what is product positioning

What is Product Positioning – Definition, Types

What is product positioning? What are the different types? How do you create a product positioning strategy? Why it is important in marketing? You will find all of your questions answered in this article.

It goes without saying that product positioning plays a crucial role in the success of a product or service in any competitive market.

Companies place their products strategically to a target audience to effectively reach out to them. Positioning basically refers to placing the product correctly in a specific space. Often companies fail to succeed in spite of quality products due to poor marketing segmentation.

Here, we have thoroughly discussed why a company needs to position its product or service rightly to be successful against its competitors.

What Is Product Positioning – Definition

The strategic process of defining and establishing a product or brand in the minds of target customers in comparison to rivals is known as product positioning. It entails creating a distinct and alluring brand identity for your product in the marketplace, which aids buyers in understanding its worth, advantages, and distinction.

Why Brands Do Product Positioning?

Brands use product positioning to create an image of their product in the minds of the consumers.

To distinguish itself from other brands. It helps to create an identity for their product or brand. Imagine, what’s the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear about Apple? 

When a company positions its product in a specific market, it helps to create an impression in the minds of the consumers. Brands use positioning to inhibit the perception of a product or service by mentally inducing it in them.

This will help you to understand what actually product positioning is. Here are a few brands. Read one at a time and see what comes to your mind first.

  • Coca Cola
  • Nike
  • Cadbury
  • Amazon
  • American Express

What Are The Different Types of Product Positioning?

A company needs to carry out thorough market research and processes to establish its own target market and how to successfully position products or establish services against its competition. Product positioning can take various forms, depending on the specific strategy a company chooses to adopt.

Product positioning can take various forms, depending on the specific strategy a company chooses to adopt. Here are some common types of product positioning:

The most common types of product positioning are:

Value-Based Positioning

This positioning strategy focuses on offering customers the best value for their money. Products positioned in this way often emphasize affordability and quality. Companies aim to provide competitive prices while maintaining high product quality.

Quality Positioning

Quality positioning revolves around promoting a product as the best in terms of quality or performance within its category. Brands often use this strategy to justify premium pricing. They invest heavily in product quality and consistently deliver exceptional performance.

Benefit or Feature Positioning

Benefit or feature positioning highlights specific product attributes or features that address customer needs. This strategy aims to create a strong association between the product and the benefits it provides. For example, a smartphone might be positioned as having the best camera for photography enthusiasts.

Niche Positioning

Niche positioning targets a specific, narrow segment of the market with unique needs or preferences. Companies often choose this strategy to serve a specialized group of customers. For instance, a luxury car manufacturer might position itself exclusively for high-end buyers.

Read: Market Segmentation: How To Maximize Market Share?

Usage or Application Positioning

In this approach, a product is positioned based on how it’s used or where it’s applied. This can help customers understand the product’s relevance in their lives. For example, a cleaning product might be positioned as ideal for removing tough stains.

Competitor-Based Positioning

Competitor-based positioning compares a product directly to a rival product or brand. Companies highlight their advantages over competitors, whether in terms of price, quality, features, or other attributes. The aim is to show customers why their product is the better choice.

Problem-Solution Positioning

With problem-solution positioning, a product is positioned as the solution to a specific problem or pain point that customers face. This approach emphasizes how the product can address a critical need, making it an attractive choice.

User Positioning

User positioning tailors the product’s image to a particular type of user or customer persona. This strategy seeks to create a strong emotional connection between the product and its intended users. For example, a brand might position its cosmetics line as being for eco-conscious consumers.

Cultural or Symbolic Positioning

Some products are positioned to align with cultural trends, values, or symbols. This strategy taps into cultural contexts to make the product more appealing. An example is positioning a brand of clothing as a symbol of youth and rebellion.

Price Positioning

Price positioning involves positioning a product based on its price point relative to other products in the market. This strategy can include positioning as a budget option, a mid-range choice, or a premium offering.

Lifestyle Positioning

Lifestyle positioning associates a product with a particular lifestyle or set of values. This approach helps customers envision how the product can enhance their lifestyle. For instance, a fitness brand may position itself as a part of a healthy, active lifestyle.

The choice of product positioning strategy depends on various factors, including the product’s characteristics, target market, competitive landscape, and marketing goals. Successful product positioning aligns the product’s image with customer perceptions and preferences, ultimately driving sales and brand loyalty.

Here are the 8 Key Aspects of Product Positioning

It’s a whole process. You need to carry the following steps out one by one to create your own product positioning.

1. Target Audience

Identifying your ideal customers is the first step in product positioning. You need to understand their needs, preferences, and pain points to create a product that resonates with them.

As a marketer, you have to understand the gap between what customers expect out of you and what you are doing to fulfill them.

Suggested Read: Understanding Consumer Behaviour: How It is Used In Marketing?

2. Competitive Analysis

Analyze your competitors to determine their strengths and weaknesses. Before you choose to position your products, you have to be well aware of all the competitor products available in the same space. You need to identify gaps in the market that your product can fill or areas where you can outperform the competition. Evaluating competitors will provide you with a clearer of what you should do and where’s the gap.

3. Unique Selling Proposition (USP)

Your USP is the unique feature or benefit that sets your product apart from others in the market. It’s what makes your product special and attractive to customers.

4. Value Proposition

Your value proposition communicates the value your product delivers to customers. It answers the question, “Why should customers choose your product over others?” It should highlight the benefits and solutions your product offers.

5. Positioning Statement

A positioning statement is a concise declaration that defines your product’s target market, category, unique benefits, and differentiation. It serves as a guiding statement for your marketing efforts.

6. Brand Image and Messaging

Consistent branding and messaging help reinforce your product’s position in the market. Your brand identity, logo, and marketing materials should align with your positioning strategy.

7. Communication Strategy

Determine the channels and methods you’ll use to communicate your product’s positioning to your target audience. This includes advertising, content marketing, social media, and public relations.

Several brands make a common mistake. While they create what customers want, price it affordable but do not communicate. You have to reach out to your target audience. This could either be through social media, advertising, or content.

Put the word out. This may cost you high initially. But in the long term, this will help you to maintain a steady base of customers.

Read: Types Of Market: How Market Plays An Important Role?

8. Customer Perception

Ultimately, product positioning is about how your target customers perceive your product. It is essential to continually monitor and adjust your positioning based on customer feedback and market changes.

What are the Benefits of Product Positioning?

Effective product positioning can lead to several benefits. It includes the following:

  • Competitive Advantage: It helps your product stand out in a crowded marketplace, making it more likely to attract customers.
  • Customer Loyalty: When customers understand and appreciate your product’s unique value, they are more likely to become loyal to your brand.
  • Higher Pricing Power: Well-positioned products can often command premium prices because customers perceive them as superior.
  • Improved Marketing: Clear positioning makes your marketing efforts more focused and effective.
  • Product Development: Knowing your product’s position can guide future product development efforts to better meet customer needs.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the primary goal of product positioning?

The primary goal of product positioning is to create a distinct and compelling image for a product in the minds of consumers. This image should differentiate the product from competitors and resonate with the target audience.

How does product positioning differ from branding?

While branding encompasses a broader set of activities that shape a company’s overall image, product positioning specifically focuses on how a particular product is perceived within its market segment.

Can a product be positioned in multiple ways simultaneously?

While it’s possible to highlight multiple product attributes or benefits, it’s generally more effective to have a clear and singular positioning strategy to avoid confusing consumers. Multiple positions may be suitable for product variants, but each should be distinct.

How can I determine the best positioning strategy for my product?

The choice of positioning strategy depends on factors such as your target audience, market competition, product features, and business goals. Conduct thorough market research to understand customer needs and preferences before deciding on a strategy.

Is it possible to change a product’s positioning once it’s established in the market?

Yes, it’s possible to reposition a product, but it can be challenging and may require significant marketing efforts. Successful repositioning often involves changing consumer perceptions, which can take time and resources.

What role does customer feedback play in product positioning?

Customer feedback is invaluable for refining and adjusting your product positioning. It provides insights into customer perceptions, allowing you to align your strategy more closely with their expectations.

Can a product have multiple positioning strategies for different markets or customer segments?

Yes, some products may have different positioning strategies for various markets or customer segments. This approach, known as market segmentation, allows companies to tailor their messaging to specific audiences.

Is it essential to revisit and update a product’s positioning over time?

Yes, it’s advisable to periodically reassess and update your product’s positioning to remain relevant in a changing market. Consumer preferences, competition, and market trends can evolve, requiring adjustments to your strategy.

How long does it take for a new product positioning to take effect in the market?

The time it takes for a new positioning strategy to take effect can vary. It depends on factors like market conditions, the strength of your marketing efforts, and the clarity of your positioning message. Typically, it may take several months to see noticeable results.