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Positioning

Positioning is about where your business is in relation to your competitors - how your business stands out from the crowd. This can give you a better understanding of why your target audience should choose your particular company or product. Read more about positioning here.

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What is positioning?

Positioning is the concept of how a product, company or brand differentiates itself from competitors in accordance with the needs and desires of the target audience. For example, you can be positioned as "the best quality" or "the cheapest".

The purpose of good positioning is to create a unique identity that your target audience will find reliable and can identify with, creating the place your company wants in their minds and creating a profile that is clearly different from the competition. After all, if your company, product or brand doesn't differentiate itself from the competition, there's no point in being singled out. If your company, product or brand secures the "number one spot" in the minds of your target audience, you are talking about a 'top-of-mind-placement'.

Positioning process

In order to determine the positioning of your company, you must first analyse which factors your target group values most, know their buying behaviourand their needs and wishes must be identified. These vary depending on whether you are dealing with B2B or B2C customers. These are the factors in customers' considerations when choosing a company or product. You also need to assess whether your business can meet these factors.

Next, analyse how competitors are performing in the market. You should draw up an overview of the competitors' position in relation to the needs and requirements of the target group and your own company's position.

Based on the above analysis of customer needs and competitor positions, find the key benefits of your company's own product or brand.

You can now create a positioning map that visualises your position in relation to your competitors. A positioning map is a coordinate system where the x and y axes change depending on which factors your target audience has defined as being of most importance.

Many different positioning maps can be produced, but most often a price-quality diagram is produced. The most difficult part of constructing a positioning chart is selecting which factors to use. It is crucial that these are factors that the target audience has defined as the most important and relevant for the perception of the choice between products and brands. It strives to select factors on which your company can differentiate itself.

Next, the positioning platform must be defined. To do this, you should ask yourself the following questions:

  • What can your company do that your competitors can't?
  • What can your company do better than the competition?

Your company's positioning platform is the basis for your company's marketing efforts towards the target audience.

USP

Unique Selling Proposition is an expression of if you have an area in which your company's product is unique and alone about it. Perhaps your company or product has one or more attributes that none of your competitors have. A USP is what the target audience perceives and draws out of the product. An example of a USP might be the slogan in advertising.

ESP

Similarly, your company can position itself on something emotional about your company or its product. This is called Emotional Selling Proposition (ESP). An ESP is something subjective, a kind of taste quality that distinguishes your product from competitors' - for example, images and sounds in advertising.

ISP

If your company markets its product or message with irony or sarcasm, it is called Ironic Selling Proposition. This would include, for example, the use of humour in advertising.

If your company cannot differentiate itself on these parameters, what your company can do better than the competition must be the starting point. For example, your company may have a product at the best price or offer the best service.

The essence of positioning is how your company can and will market its product as being different from those of its competitors.

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Martino Mike d'Apuzzo

Partner & Senior Digital Advisor

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