These days the markets are over cluttered. Multiple companies are offering similar products, and often, it is confusing for a consumer to pick one. When making a choice, there is just one particular thing that makes the customer select one brand compared to others. Positioning in marketing is that distinctive feature that adds to brand equity.
A brand must have a clear positioning statement. This is because its entire brand strategy is set on this one particular idea. Plus, you cannot make the mistake of duplicating what others are already focussing on. To become a leader, the positioning statement should be exclusive and untouched till now.
Having said that, finding your brand positioning is no rocket science. You just need to be very clear and specific in identifying how you want your customers should see you.
Here we will tell you everything about marketing positioning and how to go about doing it.
Table of Contents
What is positioning in marketing?
First of all, let us define positioning in marketing
“It is a strategic process where you create an image of a product in the customer’s minds. This image is solely dependent on something unique that you have to offer them.”
Positioning meaning in marketing scenario can be a part of the larger marketing strategy.
This entire process will involve how you can segregate your product or service from that of your competitors. Plus, you also have to identify the niche you will focus on. Lots of factors alter your marketing positioning strategy. This includes the customer’s expectations and competitor’s positioning strategy.
Let us understand using a few examples:
- BMW and Audi are luxury status symbols in vehicles
- McDonald’s is an outlet which offers cheap food options
- L’Oréal is a luxury haircare and beauty brand
- Apple offers upscale technology products
A market positioning strategy is not just adding a tagline or statement to your website. You have to explore your positioning statement at multiple levels.
You should focus all your marketing attempts on promoting the same. In the end, the customers will have to accept your positioning as a permanent brand identity.
Benefits of market positioning in marketing
Next, let us talk about the advantages of marketing and positioning. Although people do not realize the consequences of brand positioning benefits a brand in multiple ways. Have a look:
1. Focusing on a specific market
The first step to positioning is to study your market. This in-depth analysis that you do unravels new aspects of marketing for you. Eventually, you are forced to understand what your customers want and their inner desires. You can use this knowledge to formulate your entire marketing strategy. As they say, the more you know about the customers, the better you can serve them.
2. Differentiating oneself from other brands
If everybody in the market is offering the same thing, won’t the customer feel hassled? That is where your positioning in marketing helps you out. You portray a distinct image to the customer. He will realize that your brand is what they can associate with. If you have nothing unique to offer, you are contributing to market noise.
3. Clarity on the problems you will solve
Why does your customer search for any particular product? He has a problem that needs to be solved. As a well-positioned brand, you could be the answer he is looking for. Less focussed brands make tall claims about solving many problems. However, do you think they understand the exact issue? No, and it is this idea of focussed communication that makes a customer choose a brand.
4. Increase your chances of being remembered over others
Don’t you want your brand to be a top-of-the-mind recall for customers? Of course, that requires a precise chalked-out positioning in marketing strategy to do so. But, it is not easy to find that unique differentiator. You have to employ a thought process that is strategic and creative. Since it is impressive, your customer remembers it well. This exclusivity will help him to pick you over the others.
5. Brand storytelling that customers identify with
A customer loves a well-told story. If your brand offers him that, he will clearly want to associate. Furthermore, your positioning statement is focused on addressing the problem he is facing. As you move ahead, this approach provides an effective brand strategy. Will a customer identify with a problem solver or someone who is trying to target many problems at one time?
6. Justify your pricing strategy
As a brand, you have to convince your customers to buy you. One aspect of this process is justifying your brand’s price band. If you are confused about positioning in marketing, how can you ever do that? Once you explain to your customers what you deal with, they may pay up the price as they know you deserve that much.
7. Understanding the customer challenges
If you do not know what problem the customer faces, will you be able to help him? Absolutely not. When you proceed with positioning, you understand his concerns to a deeper level. This is followed by your attempt to offer something which offers them a respite. If the customer finds you as a problem solver, he would want to know more about the brand.
8. Increasing your relevance in your niche
Many brands fail because they refuse to sell themselves in one niche. But don’t you think claiming a big chunk of a smaller pie in the market is a better idea?
By positioning your brand, you can explore an untapped niche. This enhances the scope of your brand outshining and becoming the leader. Always remember that the higher your relevance to a customer, the higher will be the brand loyalty they show.
Types of positioning
Moving on, it is time to talk about the exact positioning process. You can position the brand based on multiple criteria. This includes all those factors which help you frame your marketing strategy. By effectively working on each of them, you may create an effective positioning in marketing strategy.
Pricing is an essential consideration in the buying process. By marketing your brand on pricing, you can target a large number of customers. When it comes to choosing, a customer evaluates the pricing carefully. For example, no one would want to pay a massive amount for razors. Many a brand has lost out on market share as cheaper alternatives entered the market.
Essentially you must offer a reasonably priced product at a decent quality. That contributes to making your product a better choice than others. For pricing-based positioning to succeed, you must find the price your customers don’t mind paying. Keeping your product price near around that benchmark helps.
Customers can go the extra mile for a high-quality item. This fact is especially true if you are selling them a luxury product. Paying an extra price is not an issue as long as you do not compromise the quality you offer.
Will you choose an Audi over an average car brand if it does not maintain its quality? The answer is probably a no for all those customers who keep quality a priority.
By positioning in marketing based on quality, you have to convince the quality of your product is remarkable. This is not a problem as here you choose a statement that resonates with what your brand stands for.
So, if you are a luxury cosmetic brand, you must highlight ingredients that make you unique. Whatever methodology you choose, Quality positioning can make you a clear leader.
Convenience positioning is when you will offer the customers ways to make his life easy. For instance, if you are an e-commerce brand, “one-day delivery” and “free shipping” can add to your equity. What more does any customer want? Getting the products delivered to their home without any delays is undoubtedly going to entice them.
Earlier, you had to rush to banks to fulfill all your financial obligations. Banks realized this was irking the customers who already had their hands full with tasks. Now they offer mobile apps and phone-based banking for those who just cannot take out the time. The same tasks now fulfilled from the convenience of home is a sure-shot crowd puller.
4. Customer service
A customer interacts with the brand at multiple levels. If he is not satisfied with this interaction, he may not want to come back again. Positioning in brand based on Customer service is helpful in industries like Hospitality and Banking.
You just don’t believe in treating your customer as a king. You must work towards giving him that kind of experience.
A disgruntled customer means havoc for a brand in this online world. Focus on statements that trigger instant connectivity with your brand.
A brand that patiently solves its customer’s issues 24*7 is a better bet than one which has fixed customer service hours, for a local brand being available at late hours helps in establishing a feeling of trust between customer and brand.
5. User group
Can you sell a baby product to an adult male? No, you cannot, and that is where you target your customer group through brand positioning. Find out a specific niche of people you will want to talk to. Now create your positioning, which is only focused on catering to their needs. Just by catering to a small set of customers, you increase your success probability manifold.
How to create an effective positioning strategy
Now let us focus our attention on setting up positioning in marketing strategy. We have already dealt with the criticality of having a solid positioning plan. Creating a strategy that can target all aspects requires time and attention. Here we will tell you all the steps that you must follow:
1. Creating a positioning statement
Your business needs to stand out amongst the rest. Hence it needs a brand identity that fulfills the same purpose effectively. Positioning in marketing statement is the same identification that all brands need. You have to showcase a quality through your positioning statement, which makes it different.
The positioning statement you choose will be how your customers perceive you. Mind you; these perceptions stay for a long time.
Furthermore, a wrong positioning statement could hamper your brand’s appeal massively. Ask the following questions if you are unable to find out a suitable positioning statement.
- Is your positioning statement able to create a unique image of your brand?
- Does it promote your USP suitably?
- Is it focused on the target customers and their problems?
- Can your customers understand what you are trying to say?
- Is your statement promising a real benefit?
If you are getting a Yes answer to all these questions, it means your positioning statement is accurate.
2. Add a Tagline
After you have decided on the positioning in marketing statement, what next? You will now have to work on getting a tagline. If chosen perfectly, your slogan becomes the identity of your brand. Customers are quick to remember that you are associated with the tagline. In most cases, they will believe that you can fulfill what you say in your tagline. For example:
- ‘Just, Do it’- Nike
- ‘There are some things money can’t buy; For everything else, there is Mastercard’- Master card
- BMW-The Ultimate Driving Machine
- De Beers- A Diamond is Forever
These taglines are etched in the consumer’s minds. Even after many years, the customer can identify the brand associated with the tagline.
3. Analyzing your competitors
Do you want to know where you are lacking? Just have a look at what your competitors are doing. Just do a quick go through of the following parameters:
- Their market share and growth rate
- All their marketing efforts, engagement, messaging tactics
- Details of promotional campaigns and ads run
- Collaborations, social media, engagement with customers, etc.
Now that you know what they are up to, can’t you chalk out a unique statement of your own?
4. Find your present situation
You have grasped the way your competitors operate. Now you have to compare it with your current situation. You can analyze your market share and compete for it. Again you will have to compare yourself on the parameters you used to analyze the competitors.
5. Explore your unique position
You have all the data at your disposal. Whether it is market understanding, audience and competition, you know everything. Start with thinking about what will make you different from the rest. Make your marketing plans and messages in tandem with this positioning. Doing that will show you as a player who is clear about what he says and does.
6. Positioning through Advertisements
When you talk of positioning in marketing, Advertisements become the first platform to use. You have to be sure that your ads are sharing your USP clearly. For example, if you are in the luxury skincare segment. You will first have to identify your target audience. Next, create a need gap. In this case, we can talk about blemishes on the face. Create your advertisement content on the following parameters.
- Value statement- We reduce blemishes, share customer testimonials, and success stories
- Design- Use an influencer who is bright and resonates with the target audience
- Use of young models- An obvious connection they can feel with the models
- Comparison- How your cream is a solution to blemish removal, which other creams can’t do.
Remember that this positioning is suitable for your product. A beauty product targeted at wrinkle removal cannot use the same as its positioning statement.
7. Testing the marketing positioning
In the end, you should test the efficacy of your positioning in marketing campaign. Testing could be both qualitative and quantitative. Just use the typical research tactics to lay your hands on this valuable data.
The results of this campaign will benefit you manifold. First of all, you will get to know whether you are moving on the right track. If your message is strong, you can use it for other marketing efforts. Also, you could modify any mistakes made in this positioning.
If at any time a brand feels it is losing out, it can always reposition its brand. To do that, you will have to conduct the same strategical process once again. Since you have past experience, you can now drop out of concepts that did not work.
Some companies can also launch a new product to avoid the hassle of repositioning. That is also feasible as long as you have a clear idea of what your customers want. However, there is no sure shot guarantee of success here too.
A lot of sweat and toil goes behind making your brand a success. Creating a positioning statement for the brand is just one part of the same. No one can deny the importance of positioning in marketing efforts.
Furthermore, a demarcated USP reflects your brand in a positive light. The customers can associate with the premise of your brand. Once that happens, they can easily cover the journey of being a prospective customer to a loyal one.
Often companies tend to follow the same idea as their competitors. This will, however, reduce the exclusivity of your product. If there are already many players in a market, operating in a smaller niche proves to be helpful.
For any positioning to be successful, you will have to start early. It always takes a lot of time to set up a campaign and get the desired results. Wait patiently for the exact results to come. If nothing works still, then you might have to change your positioning statement.