Effective positioning is critical to brand success. This article provides an overview of what is positioning in marketing and how it helps brands stand out.
The marketing approach determines the success of any startup or existing company. Today, businesses rely on different concepts of marketing to leave a lasting impression on the hearts and minds of customers. Marketing essentials form the soul of organizations and businesses. Every type of business, whether it is old or new, can benefit from higher sales and increased brand awareness. Simply put, if businesses don’t market themselves, they are likely to be ignored and pushed over by other brands. The fierce competition and dynamic increase in startups, along with digitalization, have made marketing more important than before.
Marketing planning and strategy is a long process. The initial marketing mix was defined as the 4 Ps, which included Product, Price, Promotion, and Place. Recently, two additional categories have been introduced- Packaging and Positioning. With the constant changes in the needs of customers, markets, and products, marketers and brand managers must revisit these seven Ps to make sure they are on the right track.
Over the past decade, positioning has become highly significant in modern marketing management. While all seven Ps have their due role in promoting the brand and achieving sales, positioning is what helps brands develop a specific personality in the market. Many people are unaware of the role of positioning in marketing.
In order to scale businesses and brands, making products popular in a specific market is very important. There are many times that businesses are unable to reach customers despite having products that solve their problems. Product positioning is a great tactic that every entrepreneur must consider and work on when building a business or looking to establish a name and reputation in the hearts of customers.
As many companies are selling similar products and services, it is important to differentiate your work from the others. Marketing positioning allows brands to promote themselves after conducting research, test, and marketing campaigns. The goal is to position a brand or product in a compelling manner. In this article, we review the role of positioning in modern-day marketing and its benefits so as to allow many budding startups or existing businesses to benefit from the information.
What is positioning in marketing?
Product positioning is an essential tool in marketing. In order to do this well, you must understand what is positioning in marketing.
Positioning is defined as a marketing essential that presents the offerings of a business, that could be a product, service, or venture, to its target market in such a manner that it persuades them to interact with them or buy it.
Research is a highly important area when it comes to marketers working on positioning. It helps them understand and evaluate the target consumers’ likes, dislikes, and choices. This is managed through research surveys and focus groups which help marketers learn about the consumers’ mindsets. Research also helps marketers determine what features and specifications please the customers the most. This allows for a more structured and streamlined marketing approach that leads to better leads and sales.
In marketing, positioning involves a tedious process of making an impression on the target audience and convincing them to purchase your product or services. Brands use the concept of market positioning to build a brand’s identity to stand out in the ocean of competitors.
A comprehensive positioning strategy helps you to use your understanding of the consumer’s mindset and requirements to stand out from the competition and bring value to consumers’ lives. In other words, positioning in marketing helps to perceive the wants and desires of customers and allows businesses to mold their view of their products or services. Positioning in marketing is the perfect way to for businesses to stand out and make themselves worth a try.
Types of positioning in marketing
A brand’s position statement represents the brand’s core values, identity, and the utility it provides to consumers. Positioning is a customer-focused strategy with the objective to generate leads. Here are a few types of product positioning in marketing that are particularly popular in the field.
Quality product/service positioning
Marketing teams adopt many different strategies to help companies increase their sales and customer purchases. One way is through is by distinguishing their company’s offerings from those of its competitors through competitive positioning. Quality product positioning is a type of positioning in marketing based on an initiative that emphasizes the quality of the product being marketed. As quality is the key selling point, the marketing campaign focuses on the features offered by their product as compared to that of the other product.
Variety product/service positioning
This is another type of competitive positioning that emphasizes the business’s ability to offer a large variety compared to other brands or businesses. This gives the customers multiple options to choose from and is added attraction. Through this type of positioning, the company brings forward its large variety of products or services, explaining how each of the options is unique and unlike others in the market.
Performance product/service positioning
This type of positioning in marketing focuses on the performance of the product or service advertised by the company. It is concerned more with how well something functions. This type of positioning in marketing mostly applies to physical products or digital products. It often describes how the product is the best performing option in the market.
Efficiency product/service positioning.
Aesthetic product positioning
Product positioning is based on aesthetics and emphasizes the look or appearance of a product that is specifically appealing to a particular niche. As such products offer their own distinctive and unique charm, no comparisons are made in the marketing process. Aesthetic product positioning showcases the kind of image it possesses that is bound to attract consumers.
Reliability product/service positioning
Such a type of positioning emphasizes how products or services can be trusted. Reliability is something consumers seek as that is where trust lies, which is why businesses adopt such a type of positioning in marketing to offer longevity and steady services.
Sustainability product positioning
The essence of this type of positioning in marketing is that brands position themselves as active figure in environmental issues. It is a great way to humanize your brand messages and gives you an edge over consumers who should choose you over others. Sustainability product positioning focuses on describing how products are reusable and eco-friendly. Companies based on ideals of sustainability want to show how their products and services are safe for the planet and its inhabitants.
DIY product positioning
The do-it-yourself product positioning marketing emphasizes the intelligence and capabilities of the user to easily put together a product. Such type of marketing promotes simplicity and encourages DIY procedures. The marketing campaigns make sure that the assembling of the product appears easy and manageable while being attractive to the consumers.
Importance of market positioning
Market positioning involves brands or businesses creating a statement for their product or service that helps consumers identify with the business. It works on customers’ perceptions and portrays the brand in a way that is intended to create a mark in the hearts and minds of the intended market.
It plays a crucial role in marketing as it allows customers to make sense of and connect with a brand on a personal level. With the crowded space and multiple brands offering similar things, market positioning makes brands stand out from the rest and mark their unique place.
The concept of positioning follows after a systemized market segmentation in which the market is broken down, and a target group is established and identified for the product or service being marketed. Once a niche market is selected, market positioning is used to create an impression in the customer’s mind. And as they say, the first impression is the last impression. The introductory impression of the brand and the position it holds in the market determines how much attention it receives from targetted consumers.
1. Positioning connects brand identity and brand image
Brand identity is the collection of different elements of a company that portrays a specific image to the customers. These include the visible elements of the brand, such as logo, color, and design. It helps customers to distinguish the brand from the competition. Consistent marketing and positioning lead to consistent brand identity. Without proper market positioning, consistent customer perception and sales are impossible.
2. Gives a competitive advantage
A good marketing positioning allows the company or brand to have a competitive advantage over other competitors in the market. As consumers have a consistent brand image, this gives them superiority over other businesses that are not known or have a brand image embedded in the hearts and minds of the customers.
3. Market differentiation is possible with positioning
The market is full of products and businesses delivering similar things. Positioning is the key to helping a company stand out in the sea of sellers. Market differentiation is only possible when a brand has a firm positioning that clearly communicates to the target customers, makes the brand or product visible to the consumers, and attracts them or at least reaches them.
4. Positioning helps buyers make their choices
Consumers are always looking for easy solutions and options that are not too complex. With so much competition in the market, many brands or products fail to make it to the eyes of the customer. Positioning is the key element in triggering an emotional response from the target market and gives them a quick reason to choose you from amongst others. The positioning statement and brand identity are what gain the trust of the consumer and increase their interest in it. And that is what leads to an increase in sales.
Positioning Strategies in marketing
Product positioning is the best tool to make a product reinforce a certain image with consumers and emerge as a market leader. While there are many types of positioning in marketing, all boil down to three models of product positioning strategies in marketing.
Comparative Positioning Strategies in Marketing :
This type of positioning refers to how the marketing team differentiates the company or brand from its competitors. Many times, brands use quality or price as comparisons to display their brand’s edge over these domains. A typical example is when brand A positions itself as offering the same quality as another expensive brand product but with an added value of a much lower price. That is sure to make consumers rethink their choices.
Differentiation Positioning Strategies in Marketing:
Differentiation positioning strategies involve the development of a product’s image that is unique and significantly different from other brands in the market. This helps the company convince buyers how their product offers an amazing experience and convinces them to accept higher prices for the extra edge they provide. Companies highlight their unique selling points, which in turn helps them gain and maintain customer attention.
Segmentation Positioning Strategies in Marketing:
This type of positioning strategy evaluates segments in the market and develops a detailed product positioning for each segment. This helps the product to stand out to multiple audiences with varying needs. Marketing segmentation is usually divided into: demographic, geographic, behavioral, and psychographic. Different marketing solutions and tools are offered to each segment to help the brand get popular in every type of market.
Benefits of marketing positioning
Positioning in marketing has numerous benefits that have been proven time and again, making it highly popular amongst marketers. It is in fact crucial to the brand’s success and increases the effectiveness of promotional messages and cater your services according to the needs of the consumers. Some of the common benefits of marketing positioning are :
- Helps to create a positive image of the brand and determines how the consumer views your product.
- Helps to increase product sales by providing relevant information and offers to segment markets. More sales lead to more revenue.
- With positioning, companies can focus on how products or services can cater to the specific needs of the target audience and provide them with the value they need
- Having a clear positioning strategy allows companies to make a more informed decision. A good amount of research goes into studying segments in the market. That opens the doors to new and innovative ideas of marketing.
What is Market Repositioning?
Market repositioning is when a company alters its existing brand status and changes its position in the marketplace. This is mostly done to cater to major shifts in the environment or decline in performances. Sometimes, companies choose to launch a new product or brand instead of repositioning a product or brand.
Product positioning examples
Coca-Cola is the pioneer of product positioning and a very successful marketing example. This is perhaps the reason that it has been able to survive for over a hundred years. The brand has always positioned itself to bring the value of happiness, joy, and friendship through its product. Individuals looking for premium quality beverages find a range of refreshing options with Coca-Cola. All its products inspire happiness and a positive change in consumers’ lives. Its positioning statement is “Open Happiness.”
Apple is synonymous with exclusivity, luxury, and elegance. While the brand is known for its cutting-edge technology, its positioning has always revolved around creating a mark by challenging the status quo and thinking differently. The brand emphasizes tech research and advancements.
Dove focuses on the emotional side of beauty, and its campaigns appeal to the natural beauty of women. Its products are positioned as a personal care range that caters to all women across the world. The Real Beauty campaign was a beautifully implemented marketing campaign that was able to bring out the beauty of women. It features different women describing themselves to a portraitist. Then someone whom the women knew described them to the portraitist, and it turned out that they were viewed more beautifully by others who knew them than themselves. A beautiful message is conveyed in a rather innovative manner.
Starbucks has positioned itself to provide the best consumer experience. Famous for writing the name of the client on the glass before serving the drink, the brand is known for a personalized experience. Through social media, the brand has established that the simple act of buying coffee from them could be a pleasant experience.
McDonald’s has established itself as a quick-service restaurant with an exceptional customer experience for customers. In the world of marketing, it is viewed as one of the best product positioning examples. Known as the leader in the fast-food industry, McDonald’s has positioned itself as a welcoming family restaurant that caters to kids and adults, making all feel equally special. Today it has successfully positioned itself as the place for a quick bite in most parts of the world.
If we look around, examples of brand positioning are everywhere. Whether you go to a convenience store or you are on the road, marketing positioning messages reach you everywhere. Product positioning is all about communicating the brand message to persuade the buyers to try the product and give it a shot for a certain reason. Teams of marketing work on finding the right reason that will attract the consumers. Research and proper planning go into positioning the brand and creating the right positioning marketing strategy because, at the end of the day it is the product positioning that catches the attention of customers and helps them decide whether to choose you over your competitors or not.