the best benefits and search for the most appropriate communication channels to convey them effectively to your leads and customers.
- Consider audience segmentation. If you want to obtain the best results, you need to segment your audience since your product can’t satisfy the needs of all customers. You can divide customers into groups based on their interests, traits, and needs to create customized messages. As a result, you’ll be able to appeal to individual wants and needs and provide them with your product as a solution.
- Craft your messaging. Once you segment customers, it’s necessary to select the right communication channels for each group. Some of them might prefer social media platforms but others might use traditional channels like TV and radio. Give thought to writing a positioning statement (a description of a product and its target audience, and how this product can solve a problem that arises). It will help you prepare personalized and, thus, more effective messages that speak to the needs and preferences of each group.
- Do competitor research. Once your message is ready, you need to evaluate your competitors and the products or services they offer. Competitor research gives you a clear understanding of your rivals, their offers, and what makes your product different in a positive way. Afterward, you’ll be aware of the distinctive features and benefits your product has, your core values, innovations, and various improvements your company provides consumers with.
- Demonstrate your expertise. Explain to your customers why they should choose you over competitors. You should also prove that your product is better and that it has several benefits useful for consumers. There are several ways to show the quality or benefit of your product: testings, trials, demonstrations, etc.
- Focus on competitive advantage. These are the factors that enable your company to manufacture better or cheaper products and outperform your competitors. You need to speak about the real benefit your product gives. Customers should truly need this product and obtain visible value. It also includes staying up-to-date and adapting to new trends and innovations.
- Maintain brand’s position. Once you reach this step, you need to maintain your brand’s position so that customers continue to buy your products. To operate successfully, never compromise on quality, increase or reduce prices drastically since it can make customers question the quality.
Now that you know the steps, let’s move to the examples.
Examples of Product Positioning
We’ve prepared several examples of product positioning of famous brands that work in completely different industries. Let’s dive in to grab some inspiration.
Beautycounter — clean beauty
The brand famous for skincare and cosmetic products promotes clean beauty. The company strives to create products that are safe for our environment. Beautycounter stands for sustainability and uses the ingredients that can’t harm our environment.
Nike — high quality
Nike, a famous brand that designs, develops, and manufactures running shoes and sportswear, positions itself as a company that provides athletes with high-quality, fashionable athletic sneakers and apparel.
Thrive Market — healthy living
This retail company offers customers healthy food from the best organic brands. They provide clients with products at wholesale prices.
To sum it up, with a well-thought-out strategy, your company will be able to build an image you strive for and pave the way to reaching your audience. Plus, it will empower your company to be market-orientated, resonate with the customers’ needs, and easily adapt to the changes within the market.
- This article defines the term, gives several examples, and uncovers the peculiarities of product positioning for small businesses.
- This article provides readers with 5 product positioning strategies.
- In this article, readers can find several great examples.
Last Updated: 19.05.2021