Have you ever wondered how some of the big companies have so much success? How they’re always at the forefront of people’s minds when they think of a certain product or service? Well, let me share a little secret with you…it’s their keen ability and dogged effort to properly brand and position themselves as the go to choice for consumers like you and me.
Branding is a Process
Market positioning is defined as an effort to influence consumer perception of a brand or product with respect to competing brands or products. The ultimate objective is to hold a clear, unique, and advantageous position in the consumer’s mind, which helps establish your product or service’s identity in the eyes of the user and determine which market niche to fill. Generally, the brand positioning process involves:
- Identifying the business’s direct competition
- Understanding how each competitor is positioning their business (e.g. claiming to be the fastest, cheapest, largest, etc.)
- Mapping the provider’s own positioning
- Comparing the organization’s positioning to its competitors’ to identify areas for differentiation
- Analyzing the gaps in the market
- Creating a positioning statement with key messages and customer value propositions for communications across the organization
Why Positioning Strategies Work
A business’s positioning strategy is affected by the customers’ motivations and requirements, as well as by its competitors’ actions. A good positioning strategy helps a buyer move from knowledge of a product or service to its purchase. As a good rule of thumb before positioning your product or service, you should answer the following strategic questions about your market and your products or services:
- What are your customers really buying from you?
- How is your product or service different from those of your competitors?
- What makes your product or service unique?
Market Research Value
Once you have answered these strategic questions based on your market research, you can begin to develop a positioning strategy for your organization. A positioning statement for a business plan should point out who your target market is, how you will reach them, who your competitors are, and what your unique selling proposition is. Remember, the right image packs a powerful marketing punch, so make it work for your organization.