Positioning strategy is a psychological approach to marketing by making potential customers see your product in a positive way, and make them think of it before competitors’ offers.
The point of positioning strategies it to make your product the first thing to pop up in customers mind. Positioning strategies are simply ideas you push forward about your product, as simple as making your brand easiest to buy, or more affordable than competition etc. It goes without saying that the claims must be true.
Having your product in your customers minds means that you have a good position with a strong, clear image. Your brand is recognized, and customers know what it stands for. In markets that are new or uncompetitive, it is easy to stand out. But if your market is saturated and well-established, it’s going to be hard, and your competitors already have a positioning strategy which is working very well. You have to have your own position in the market, in order to figure out your position compared to other brands – a gap analysis can help with this. Ask yourself and customers about what stands out in your product compared to your competitors. Differences may be in price, quality or anything you think stands out. Map your competitors and look for a niche openings.
If you are marketing face cream, you would probably rate your product based on how gentle it is on your skin, as well as what it is composed of. It is trendy now to make products from natural resources. Other face cream products can have other values which will take over their own niche. So, as far as the face cream market goes, there is enough openings for a multitude of products.
So how would you write a positioning strategy? First you have to be clear on what customers value most and place your product in relation to that. For example, if a streaming service customer says that they need an option for 4K quality settings, then the service can make available and focus their next advertising campaign on the new 4k option. In order to polish your positioning strategy and incorporate it in all marketing communications, you need to write a positioning statement, which is quite simple to do. Try giving an answer to questions like:
- How does your product fulfill customers’ needs and wants?
- What is your target customer?
- What does the customer value most?
- How do you cover that value with your product?
- How are you better than competition?
Once you answer these questions and get your positioning strategy ready you are going to find it’s much easier to place your product in the market. Print your strategy and make it visible to you and stay focused on its execution. Think of giving copies to your team which are working on your marketing program, it can be very beneficial.
Just remember, positioning strategies can be developed in a variety of ways. Here are just some:
- Product Characteristics or Customer Benefits as a positioning strategy – it focuses upon the characteristics of the product or customer benefits. Take the example of motorbikes, some emphasize on fuel economy, some on power, looks, durability and others;
- Pricing as a positioning strategy – in a price-quality approach brands deliberately attempt to offer more in terms of service, features or performance to justify their inflated prices;
- Application as a positioning strategy – for many years Nescafe Coffee positioned itself as a winter product but with the introduction of cold coffee has developed a positioning strategy for the summer months also. In other words strategy based on the use or application of a product;
- Product Class as a positioning strategy – for example freeze dried coffee needed to position itself with respect to regular and instant coffee, and similarly, dried milk positioned itself as a breakfast and dietary meal substitute and this is what product class positioning is;
- Cultural Symbols as a positioning strategy – many advertisers use cultural symbols to differentiate their brands. The essential task is to identify something that is very meaningful to people. Air India uses Maharaja as its logo, a way of showing that all their customers receive royal treatment;
- Positioning strategy based on competitors – when Colgate entered the market it focused on family protection, but when Pepsodent entered it focused on 24 hour protection for kids, Colgate then changed its focus from family to kids teeth protection.