What Is Positioning?
The question what is positioning pertains to both sales and marketing and search engine optimization positioning for websites. This section deals with sales and marketing positioning and product differentiation strategy. Information on search engine positioning is available in the SEO section.
In order to understand the concept of what is positioning you must ask the question, ”What do my customers think of me / my company / my product or service / my brand?”
The answer to this question defines your unique brand and becomes your competitive differentiator and what sets you apart from similar businesses in the mind of your customer. Positioning is thus inextricably tied to your product differentiation strategy.
Get help with positioning your product or service or share your expertise and experiences!
•SWOT Analysis •Product Differentiation
• Market Segmentation •Marketing Segmentation •Niche Marketing •The BCG Matrix •Positioning Consultant
The Fundamentals of What Is Positioning?
Regardless of what kind of business you are in and what kind of product or service you provide the question of positioning is key to your sales and marketing success. Your customer will form an opinion of your business and the value of your product or service whether you do something to influence this or not.
In understanding how to position yourself, your business, your product / service or your brand, you must deconstruct what it is you mean to customers. To take this a step further, there are 3 areas to consider in terms of the value that you provide customers.
1. Function: What function does your product or service provide? For the majority of businesses sales and marketing success is tied to a problem that you help your customer solve or a benefit that you provide.
It goes without saying that you must put a lot of thought into the basic value and benefits that you provide customers. Does your product or service perform better or are you a more convenient alternative for your customer? This is the starting point and focus for the vast majority of businesses.
2. Lifestyle: For many customers the question of what is positioning relates more to a lifestyle choice. Automobile and soft drink manufacturers are masters of using lifestyle to market their products. The question then becomes not what benefit a product provides but what customer values it represents.
If it is possible for you to incorporate an element of lifestyle into your brand through your sales and marketing activities then by all means do so. Customers are far more likely to purchase a product that they affiliate themselves to through shared values. How can you be “hip”, “cool” and “trendy”?
3. Experience: More and more relationships and interactions are becoming a key element to how customers purchase. In thinking about what is positioning for your business you must also create a positive experience for your customers in doing business with you.
How and where do your customers buy? What kind of service do you provide? How do you add your own personal touch when dealing with customers? Whether you do business in person, on the phone or online you must make it as easy and enjoyable as possible for your customer to do business with you.
Basic Questions in What Is Positioning?
You must analyze your customers, your market and your unique value in creating an effective positioning and product differentiation strategy. Regardless of the type of business you are in ask yourself these basic question and continue to refine your sales and marketing approach accordingly.
• Who Are Your Customers?
A key concept in "You" Sales and Marketing is putting yourself in your customers’ shoes and creating your sales and marketing plan accordingly. As much as possible you should try and understand who your ideal customer is and what there lifestyle, likes and dislikes are and then tailor your efforts accordingly.
A detailed sales and marketing approach deals with demographics like age, gender, geography and other characteristics to gather as much information as possible about your target market. At the very least you must be cognizant of who it is that you are going to be doing business with in a day to day fashion and answer the question what is positioning according to your customer’s perceptions of you.
• What Is Your Market Like?
What are the unique characteristics of your market that affect how you do business? SWOT Analysis is a great tool for analyzing your internal strengths and weaknesses as well as the opportunities and threats that present themselves to you in the external market.
Sales and marketing nowadays is less and less about your product or service and more about external factors within the market and the minds of your consumers. Remember that your success is not in creating the ultimate product but in shaping the minds of your customers so that they perceive the greatest value and satisfaction in doing business with you. This is the answer to what is positioning.
• What Is Your Unique Value Proposition?
Now that you have studied your customers and the market at large you can craft your business as well as your sales and marketing message around creating, communicating and delivering the maximum value to your customers. Do not be product or feature focus but rather focus your energies where your customers derive maximum value from doing business with you.
Value starts with product design and is at the core of every business model that exists in the market today. Without value you would not have a business nor would you have customers. The question of what is positioning is closely related to what value you are providing, not just from a design perspective but from the standpoint of how your customers see you.
Get help with positioning your product or service!
•SWOT Analysis •Product Differentiation
•Market Segmentation •Marketing Segmentation • Niche Marketing •The BCG Matrix •Positioning Consultant
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