Positioning –You Need To Know This
Let’s talk about positioning, a fancy and catchy term but of huge importance. But first, answer this question. Do you know how many businesses are there in the world? No?
More than 200 million. These are the registered ones. Yes.
And how many of them do you know of? A hundred thousand? Let’s exaggerate that number to one million. What about the rest? Do they not exist? Of course, they do. But they never made a name for themselves like the one million businesses that you know of.
4.4 million new businesses were registered globally in 2020 alone.
Most of them are just like yours. No one knows their name, no one knows that they even exist. What about your business? Ever thought about making a name for yourself in this highly competitive world? You are not alone if you have.
That is where positioning plays its role in taking your business to new heights. Let’s get to know more about it and how you can apply it to your own business.
Table of contents
- What Is Positioning?
- What Are Various Positioning Strategies?
- Why is Positioning Even Necessary?
- What is USP?
- Here Is the Importance of Positioning
- How to Make an Effective Positioning Strategy?
- Types of Positioning
- Product Positioning
- Brand Positioning
- The New Buzzword – SaaS Positioning
- Errors to Avoid
- How to Write a Positioning Statement – 4 Points to Remember
What Is Positioning?
In easier terms, the opinion and views of customers for a brand or product and the reason why they would buy it is called positioning. It defines where a product stands in the mindset of the customers and the market concerning its competitors.
Positioning in marketing campaigns refers to the method of presenting the brand or product. It is in a particular manner so that customers are aware of it. A good positioning ensures that a brand holds a distinct perception in the eyes of the customer. It also ensures that it is considered better than its competitors.
For example, customers all over the world know that Rolls Royce and Cadillac portray luxury. Lamborghini and Ferrari represent performance and Toyota combines comfort with affordability.
This is how certain companies have built their brand image. THAT is called positioning. It gives value to the brand and creates a specific image in the mind of customers.
Mind you, Jack Trout first used this term in a magazine in 1969. Decades have passed and it is still relevant. That’s how important it is.
What Are Various Positioning Strategies?
Positioning is so important that almost every business is going for it. It increases the product authority. But first, you have to know and understand what you are trying to do in your positioning and how will you achieve it. Advertisers apply various positioning techniques. Some are targeting the product qualities, others are targeting the prices. Let’s briefly go through the basis of positioning strategies:
Based on Product Characteristics or Luxury
- Products are placed on unique product qualities or luxury. For example, the batteries of the Nokia phones used to last a long time. It was a unique quality not available on every other phone. Likewise, iPhone reflects and higher status as compared to other brands like Oppo or Huawei. Rolls Royce is considered more luxurious than Toyota or Honda.
Based on Product Use and Applications
- Products can be modified according to the demands and advantages they offer. For example, a washing powder only takes care of the stains. But you can also add anti-bacterial and germicidal elements in it as per the needs post this COVID era.
Time and Event-Driven
- Products may also be positioned on related occasions. For example, asking people to buy Christmas-related products and creating a perception like ‘Christmas is imperfect without buying a Christmas tree or Santa’s dress’.
Based on Target Audience
- Products can also target a specific group of people. For example, breathable clothing for persons related to sports.
Based on Competition
- A product/service can also be made to compete against a direct competitor. For example, showing ads for a cheaper dishwasher that works just as well as the more expensive ones and comparing it to other brands directly.
- Another strategy is to try and put up the product ahead of the products of the competitors after making it a better alternative. For example, Sprite has been pushing to become a fresh, thirst-quenching alternative to Coke and Pepsi.
- Items of the same product groups can also be placed against each other. For example, mouthwash could be positioned against toothpaste.
Marketing experts often use a variation of the mentioned strategies for positioning their brand or product.
There is more to it: Position yourself in the market, the right way
Why is Positioning Even Necessary?
What you would want to have is a universal appeal for your product or business to make it grow. You are in 2021 now. Markets and businesses are growing digitally at a very fast pace.
The customer has more access, to inspiring and discerning knowledge now than ever before. Marketing plays a vital role in ensuring that companies increase their stocks and stay important and relevant in the market.
That being said, today’s marketing industry differs considerably from what it was several years ago. Companies wish to create good relationships and ensure customer satisfaction. For that, they have to work to build and sustain a strong brand reputation.
That is typically done through positioning. It is typically achieved by using a promotion, location, commodity, and price. It is important to have a good positioning plan for any business to effectively establish a powerful brand positioning. Saturated markets are already being swarmed by hundreds of similar brands. The goal is to recognize the areas in which a company has to improve and focus more and associate the brand with a unique selling proposition.
What is USP?
USP (unique selling proposition) are those characteristics or the qualities of your product or brand that make it unique and specific and set it apart from its similar alternatives.
Companies have to convey the USP of their product/brand to the audience they intend to target. THAT is where the positioning plays its role in making a specific image of that brand in the eyes of the audience to reflect the product’s or brand’s USP.
Here Is the Importance of Positioning
The first step is to consider specifically what positioning means. It relates to how you should use the relevant strategies to guarantee that your brand or product is distinct. Using it correctly can result in better positioning and can help you gain certain benefits.
- For being Unique & Instinctive
The products are just flooding the markets and are plentiful. There are so many manufacturers and several other businesses that produce them. The positioning makes a business stand out in the crowd.
A strong brand position helps you to connect and meet your target audience quickly and easily. The authority of the business positioning visibly draws the consumers to a brand and its product.
- For Consumer-Oriented Ease of Business
Consumers want simple buying options and any alternatives if required. And positioning your brand or product for your target audiences allows them to believe you. This boosts buyer demand and increases sales figures.
- Linking the Brand Image With The Product
In the market, brand identity and image depend on the right positioning. The brand awareness of consumers only increases when the placement is done in the right way.
- For The Business Gains
Better brand positioning would give the company a strategic edge in the market.
How to Make an Effective Positioning Strategy?
It will take a lot of details, thinking, time, and efforts to place your company or your brand at the top in your market through positioning. Hence you need to be fully prepared to research thoroughly and know the facts and figures to take your positioning to the next level. Positioning takes these important steps to get you started:
- Making a Statement of the Positioning
The identity of your company would be a positioning statement. The positioning statement is the foundation of your corporate branding, like a mission statement. It first defines who you are and whom you are representing. It then describes the target customer, and the pain points, and then shows how the company can overcome them.
In making an appropriate positioning statement, there are many things to be considered such as:
- Setting and defining the target audience.
- Defining your product category and how exactly it can fulfill the needs of your target audience.
- Creating a Value Proposition Statement that should be of significance.
- Creating relevant content to justify the claims of being unique and better.
- Differentiating between your brand or product and your competitors
- Making it easily understandable
- Focusing on why the target audience should go for your brand instead of others
- Use A Slogan – It’s Attractive
When you have already created a clear positioning statement, you will need to have a slogan or a tagline for future advertising purposes. This is a shorter, snappier version of what the consumers want to hear rather than using the positioning statement over and over again.
That tagline will help customers recognize your brand immediately. Just like Nike has one, “Just Do It”.
- Be Unique and Find Where You Stand
You will want to consider where your business stands before you can find out where and how you can compete with other competitors.
You will be able to understand the market practices if you can thoroughly understand where your business stands.
Without a starting point, you will not be able to expand your business.
You need to get a clear understanding of who you are, what your business model is like, and what would be the highest goal you want to achieve. Now, you can build a strong marketing strategy that can put your organization on the top.
Make sure your marketing efforts and messages represent your goal and statement of positioning.
- Analysis Of Your Competitors
The research and analysis of the competitors help to assess the strengths and weaknesses of your own business. Additionally, it also helps in developing your dominance in the market.
Try to understand what your competitors are lacking. Make those weaknesses your strength if they match the market demand.
Check your competitor’s growth rate, marketing efforts, advertisements, and social media engagements. It would give you a better idea about the way to handle those shortcomings. Eliminating these shortcomings is fundamental.
Types of Positioning
The marketing departments of all the big brands have created brand awareness and product distinction. They have used all the necessary means and have left no stone unturned.
Just know this, if the product or service is positioned properly, the potential customers or consumers would notice it. They would be able to judge it better relative to any competitor offering the same kind of product.
It is your positioning that defines your brand product or service. Let’s get into the details of the types of the most commonly employed positioning.
- Product Positioning
- Brand Positioning
- SaaS Positioning
Companies use product positioning to figure out competitive pressures. They specifically plan content according to the needs of the clients. It also focuses on how to convey the features of a product to its target clients in a better way.
To understand it in a better way, let’s suppose you’ve got a product to market. If you have to sell it, you must tell your customers what makes your product superior in comparison to the competitor. But based on what is important to consumers, you should highlight only the relevant attributes.
Here is the key:
Lazy advertisers will want to highlight several qualities like good quality, inexpensive, etc.
But, a savvy marketing expert will recognize the focus of the customers. He would stress the relevant qualities to the consumers more than the other features. For example, for a customer looking to buy a Lamborghini, the marketing expert would focus more on the engine horsepower, the max speed, and acceleration stats instead of telling about its comfortable seats or a better mileage ratio than its competitors.
A Quick Example
To understand it more thoroughly, let’s go through another example.
Suppose you are trying to sell a bottled beverage. Your target audience is people with low income. You would probably think about the price of the plastic bottle and the sizes of the bottle and try to keep it as low as possible. You may not focus entirely on increasing the quality of the beverage that you are going to produce. Because your consumers would not care about the packaging or the top-notch quality as they’d focus primarily on the price of the product.
On the other hand, you are targeting the upper class of society or high-end superstores as your potential clients. You would only use the best quality material for your packaging and worry more about the quality of the beverage cause that’s what would matter to the people that you’d target. You would not worry much about the total price of your product. Many rich people are now more mindful of sustainability and environmental effects, so you would like to highlight all the relevant features of your product packaging as well as the high quality of what’s inside.
Types of Product Marketing
In the example above, for the lower class, the product packaging doesn’t matter. They only need the product. For the higher class, product matters as well as the packaging as they are conscious about it.
This difference in marketing is the product positioning. Here are a few types of product marketing.
- Specialization Focused On Specific Niches
For example, a company invests the saving of the elderly in real estate. Their motto “Never Rely on Others” shows that the company does nothing else apart from helping the elderly. That is a job-focused example—a specific role.
The company aims at a cohort of individuals instead of focusing on a single society as a whole. These customers will view that company as more suited to their needs and expect you to have unique skills or know-how to promote your work. It will not be for every member of society who is not old yet.
Hence this type involves targeting a specific work or need.
- Specializing In Industry
It is another aspect as it enables you to target your marketing and improve your services in a specific way as your business evolves. Refine the product over and over. It is because the company starts to gain vast experience dealing with related firms. The business specialization, however, involves risks. Your fortunes can take a dip if your industry experiences an economic decrease.
- Cost-driven Positioning
“We do everything, but we cost less.” This is a very complicated tactic unless you have a cost advantage. The technology and software will be your best mates if you use them efficiently and better than your competitors at a lower cost.
On the other hand, brand positioning refers to a brand rather than a single product. What would you like to do to make the image of your brand better? How would you like your potential customers to think about your brand?
As a simple example, your customers may have different brands of a single product in their mind if they’d be asked to pick the most reliable one and the cheapest one.
Brand positioning is the marketing method of differentiating your company from your rival brands so that your target customers can choose you as a preference over your competitors. The purpose is to link your business to the minds of people who might try to buy the product associated with your brand.
Significance Of Brand Positioning
Customers almost always have something in their minds when they want to buy a product. And the way they think about your brand influences their decision as to which brand they’d exactly go for. This technique is used by brands, who highlight their brand’s distinctive attributes (when what and how etc.) and can try to build a proper image of their product through ads (inexpensive or luxury, functional or glamorous, entry-level or high-end, etc.)
Brand positioning is about establishing a relationship between your brand and the customers.
The goal of product positioning, on the other hand, is to relate the needs, goals and attributes to a particular product.
If you first want to know What is branding and how it assures business growth, click on the link to learn more.
Why Is Brand Positioning Important
Brand positioning is of great importance in regards to what the company stands for. But it should be accurate and not misleading as to how the company positions the brand and explains it to the consumer.
Moreover, it is necessary to preserve the brand’s name and reputation without tampering with the brand name once the brand is positioned. Rolls Royce, for example, is positioned as a costly and stylish brand. If Rolls Royce chooses to introduce a low-priced series, the name and brand worth will take a hit and its popularity dip will become an uneasy concern for the manufacturers.
Some benefits of positioning the brand include:
- It contributes to a creativity boost. You will make better choices in the innovative process as you grasp the main message you need to convey to new prospects and customers. The positioning of your brand becomes integral.
- It further promotes growth and pricing. You will determine which services you deliver and when to. You can compare your brand to your competitors on such statistics. Are you a creative service provider? A cheap supplier or a professional?
- It concentrates on a single consumer market. When you provide specialized resources to a limited audience, promoting the product is better and more effective. You become a valuable and high-quality asset.
- It explains how different you are from your competitors. You will know just what separates you from others and you’ll also be able to convey this all to your prospects for expanding your business.
- It reveals how to get new consumers. The market strategy team will be able to answer the most daring questions with critical arguments and keep the customer base satisfied.
Types of Brand Positioning
Strategies for positioning can be of several types, but they are not ideal for companies that offer specialized services. Given below are the types of brand positioning that could be very important for a business such as yours.
- Specific Features
Most businesses commonly sell their products to customers by mentioning their unique functions and features. It makes their product which is better than the competitor’s product. Creating positive brand awareness and marketing performance is very necessary to improve the brand’s image.
For example, the iPhone 12 was launched with a high-quality camera and sound. That was what people were looking for. In the target market, unique features will create more competition.
- Benefits or Needs
The majority of the companies list some advantages that consumers will get by using their products. This improves the level of confidence in the customers, who are sometimes willing to buy the product.
For example, a washing powder brand says that their washing powder for clothes can also kill all germs.
Now people will buy that product over any other competitor because it is giving an added benefit at the same price.
- Usage on Certain Occasions or Time
Manufacturers of products like medicines add such details for medicinal reasons (two to three times daily etc), only use & store in a cool location, use before dinner, use after dinner or use at bedtime, etc.
That helps customers understand everything very quickly. This data will also help consumers understand how, where, and when to use them. The same goes for so many products in the world.
- Competing Directly With Other Brands
Companies can specifically inform their consumers that their products are better in quality than their competitors. For example, ‘A’ is greater than ‘B’ and so on.
Many of the manufacturers may not be ok with this kind of positioning. It is because the brand value of the company is tarnished due to such a positioning plan. This plan focus on the imperfections of other products and the quality of our product.
The price of your products and services will influence how the clients view the product and the business. Customers typically assume that a pricey product is a quality product. However, if a product of poor quality is priced as a quality product, consumers will most certainly discover that the price is not reflective of quality.
Hence the price should be based on the characteristics of your product. It can also include the outcomes of your market analysis.
The New Buzzword – SaaS Positioning
Software as a service (SaaS) is a type of model where the software is created and hosted and users use it on a subscription basis. There are hundreds of thousands of such software now. But is every software reaching the same heights as Microsoft Windows or Apple iOs? The simple answer is no.
A major reason for their failure to capture a huge customer base may be their non-existent product positioning.
Requirements For SaaS Positioning
The positioning for Saas products follows the same path as other regular products.
- However, there are still a few things to keep in mind when you want to show your potential customers that your software is worth spending the money for.
- A data-driven mindset is needed to analyze & finalize the exact needs of the customers.
- Have a thorough understanding of your customers. See if the prices are matching the price range of similar software in the market? How could you provide more at the same price?
- Know your product thoroughly. And try viewing your software and your competitors through the eyes of the customers.
Errors to Avoid
While a company focuses on creating more features for their product instead of increasing the quality, it may create issues. The reliance on the claim that they are the best causes doubts in the minds of consumers. It leads to a condition which is called ‘loss of clear positioning’ by the marketing experts.
There are four positioning errors:
- Confused positioning
- Doubtful positioning
If consumers experience any kind of ambiguity regarding the features, it is known as under positioning. In this case, a product is considered the same as its competitors and not better than any of its alternatives.
If customers build an image that is bleak for the brand or the product, the brand is over-positioned. Buyers cannot assume that the product actually has such features or alternatives.
If customers find themselves frustrated with the image, then the positioning is known as confused positioning.
It could be because of the company’s promises or assurances that the product isn’t fulfilling. Or because of the constant changes in brand positioning.
When customers suspect the company’s claims of product features, it is called doubtful positioning. It is because the claims and the physical attributes of the product, price, or appearance of the producer do not match each other.
The emphasis on positioning is based on the views of customers of a product in a market. The positioning approach is majorly related to the creation of a marketing campaign.
How to Write a Positioning Statement – 4 Points to Remember
A positioning statement represents a product or service and a specific market. It specifies how the product or service fulfills a customer’s demand in a way unlike any of its competitors.
The structured positioning statement of your business is vital. Your selling ideas, brand principles, and your market will be established and driven by a specific positioning statement.
Your positioning statement will allow you to take your brand awareness campaign to the next level. The following points should be taken care of while writing the statement.
- Choose the Business Target
As this is one of the factors, you can first pick your target market and audience. Take the time to understand the infusion of your brand’s styles in the market and the customers. In terms of positioning, this strategy will keep you focused.
- Know Your Customer’s Needs
You should strive to grasp the needs of your target audience before choosing the target market. Know what their interests are, how they decide, and what controls them. Find out how your product can meet your needs.
- The Customers Should Believe You
Your positioning statement will certainly include the brand’s promise to the target market. You would then justify why your consumers should trust you. For example, by exchanging data statements, you can convincingly support your promise.
- Assess Your Statement
Read your completed document thoroughly after you have finished making the positioning statement. Ensure that the text is meaningful and conveys the whole message. For a strong positioning statement, your company should be a specialist and a pioneer in the industry.
Consequently, it’s all about how you want your customers to interpret your brand name. It includes your products or costs, and what measures you are taking to accomplish the purpose and meet their needs.
This may involve discovering a “gap” in the market that your competitors aren’t filling. The price and quality of your goods and services are also a consideration. It determines how your customers view your product and where your product is positioned on the market.
Given the emphasis put on the positioning of the brand or product, the process must be carried out properly to ensure its success. Only then you will be able to see your business scale new heights very soon in this rapidly growing and highly competitive world.`