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Positioning relates to the process by which a company attempts to create an image of its brand (or one of its specific products) in relation to other brands/products in the market. Successful positioning endeavors highlight the unique selling proposition (USP) of a brand or product, thus, motivating consumers’ interest and driving their purchasing behaviors. It’s not a task that businesses can leave to chance; effective positioning depends on gathering and using data in a way that best promotes a company’s USP. Here’s how to form a useful and fruitful product positioning strategy:
A winning product positioning strategy starts with an accurate product definition. Take a long, hard look at your company and its offerings. Pick the product you want to position in the market and list its characteristics. Be objective and call attention to only the product features you know to exist (not the ones you wish or want to exist). Then, describe those components in a way that resonates with your ideal customer. Too often companies forget that they need to sell their product to real people, people with actual thoughts and feelings who are more interested in how a product will benefit them than what that product does. They can guess that after all: a good hamburger is made with quality beef and cooked just right. Define your product, but don’t forget to focus on the experience that your product provides to the people who buy it, as well.
Now, think about what makes your product different from the competition. Differentiation generates advantage, allowing consumers access to a benefit that only you can provide. Consider your pricing, your marketing, your packaging, your target audience, your means of distribution, and more as you develop a product positioning strategy. By determining and emphasizing the features you offer that are different from other products on the market you further distinguish yourself, positioning yourself for increased success
With your differences defined, you should concentrate on what makes you unique. Different means “not the same;” unique means “one of kind.” Focus on how your product creates a unique experience for consumers, providing them with a product they can’t get from anyone else with a value they can’t live without. For instance, only Burger King offers “The Whopper.” Only White Castle began with each of its restaurants featuring a window through which customers could watch their hamburger meat being ground and prepared. Only The Varsity hyped a proprietary ordering language (although its unique lingo has since been appropriated by others). In each of these cases, the company created a unique point of difference as a part of its product positioning strategy, providing consumers with something only it can provide. It’s a winning strategy, indeed!
Market research helps any company create a winning product positioning strategy, providing insights that allow a better understanding of a target audience so that it can create products and marketing plans that cater to each audience’s wants and needs. To learn more about crafting market research projects that yield reliable and actionable results, please contact our team at Research America.