What is Product Positioning?
Product positioning is the process and practice of creating a unique place of the product in the mind of consumers than competitors’ offerings. Effective positioning helps companies to build a distinct image and value in the target market.
Product positioning is about how to target consumers to perceive your product relative to competitors. It is a process of making a product brand, image, value, and perceived by consumers in a particular way.
Product positioning is the third aspect of the STP model of marketing. To create a position in the market, the firm first segments the market then selects the best target market and the next task is to do marketing programs that have the potential to satisfy target consumers and make them remember about the offerings.
The main objective of the product positioning strategy is to have a unique brand perceived by the people in the market. Maybe two firms have the same positioning strategy if marketing offerings are perceived to be identical. Buyers perceive marketing offerings in various positions. Some of the most popularly accepted market positions of the products and services that a smart marketer can create in the mind of consumers are;
- Low-price position
- High-price position
- High-service position
- Advanced-technology position
It is being said, producing a product or service is hard, but making its place in the market may be much harder. Some customers like to have low price products, some prefer high prices with better quality, some prefer having high services products, and so on. Thus a firm needs to have the ability to select an appropriate market position that can win the target market and build up the firm’s own image vis-a-vis to competitors.
Whatever may be the nature of positioning, the firm must establish a competitive advantage that it hopes will appeal to a substantial number of segment customers. For achieving this objective, the firm needs to describe to customers how the company and its products differ from the current and potential competitors. Thus, sometimes the business may select more than two positions at a time such as ‘high-quality product with high services’ or ‘high-quality product at an affordable price’, or advanced products at an affordable price’, and so on.
Benefits of Product Positioning
Product positioning enables the business firm to know their customers, provides related products that resonate with their requirements. It has a lot of benefits that is why we should consider it in our marketing strategies. The increasing competition in the market is the key reminder to think about product positioning.
Successful implementation of positioning strategy may enable to deliver a better message, create product value, and make able to stand in the competitive market. The major benefits of product positing for what we need to focus on it are as follows:
- Helps to identify the product benefits and meet customers’ needs.
- Meets the customer’s expectations.
- Create a brand image, value in the mind of customers.
- May creates customer loyalty and increases repurchases.
- May also attract secondary customers i.e. other than target customers.
- Helps to hold the place in competitive advantage.
- Ensures the long-term success of the firm.
- May generate more sales and profit.
- Helps to stand ahead of the competitors.
- Heps to design effective promotional campaigns.
- Helps to cope with market changes.
- Enables a great hope that the new product of the firm is also going create a valuable image in the market.
Making a product is a hard task but creating that product’s position in the market is harder. Every product needs a positioning strategy to communicate effectively in the market. It is also known as positioning decision, types of positioning, or simply deliver the answer of how can I make a position of my product?
Product’s Specific Features Positioning: The company adopting this product positioning strategy usually describes the specific feature of its product while offering it to the customers. For example, maybe one of the specific features of the iPhone is the operating system iOS.
Positioning in Product Benefits: The company adopting positioning in product benefits describes the unique benefits of the product to solve customers’ problems and meet their needs. For e.g. the “Colgate Total” markets its toothpaste as the best option to fight the plague for up to 12 hours.
Positioning in Specific Occasion: It is the positioning of the products on specific occasions as its name suggests. Maybe the example is, products related to marriages, family picnics, seminars, etc.
Positioning for User Category: By understanding the market, the marketer may sell his products only to specific users. For example, a marketer rather focusing on all ages of people, only focus on children less than 5. Where he sells products that are only useful for children less than 5 years.
Positioning Against Another Product: Here, the marketer advertises his product against the competitors. He wants to make his product better quality and affordable than others who are already in the market, maybe. For example, product D is already in the market, and another marketer wants to make a better product E than product D.
Positioning on Product Class Dissociation: Here, to attract more customers the marketer may offer certain irrelevant (but beneficial) or separate (but useful) communication for the same product or service.
After understanding the major strategies of product positioning, now let’s understand how to make such a strategy.
Product Positioning Process
The identification and selection of a product positioning can be drawn upon a set of concepts and procedures. The development of a positioning strategy requires at least six steps, they are:
Identify Actual Competitors: The first step in the process of product positioning is the identification of actual competitors of the business. The actual competitors of the business are those who can affect the companies policy, strategy, and marketing programs, and performance.
Understand How the Competitors are Perceived: In the second step, you should understand how the target customers evaluate and perceive competitors’ performance and programs.
Determines the Competitor’s Position in the Market: In this step, you need to determine the competitor’s position in the target market. For this, you may need to understand the status of competitors in the market in comparison to the concerned firm and other competitors.
Analyze the Customers Buying Objectives: In this step, you need to focus on the analysis of the main objective of the consumer buying the product. For this, you may focus on customers’ needs, preferences, desires, tastes, problems, etc.
Select the Best Position: Now select one position and identify a promotional idea or positioning strategy that can motivate and attract the target customers. Whether it should be low price, high quality, made by advanced technology, helps in problem solution, health-supportive product, and so on.
Monitor the Position: The last step in the product positioning process is monitoring the position. Once the promotional idea is used in creating demand for the products in consumer minds, may not be successful all the time, positioning strategy needs to be changed over time. To identify the effect of used positioning data, the marketer needs to monitor and evaluate it properly. If monitoring and evaluating suggest modifying the positioning strategy, it should be done in time.