One of the first things your company should consider in the start-up phase is how you are going to position your product or service. Where you place your brand is the foundation your company will build its strategy. In this post today, we will be discussing what positioning is, why it’s important, and how your business can take advantage of the concept.
What is Positioning?
Positioning is a term used to describe where your product sits in the marketplace in comparison to your competition. It is the customer niche that your company intends to serve and what you want your customers to think of when they think of your brand.
“It is the specific market you intend to win, and why you are uniquely qualified to do so”, (April Dunford, Unbounce).
Positioning is determined by a variety of different factors but typically begins with price point and quality. Is your product a luxury product known for its quality and prestige, or it is a bargain brand based on wholesale? Knowing your product and the competitive landscape will guide your company to find where the gaps in the market are, and how your brand can exploit them.
Why is it important?
Positioning is important because it defines the market you are attempting to reach, and how you intend to win them over. It is the foundation of your audience segmentation, which is critical when determining your voice, packaging, and story.
By understanding your position within the market, your business will be able to understand the story your customers want to tell. What does your product tell customers about themselves? What message are they sharing with others when they use your product? That is where your brand comes from.
How to position your product.
The first step is to actually DO IT! It sounds simple enough, but many companies frequently create their product and launch without ever taking a deliberate, strategic, forward-looking position of their product. Instead, they launch their product into the same, default niche as their competitors without taking an outside perspective, and truly analyzing what they have created.
Determine your market, and your realistic customer. Is your product fitting their needs? What makes your product uniquely suited for your niche, and how can it add value to them?
When determining your niche, it is important to think small and targeted. Chances are, there is already an industry leader in your current category, but by choosing a smaller target audience, your product can fill their needs completely gaining you market share. By focusing your message and your offering, you can completely satisfy the needs of your customer.
Choose the pain point you want to highlight for your customers. Once you have your target audience and market determined, the work is not done yet. While your product may solve a myriad of problems for your customer, your homepage should focus on a “hero unit” (the primary problem you are solving) above the fold of your website.
(Note: Above the fold means the first section of your website before you need to scroll down to read more).
Choosing this single problem can be extremely challenging, which is where consumer research comes in. This doesn’t have to mean you hire a fancy firm to do an in-depth analysis. Consumer research can be as simple as picking up the phone and talking to your current customers. Talk to people, email people, send surveys, get feedback after your beta test; all of these are free and simple. By opening the door to conversation, common themes should start to emerge that can be used as a jumping off point.
Make your strength obvious, and your unique value proposition the centre of your messaging. Instead of answering the age-old, “How you are different than…”, your messaging should clearly demonstrate what makes you unique, and why you are the best.
For a full step by step positioning template, click here.
Setting up your business for success.
According to April Dunford, the success of a launch depends on how well you understand three things:
- The problem your product solves and the competition it faces.
- The true value your product delivers for customers.
Which types of customers care the most about that value and, most importantly, why?
How Ello Can Help
Positioning your company can be a challenging process but having an outside perspective can allow your organization to gain powerful insights. At Ello Marketing + Design Co, we offer marketing strategies built around positioning that are right for your company.
Our team will provide you with a competitive analysis as well as an internal review of your current customers. We work with our clients to find the right niche and create strategies to successfully capture their market.
Interested in grabbing a coffee to talk it over? Contact our team.