You have created a product with good performance, high-quality materials and an innovative feature. This is all very important and will help you get rid of the competition, but you must reach the buyers. A positioning campaign will help you to be where you want your company to be. Depending on the product in question, your competitors, and the needs of the market in which you operate, you will have to choose a specific type of positioning.
What is product positioning?
When it comes to positioning a product, it is necessary to follow a series of techniques embodied in a strategy, which will ensure that a product occupies a privileged place in the minds of users and thus manages to stand out from the other products of the competition.
How to position a product?
Positioning by differentiation, as its name suggests, consists of positioning your product by highlighting a feature that differentiates it from the competition. It may be used in the same way as other products of your opponents. However, its design has a special feature – purely aesthetic or functional. Perhaps the design does not differ, but the materials with which your product has been designed make it more durable or resistant to certain environments, for example, water-resistant. Are the design and the materials the same? You can also differentiate yourself by a specific feature of its use, such as the portability it offers.
The important thing is to focus on that innovative feature that makes your product unique. The rest of the product’s properties are not new to consumers, they have seen them before in other brands.
If your product offers an advantage to the consumer with respect to the rest of similar items of the competition, position it with the help of that benefit. Added value for the consumer is very important. In his mind, your company is taking care of his needs and problems and is providing him with the best solution in the market.
For example, you are a technology company, and you want to position a wireless headset. The first people who developed this type of headphones, practically all they had to do was to show their product to the public. However, today there are many companies that offer this type of product for sale. How are you going to position your wireless headphones? Perhaps they have a longer battery life than the competition, allowing consumers to forget about charging and enjoy 48 hours of uninterrupted music.
If you have discovered a market niche, you have practically done everything. Provided that you have carried out a previous study and that this niche really has sufficient demand and little or no competition, your product is a novelty in itself. When a product is positioned by market niche, it does so simultaneously in all types of positioning, either by differentiation, by benefit or strategically. You are providing a solution to an audience with needs that the market before you had ignored.
Positioning a product through the competitive method is very effective, but also risky. You will make your product stand out in the market by comparing it with the competition. First of all, whatever you communicate to the public, you must make sure it is true. You don’t want to get into a cold war with your competitors and be exposed, thus affecting the credibility of the brand. However, if such comparisons are based on the reality of your product and those of your competitors, exploit that advantage.
Competitive positioning is very common in the health and beauty sector. Advertisements for toothpaste or razors comparing usability, sensation of use or results with “other toothpaste brands” or “other razors on the market” are very common.
This type of positioning is only possible if your brand occupies a prominent place in the market. When this happens, the simple symbol or name of your firm implies a benefit in itself for the consumer and a clear differentiation. In the fashion industry, this happens on a daily basis. There are big brands that offer products with identical characteristics to the rest. Same quality in the manufacturing and identical design. However, people prefer them because their logo can be seen on their sweaters, sneakers or pants, which in turn brings prestige to the consumer.
Steps of a product positioning strategy
Keep up to date with the latest news in your market
The market is constantly changing, renewing itself daily and incorporating new requirements to stand out. If you want to position your product, the first thing you must do is to know in depth the market sector in which your company operates. By researching your area of competition, you will know what customers will value in your product or service. When researching the market, two factors are particularly important: your future customers and the competition.
Study of future customers
To understand what your target audience wants and how they want it, you will need to conduct an in-depth study. First, conduct surveys. They are a great way to get inside the consumer’s mind. It is important that the wording is clear and simple.
Also, when formulating the questions, try not to persuade the respondent with a correct answer. If you tip the balance towards the answer that suits you best, all you will be doing will be to reflect in the client what you want him to be and not what he really is. It is also crucial that you choose the people you are going to survey well and that they fit within your target.
If you want to position a product and stand out from the competition, you clearly have to know who they are and what they are doing. Only in this way will you be able to convince consumers that your option is the best. Luckily, you have all the data you need at your fingertips. With the advent of the Internet, it is very easy to find valuable information about your competitors. The only thing you need to be clear about are the questions you want to answer because with the vast amount of data you will have access to – if you don’t know what you want to know – the process can be a challenge.
First of all, focus on the competition that really interests you. To do this, do a search with a specific keyword that will help you filter your competitors. You only want to know in depth those who are ahead of you and who outperform you.
Make an analysis of its weaknesses and strengths, this will also help you understand your target audience. You may see that the website has a very attractive design, but the contents are somewhat disorganized. This way, you will know what your target audience cares about.
Meet the consumer
The consumer is the main protagonist, the one who must decide whether he prefers your product or someone else’s. Therefore, it is very important to understand his behavior, how he works and how he consumes. Depending on the culture, the social context and the time, and consumer behavior will change.
Today’s consumer is characterized by a number of particularities.
- Turn to the Internet: when faced with any problem, doubt or question, the consumer turns to the Internet to find an answer. The autonomy of the consumer has grown in recent years, making the help of third parties unnecessary. As a result, more and more companies have a blog in which they resolve questions related to their field of activity. In this way, they manage to position themselves as an authority and gain the trust of their audience.
- Avoid intrusive advertising: a few years ago, advertising was the way companies used to sell. These techniques are very annoying for today’s consumer. Unlike in the past, consumers can choose what they want to consume and what they don’t want to consume. Therefore, they don’t have to wait for your ad to end to continue watching the series they want. Inbound marketing is the methodology that adapts to the consumer’s desires and achieves customer acquisition through the creation and publication of valuable content. It is a completely non-invasive strategy that forgets about the brand and focuses on the customer as a person with needs and desires.
- Make comparisons between different brands: in the past, it was necessary to go from store to store to evaluate each product and decide which was better. Today, however, all you need is a mobile device. Consumers look for comparisons, make use of comparison sites, and search for information in forums. They are discerning, they want a quality product that is practical, durable and priced accordingly.
- Speed of purchase: eliminates unnecessary forms and endless processes. Today’s consumer gives priority to immediacy. Technological progress is one of the factors responsible for this behavior, causing society to have the things it wants in the blink of an eye. Make sure your website is fast, has a responsive design and allows you to make purchases without making the customer desperate.
- Collective feeling: consumers want to feel part of a community. Therefore, all the messages and actions you issue should help them achieve this.
- Fanatical about trends: they want to be the first to try out new products on the market. Being trendy has never been so fashionable.
Define your value proposition
The value proposition is a description detailing the benefits that your product or service brings to customers and what makes it different from the competition. In short, it is a strategy used to increase demand.
The value proposition manages to provoke interest in the minds of your potential customers, letting them see that an aspect of their life can be significantly improved with the arrival of your product or service. It also makes it stand out from others with similar features and uses.
On the other hand, with a value proposition, you will be addressing your target audience, focusing your efforts and your strategy on your potential customers, who are the ones you are really interested in.
How to develop a value proposition?
- Choose the point to highlight: make a short list with the attributes of your product that stand out the most, and choose one of them for the value proposition.
- Highlight the interest: you must tell your target audience the interest they have in your product or service.
- Stress the result: with the consumption and use of your offer, the customer will be able to obtain a result that is unmatched by any other brand.
- Globally: try to ensure that the value proposition is not only useful in one area, but that it makes sense anywhere.
Brand awareness and brand positioning
These two terms are often confused and considered synonymous. However, each has a separate meaning. Brand awareness or brand recognition refers to a series of techniques and measures necessary for a brand to be recognized by its consumers. The ultimate goal is that consumers, when they think of a product category, remember the brand.
Brand positioning is responsible for ensuring that the brand occupies a privileged place in the consumer’s mind. To achieve this, the brand must be recognized by the user. However, recognition does not imply positioning.
Now you know all the necessary steps of the recipe for success to position your product. Make a product that responds to the needs of your target and that will outperform the competition.