Product positioning is a very important tool for an effective marketing strategic planning. Product positioning creates an image of the company’s products in the mind of consumers, highlighting the most important benefits that differentiate the product from similar products in the market. Product positioning involves identifying points of parity and points of differentiation that enable a company’s product to both meet market standards while offering consumers additional value on key dimensions such as quality, innovation, price, leadership, and functionality, among others.
Product positioning starts with identifying the specific, niche market segments to target e.g. not just working professionals but single working professionals of age group 25-30 years, having an annual income of $50,000-$60,000, and enjoy adventure activities. After segmenting the target market by demographic and psychographic attributes, marketers must understand customer needs. With well-defined target segments, product positioning enables a company to meet very specific needs of a particular market segment, offering value that may not be provided by competitors.
Marketers must keep an eye on the competitiion while considering positioning elements of their marketing strategy. An effective positioning must convey a message to customers why this company’s product should be preferred over the other competitor’s products of similar nature. In other words, the company should not go by the flow of the market i.e. copying what the competitors are doing rather they need to stand out from the crowd by offering distinguishing or differentiated product attributes and other value added services.
The next stage is how to communicate the differentiated offerings to the identified niche market segments. This is possible by selecting the appropriate communication channels that are tailored to connect with their identified target audience when they will be most receptive to these messages. Say for example, a sports car manufacturer position their products through communication via television advertisements during sports events like formula one. They also use print media by running full page high resolution color ads in sports magazines.
It is important that the business incorporate the product positioning across all facets of the business, including manufacturing and customer service in order to ensure consistency of the positioning from the consumer’s standpoint. Further, the positioning must not only align with other divisions and with the current corporate objectives, but also provide long-term sustainability and remain relevant for product variants and for future market scenarios. Using strong product positioning is a key component to the success of the Marketing Strategy and to meeting overall corporate objectives.
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