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Perfect positioning. You could be forgiven for thinking we’re talking yoga, but positioning basically sets out what a business should do to market its product or service to its customers to create an image in the customer’s mind. It forms part of the marketing plan and comes into play when you are working through the Marketing Mix – you know, the 5 P’s Product, Price, Place, Promotion, and People.
The key things to look at when considering how your business is positioned are:
- How your business is currently positioned
- Who your competitors are and look at how they are positioned
- What makes you different from your competitors
Why is positioning important?
Because once you know how you want to be perceived by your customer, you can focus your marketing activities more specifically and effectively. You do have to know how you want to move your customer on from knowledge of what you do to buying. Pricing and Branding are also relevant. Particularly when it comes to deciding which positioning strategy you are going to use.
You may choose quality positioning where you focus on offering the highest quality products possible. You may want to be leaders in a particular field and, as such, your pricing needs to reflect this as people will be buying a premium product, and will expect to pay a higher price.
Conversely, value positioning would be where your product is perceived to be at the cheaper end of the market, say like Aldi and Lidl?
Then you’ve got demographic positioning where you might be appealing to a specific target group by age or gender, for instance. Like Over 50’s insurance or multivitamins for Pregnant mums to be. See how this helps you focus on what your marketing messages need to be.
Then you’ve got competitive positioning, where you reposition the image of your competitor’s in the customer’s mind.
Perhaps you run a carpet cleaning business and pride yourself on using non-toxic chemicals, and your competitor is doing the same, you could re-emphasise the benefits of using those cleaning agents going into more detail about the quality of your service, thereby diminishing the effect of your competitor’s message, and emphasising your unique selling point.
So how do you create a Brand Positioning Statement and what needs to go in it?
To start with you need to look at your target market. Who are you trying to appeal to – the more detail you can include here, the better it is for creating the marketing message.
Then do some research about how relevant your product or service is compared to your competitors. This should be followed by deciding what it is that makes you stand out from your competitors – your USP.
Using any one of these attributes quality, value, demographic, competitor (Q : V : D : C + USP = PS) you can develop a great positioning statement which you can use to market your business more specifically and effectively.
Finally, consider what evidence you have that your business delivers what it says it does.
When this is all written down, you can create a Positioning Statement.
With a strong statement, clearly defined for everyone, including your staff to see and understand, it helps you define what else you want to say.
You may even think about creating a tagline, which of course makes your brand more memorable. Think of Nike and Just Do It or L’Oréal and Because You’re Worth It. Great examples that couldn’t have been created without knowing what the Positioning Strategy was for each product. Take L’Oréal for example – their tagline reflects the fact that customers will expect to pay more.
Briefly, let’s consider Repositioning. One great example is Old Spice, which was thought of as something our dad or even grandfather used, but Old Spice created a very clever campaign when they considered how many of those actually buying their products were women, who wanted their menfolk to smell nice. When it came to introducing a new male body wash range, they repositioned their brand to women with imagery that suggested their man could look like this by buying into their new range.
Repositioning is getting your customer to think about your product or service differently. Or it could be to appeal to a different target market. But you go through the same process to make sure you were using the right marketing message to appeal to this new market.
Perhaps you have a product that isn’t selling well. A good example here is the repositioning of Travelodge. They had got the reputation of being cheap and a bit tatty, but after they had a major refurbishment of their hotels, they repositioned themselves as a value alternative for families and business travellers.
This is a huge subject, and we have only just skimmed the surface, but hopefully, you can consider some of the basics when looking to position or reposition your business or a specific product line. For more marketing tips, tune in to the free podcast by The Marketing Menu here: www.themarketingmenu.com