Product Positioning: Meaning, Steps, Strategies and Principles

Meaning 

Product positioning refers to the branding of a new product in the marketplace. It is done by communicating its features, qualities, and benefits to the target customers.

Product positioning is a customer-centric marketing strategy that keeps customers in the loop. This helps to arrest their attention and get a favorable response from them. 

Product positioning is done by identifying target customers, locating their needs and wants, understanding behavioral traits, tapping their emotions, and effectively communicating the USP of the product to them. 

Positioning can be subjective in nature as it is purely based on customers’ attitudes, class and spending mechanisms. 

Perceiving patterns of customers’ traits can help businesses hit the bull’s eye by creating a market-driven product. This also helps in easy brand establishment. Furthermore, once the product becomes essential to customers it easily leaves a long imprint in their minds leading to repeat purchases.

Steps 

Product positioning is not a piece of cake. It takes massive cost, time, and effort to design, develop and define positioning methodology and implement it. 

Most of the businesses fail due to undefined and uncertain positioning processes. 

The ideal positioning methodology is: 

i) Identify your Marketplace: Before positioning your product, you must survey your customers’ needs & preferences and likes & dislikes. After this, introspect if your product is a mere desire satisfying product or fulfills a special utility. If it is a mere desire fulfilling product, research on how you can strategize it to become an irreplaceable essential for your customer. 

After identifying and screening your stakeholders, next comes competitors. 

Keep your friends close and your enemies closer. 

See who your competitors are and what are the unique selling propositions of their products; you ought to counter! 

Next, you also need to ascertain whether you have adequate human resources for sustainable planning and agility to produce a market-ready product.

ii) Conduct SWOT Analysis: SWOT stands for strength, weakness, opportunity, and threat. 

SWOT Analysis is a strategic technique that an organization uses to identify its key result areas i.e, strengths and weak surfaces. It gives a sharp edge to companies as it proposes a rational analysis of a company’s competitive position in the market. It helps to define the actual strength of the company in the loop, weakness at par, opportunity in pace, and threats in the market. 

iii) Create a Story: Once your brand enters the marketplace, advertise it in a way that connects your target audience to the use case of the product and which compels them to make an immediate purchase. 

While advertising or verbal promotion, try adding lyrics to your tagline and rhythm to your advertisement. It sheds a lasting impact on the audience and adds to customer delight. 

iv) Execute Effective Advertising: Your product can carve a niche for itself only when you can attain your customers’ loyalty. 

For this, the organization must incorporate word of mouth, rightly communicate its product’s importance and gain target customers’ interest and attention.

Strategies 

Product Positioning is strategic planning which plays a personalized role according to customers’ different perceptions. 

Some of the types of strategies usually pursued by organizations are: 

i) Characteristics-based Strategy: In this strategy, organizations associate their brands with personalized features like durability, reliability, price efficiency, etc to tap customers’ emotions. 

ii) Pricing-based Strategy: Price is one of the most important strategies which every market player keeps an eye on. Customers usually make their buying decision based on the cost of the product. Price also gives a competitive advantage to those sellers who can sell quality products at a low cost. 

iii) Quality-based Strategy: “Quality over Quantity”. 

For many customers, the quality of a product matters over and above everything. They make optimum utilization of their money and demand value output in return for every penny spent! 

iv) DIY-based Strategy: Do-It-Yourself is known to be one of the most intellectual strategies of positioning. It is used by e-commerce platforms where it allows users to flexibly pick and combine features of the product and find a personalized product that exactly matches their requirements. 

Principles 

The backdrop of every branding is created by an established line of principles that organizations follow to stand out from the crowd. 

i) Define your USP: The positioning of the product should be such that its use case should lead its market and be a pioneer of its kind. It should be able to command market moves and create an everlasting impact on its users. 

ii) Target Novice Category: The organization should choose a strong and unexplored category of product that has never been to the market before. Its product should be the disruption in its industry. 

With branding, it must be backed by superior quality, features, and benefits. 

iii) Fix Your Position: Once you are successful in entering the market, the half battle is won!

Your next focus should be on creating MOAT i.e, an entry barrier for your product so that no other company can copy your techniques or launch any product of a similar kind.

Keep redesigning and rejuvenating your products by considering reviews and ratings of your customers!

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