Product positioning can make all the difference between having a killer idea with tons of potential and being a successful business that capitalizes on its ingenuity. Knowing how to market your product effectively is as essential as having a product to sell, and executing your plan effectively can open doors for your business with exciting quickness.
What is product positioning?
The concept of product positioning revolves around knowing the target audience or audiences, for your product. Rose Wheeler, an e-commerce expert writing for Motley Fool’s The Blueprint, describes product positioning as essential for marketing strategy, helping you set your product apart from your competitors’ offerings.
Product positioning, simply put, involves finding the space where your product has the best chance to thrive in the market. Once there, you determine who your product is for, and how what you sell caters to them better than products offered by your competitors. This allows you to craft a successful marketing strategy that puts your product in front of the right eyes.
Creating a positioning statement
Effective product positioning begins with a vision, and that vision is best laid out via a positioning statement. Before you put pen to paper, you’ll want to put boots to pavement and figure out who your competition is, what they’re offering similar to your product, and how your product is better.
This information is crucial for effectively selling your product to your intended audience. Market research will also allow you to find your target segments, which will influence your marketing message. As the editorial staff at Inc. suggests, your demographics could be as broad as teenagers, or as particular as working women with higher incomes and a preference toward green living.
Once you know who you’re selling to and what advantages you have over your competitors, you have everything you need to craft a positioning statement. D.P. Taylor, a business software expert and contributor to The Blueprint, says a successful positioning statement has five core elements: the name of your brand or product, your target customer, your industry segment, what benefits your product has for your customer, and the differences between what you sell and what your competitors sell.
Different positioning strategies to consider
Once you have a sense of the competition and the target audience, you can set about the business of crafting a marketing strategy. How you go about pushing your product will depend on those factors.
Houston Chronicle contributor Amy Guettler lays out some of the core tenets of positioning, including product quality, value, price and problem-solving. If your positioning research found your product sells at a better price or is better produced than what other businesses sell, you can easily build a strategy around these benefits for a broader appeal across demographics.
If, however, your research finds your audience is willing to pay a higher price for better quality, you can use that to your advantage. Jim Woodruff, also with the Houston Chronicle, asserts focusing on the benefits of better product quality gives you the opportunity to embrace a higher price point, creating demand with customers willing to pay more to get more.
Another surefire approach is to push your product as a solution to a problem customers might have. Guettler provides the example of prepackaged chopped vegetables, which solves the problem of working parents not having enough time to prep vegetables for meals. If you can synthesize benefits — offering sustainably prepackaged vegetables that are organically grown, for example — you can better differentiate your product.
Having a solid grasp on your product positioning is key to taking your brand to the next level. By taking the steps early in the game to figure out where your product fits in, you can ensure that it will thrive once it hits the market.