What Is Product Positioning? Strategies and Examples
April 20, 2023 Max 7min read
Starting a new product launch is both exhilarating and challenging, regardless of whether you’re a newbie or an experienced pro.
With so many factors to consider, such as marketing, production, and distribution, it’s easy to become overwhelmed by the thrill and rush into creating eye-catching brand messaging and digital assets that will appeal to customers. But hold on a second, have you thought about your product’s positioning?
Product positioning is the cornerstone of a product’s success, and getting it right from the outset is critical. After all, if you still need to establish what sets your product apart, how will customers know why they should choose it over the competition?
In this article, we’ll discuss positioning your product in the market to ensure long-term success.
What Is Product Positioning?
Product Positioning Definition:
Product positioning involves a series of strategic actions taken to establish a new product’s position in the minds of consumers. This process encompasses an in-depth analysis of the market and competitors’ positions, as well as defining the unique position of the new product among existing ones.
Product positioning is a marketing tactic businesses use to highlight their product’s strengths and unique selling points to create a lasting impression in the minds of their target customers.
The idea is to make customers think positively about the product and set it apart from its competitors. It’s like giving your product a personality that customers can relate to and feel good about.
Imagine it as a chess game – analyzing your opponent’s moves, deciding on your strategy, and executing it flawlessly. With product positioning, companies aim to capture the attention and loyalty of consumers. They create a distinct product identity that sets them apart from the competition.
For example, let’s say you’re considering buying an electric vehicle. You’d want to know why it’s better than traditional petrol or diesel vehicles, right?
That’s where the company’s product positioning strategy comes in – they might emphasize how their electric car is more environmentally friendly.
And here’s the cool part – product positioning isn’t just about advertising or promotion.
It includes everything from the product’s features, price, promotion, and distribution. All these elements work together to create a compelling product image in customers’ minds.
Benefits of Effective Product Positioning
Here are some of the key benefits of product positioning that highlight its importance and utility in marketing:
- Fosters a Market-Oriented Organization: Product positioning is part of a broader marketing philosophy that focuses on matching a product’s superior aspects with consumer needs better than the competition. By adopting this philosophy, businesses become more market-oriented, ensuring all aspects of the organization align with their target consumers’ needs and expectations.
- Adapting to Market Changes: Markets continually change, and businesses must adapt to stay competitive. By monitoring market developments, managers can identify new competitive advantages and develop strategies to meet changing consumer expectations.
- Meets Buyer Expectations: Product positioning helps businesses identify and communicate a product’s advantages that align with their target buyers’ expectations. It, in turn, allows companies to meet consumer expectations and build stronger relationships with their customers.
- Promotes Consumer Goodwill and Loyalty: Systematic product positioning reinforces a brand’s identity and creates customer goodwill and loyalty. Businesses can build trust and foster long-term customer relationships by establishing a distinct product identity.
- Effective Promotional Strategy: Product positioning helps businesses design more meaningful and effective promotional programs. Companies can create more impactful advertising and promotional campaigns by identifying their product’s key advantages and communicating them clearly and compellingly.
- Captures Consumer Attention and Interest: Promoting a product’s significant advantages through suitable advertising means will catch the attention of consumers. It helps businesses stand out in a crowded marketplace and generate interest and buzz around their product.
- Attracts Different Types of Consumers: Businesses can attract a broader range of buyers with diverse product expectations by promoting different competitive advantages.
- Competes with Rivals: By identifying and promoting their unique advantages, businesses can improve their competitive strength and stand out in a crowded marketplace.
- Introduces New Products Successfully: Product positioning can assist businesses in introducing new products to the market. By positioning their product’s unique and superior advantages, companies can penetrate the market more efficiently and establish a strong foothold.
- Communicates New and Varied Features: Product positioning can help businesses highlight the qualities and features of their existing products and position themselves against their competitors. By doing so, companies can demonstrate their superiority and help consumers make informed purchasing decisions.
Product Positioning Strategies
Here are some of the types of product positioning strategies that businesses can use to achieve their marketing goals:
- Price Positioning: One of the most common types of product positioning is pricing. It involves offering your product at a lower price point than the competition, positioning it as the most affordable option in the market.
- Quality Positioning: Another popular product positioning strategy is quality. If you want to stand out from your competitors, you need to provide a product that is superior in terms of quality. Customers will be willing to pay a premium for a high-quality product.
- User Positioning: User positioning is one more product positioning strategy that involves targeting specific groups of customers who are most likely to buy your product. It is a crucial aspect of marketing that helps businesses attract the right customers. By identifying your target audience’s specific needs and preferences, you can tailor your product to meet their expectations.
- Product Type Positioning: Another way to differentiate your product is by positioning it in a unique category. It can help shift customer perceptions and attract new market segments. For example, a juice brand can be a healthy substitute for soda and other sweet beverages.
- Competitor Positioning: In this type of product positioning strategy, you highlight the superiority of your product over your competitors. Demonstrating your product’s advantages can convince customers to choose your product over the competition.
- Differentiation Positioning: Differentiation positioning aims to make your product stand out in a crowded marketplace. You can achieve this by emphasizing your product’s unique features and benefits and how they differ from the competition.
Steps in Product Positioning
Here are ten steps to help you position your product effectively:
Understand Your Target Audience
To create a product positioning strategy that resonates with your customers, you must first identify your target audience.
Understanding their needs wants, and pain points will help you create a product that meets their expectations.
Highlight the Key Benefits of Your Product
Your customers need to know why they should choose your product over others. Highlight your product’s key benefits and features and how they can help solve your customer’s problems or meet their needs.
Establish Brand Credibility
The third step in product positioning strategy is Building trust with your customers. To establish brand credibility, you must deliver on your promises. You also must be transparent about your product’s features and benefits and provide excellent customer service.
Develop a Unique Value Proposition
You need to offer a unique value proposition to stand out in a crowded market. It involves communicating what sets your product apart and how it’s better than the competition.
Segment Your Audience
Not all customers have exact needs, so segmenting your audience can help you create customized messages that resonate with each group. It will allow you to tailor your product messaging to specific customer segments and increase your chances of success.
Craft Your Product Messaging
Once you know your audience, it’s time to craft your messaging. Determine which channels will work best to reach your customers and create messages that effectively communicate the value of your product.
Analyze Your Competition
Understanding your competition is critical to creating a solid product positioning strategy. Analyze your competitors to see what they offer, how they market their products, and how you can differentiate yourself.
Demonstrate Your Expertise
Your customers need to know that you’re an expert in your field. Showcase your knowledge and expertise by creating content, providing resources, and demonstrating how your product is better than others.
Focus on Your Competitive Advantage
What sets your product apart? Identify your competitive advantage and focus on communicating it. Highlight what you can do better than your competition and why customers should choose your product.
Maintain Your Position
Once you’ve completed product positioning, it’s essential to maintain that position. Consistency is vital. Hence, continue to provide high-quality products and services, keep up with the newest trends and advancements, and ensure your messaging remains consistent.
Examples of Successful Product Positioning
Many successful brands have put product positioning into practice and achieved remarkable results. Here are some examples:
- Nike’s Jordan brand: The Jordan brand is an emotion-based positioning strategy that capitalizes on the fame of basketball legend Michael Jordan to create an aspirational brand associated with success and greatness.
- BMW’s M Series: The M Series is positioned as a high-performance line of cars intended for racing and track use, appealing to customers looking for a thrilling driving experience.
- Red Bull’s Energy Drinks: Red Bull has positioned its energy drinks as a source of extra energy, which makes them an attractive option for individuals looking to boost their energy levels. This positioning has helped Red Bull become a popular choice among people who need a quick energy boost.
- Starbucks: Starbucks has positioned itself primarily on giving the best consumer experience, from writing the customer’s name on the glass to allowing them to order via a mobile app.
- Amazon: Amazon’s brand positioning is driven by its relationship with customers, offering agility in delivery, low prices, and the freedom to like or dislike products.
In marketing, there are several types of product positioning, including price-based positioning, lifestyle-based positioning, characteristics-based positioning, and quality or prestige-based positioning.
To create a successful brand, a strong product positioning strategy must be crucial, including seven key elements. These elements are defining the market category, identifying the target audience, establishing a unique selling proposition, differentiating the brand from competitors, developing a brand personality, creating a recognizable brand identity, and determining a pricing strategy that aligns with the brand’s value proposition.
The product positioning apex refers to the strategic marketing approach used to establish a product or service’s position in the minds of consumers relative to similar products or services in the market.