Positioning: the basis of a marketing strategy

Last modified:

Thursday 31 October 2019

Knowing which product to offer to which market (product-market combination) is of crucial importance.  The positioning of your product or service is even more essential.  Positioning refers to the image that you want to leave in your customers' heads or, in other words, the impression you want to leave on your target group.

In a world where we are constantly inundated with advertising, your product or your service must stand out from the rest. A "positioning statement" is often based on competitive advantages. What do you do better, or what do you offer, that is different from others?  What characteristics or properties make your product or service so unique? This exercise is far from obvious because the majority of products/services are simply not so unique or superior.

However, by clearly defining your positioning, you will be able to communicate the added value of your product/service coherently and attractively to your target audience. In short, this is the essence even a good marketing strategy.

Achieving positioning in five steps

  • The value of your product or service is expressed by the advantages it offers to its recipient. The latter may be presented in various forms:
  • Functional: solves problems, offers advantages such as speed, etc.
  • Psychology: feeling of security or increased belonging, better self-image, etc.
  • Experimental: better "feeling", better service provision, better interaction, etc.

Prepare a list of your product's benefits.

  • Collect information on customer perception (samples)
  • Identify competitive products and analyse the way in which they are positioned: faster, better, less expensive, etc.
  • Compare your positioning to that of your competitors (matrix) and try and establish distinctive characteristics or find differentiating points.
  • Determine your own positioning based on the values and distinctions previously mentioned.

After having performed the aforementioned analyses, you may also want to highlight another property of your product, what you see as another gap in the market, or what you deem to be the moment to clearly differentiate yourself from your competitors.  In other words, you should adapt your marketing strategy.

Preparing a good positioning statement

A positioning statement uses a few phrases to describe:

  • the product/service you are offering;
  • the group you are targeting;
  • the problem inherent to your target group;
  • the way you want to resolve this with your product/service;
  • the way in which you stand out from your competitors;
  • the main characteristics or properties of your product/service.

In other words... We provide... (your product or service) to .... (target group) regularly facing ... (problem). Unlike ... (mention the competing products or services), our product/service can/is ..... (mention the main characteristics of your product or service which distinguish it from the competition)

If you are unable to differentiate yourself from others, or if you simply don't have the opportunity to offer a unique product, at least say what you expect to achieve...

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