Product Strategy

Product Positioning

What is Product Positioning?
Definition of Product Positioning
Product positioning strategy involves definitively identifying current sustainable competitive true differentiators, then creatively matching both rational and emotional target customer needs analysis better than alternatives, warranting pricing premiums. These differentiators are convincingly conveyed through consistent marketing messaging reinforced across integrated touchpoints and sequenced buyer journey user experiences. Together, these distinctively convey the positioning, delivering true category leading product value propositions depth with intended market segment resonance.

Product positioning is a critical aspect of product management and operations. It refers to the process of determining how to present a product or service to the market in a way that distinguishes it from competitors and resonates with the target audience. The positioning of a product can significantly influence its perception and acceptance in the market, thereby impacting its overall success.

This article will delve into the intricacies of product positioning, exploring its definition, importance, strategies, and real-world examples. It will also shed light on its role in product management and operations, providing a comprehensive understanding of this vital concept.

Overview of Product Positioning

Product positioning is a marketing strategy that aims to make a product stand out from its competitors in the market. It involves creating a unique, consistent, and recognizable customer perception about a product. The positioning of a product is often conveyed through the product's branding, advertising, and promotion strategies.

Product positioning is not just about promoting the product's features or benefits. It's about shaping how customers perceive the product in relation to other offerings in the market. It's about creating a unique space for the product in the customer's mind, making it the preferred choice among the alternatives.

Elements of Product Positioning

Product positioning involves several key elements, each playing a crucial role in shaping the product's market image. These include the target market, the market need, the product's features and benefits, the competition, and the product's unique selling proposition (USP).

The target market refers to the specific group of customers that the product aims to serve. The market need is the problem or desire that the product seeks to address. The product's features and benefits are the tangible and intangible aspects that deliver value to the customers. The competition refers to the other products or services that vie for the same customer attention. The USP is the unique aspect that sets the product apart from its competitors.

Importance of Product Positioning

Product positioning is crucial for several reasons. Firstly, it helps differentiate the product from its competitors, making it stand out in the crowded market. This differentiation can be based on various factors such as price, quality, features, benefits, or even the brand's personality or values.

Secondly, product positioning helps shape customer perceptions and expectations about the product. It influences how customers perceive the product's value, quality, and relevance to their needs or desires. This perception can significantly impact the product's acceptance and success in the market.

Strategies for Product Positioning

There are several strategies that businesses can use to position their products. The choice of strategy depends on various factors such as the product's nature, the target market, the competition, and the company's overall marketing objectives.

Some common product positioning strategies include positioning based on product attributes, benefits, use or application, user category, competition, price, or quality. Each of these strategies focuses on a different aspect of the product or the market, aiming to create a unique and compelling product image.

Positioning Based on Product Attributes

Positioning based on product attributes involves highlighting the unique features or characteristics of the product. This strategy is often used for products that have distinctive or innovative features that set them apart from the competition.

For example, a smartphone manufacturer may position its product based on its high-resolution camera, long battery life, or advanced security features. This strategy helps the product stand out by focusing on its unique attributes that deliver value to the customers.

Positioning Based on Benefits

Positioning based on benefits involves highlighting the unique benefits or value that the product delivers to the customers. This strategy is often used for products that solve a specific problem or meet a specific need for the customers.

For example, a skincare product may be positioned based on its ability to reduce wrinkles, improve skin texture, or protect against sun damage. This strategy helps the product stand out by focusing on the unique benefits it delivers, making it relevant and attractive to the target customers.

Role of Product Positioning in Product Management & Operations

Product positioning plays a crucial role in product management and operations. It influences various aspects of product development, marketing, and sales, shaping the product's overall success in the market.

From a product management perspective, product positioning helps define the product's direction and focus. It guides the product development process, influencing decisions about the product's features, benefits, pricing, and target market. It also shapes the product's marketing and sales strategies, guiding decisions about the product's branding, promotion, and distribution.

Product Development

In the product development stage, product positioning helps identify the product's unique selling proposition (USP). This USP guides the development of the product's features and benefits, ensuring they align with the desired market position.

For example, if a product is positioned as a high-end luxury item, the product development team would focus on creating features and benefits that reflect this positioning, such as premium materials, sophisticated design, or exclusive benefits.

Marketing and Sales

In the marketing and sales stage, product positioning shapes the product's branding, advertising, and promotion strategies. It guides the creation of the product's brand image, messaging, and communication channels, ensuring they align with the desired market position.

For example, if a product is positioned as an affordable solution for budget-conscious customers, the marketing team would focus on creating promotional campaigns that highlight the product's cost-effectiveness, value for money, or budget-friendly benefits.

Real-World Examples of Product Positioning

Product positioning is a widely used strategy in various industries. Many successful brands have used product positioning to differentiate their products, shape customer perceptions, and achieve market success.

Here are a few real-world examples of product positioning.

Apple's iPhone

Apple has positioned its iPhone as a premium, innovative, and user-friendly smartphone. This positioning is reflected in the iPhone's high-quality materials, advanced features, intuitive user interface, and premium pricing. It's also conveyed through Apple's sleek and sophisticated branding, advertising, and store design.

This positioning has helped the iPhone stand out in the crowded smartphone market, attracting customers who value quality, innovation, and user-friendliness. It has also shaped customer perceptions about the iPhone, associating it with premium quality, cutting-edge technology, and superior user experience.

Volvo Cars

Volvo Cars has positioned its vehicles as safe, reliable, and family-friendly. This positioning is reflected in Volvo's focus on safety features, durability, and comfort. It's also conveyed through Volvo's branding and advertising, which often highlight the brand's commitment to safety and family values.

This positioning has helped Volvo stand out in the competitive automobile market, attracting customers who value safety, reliability, and family-friendliness. It has also shaped customer perceptions about Volvo, associating it with safety, dependability, and family comfort.

Conclusion

Product positioning is a vital aspect of product management and operations. It helps differentiate a product, shape customer perceptions, guide product development and marketing strategies, and ultimately, influence the product's market success.

Understanding and effectively implementing product positioning can provide a significant competitive advantage, enabling a product to stand out, resonate with the target customers, and achieve market success.