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Product positioning strategy

Common Mistakes to Avoid in Your Product Positioning Strategy

What is product positioning strategy?

One of the biggest challenges faced by brands is to identify how to sell their products. A product positioning strategy involves planning for the market and identifying ways to get customers to perceive the product in a particular way. A positioning strategy highlights the inherent qualities that distinguish your product from other counterparts in the market. A critical mistake that even some of the best marketers make while formulating their product positioning or even their brand positioning strategy is that they presume positioning to be primarily driven by promotions. However, building a good positioning strategy has to do with more than merely undertaking rapid promotions for the product or the brand.

Why is a product positioning strategy important?

Product positioning strategy

Effective product positioning ensures that marketing messages resonate with target consumers and compel them to take action. Request a free proposal to know how we can help you formulate an effective product positioning strategy.

What are the common product positioning mistakes that brands make?

Most products that aren’t positioned correctly ultimately end up in the consumer graveyard. If you want to formulate a good product positioning strategy for a new product or re-positioning an existing one, here are some of the common product positioning mistakes that you must avoid:

Product positioning strategy mistake #1: Diversifying products in unrelated markets

When a new product is introduced keep the target audience in mind and ensure that the product is related to what customers associate your brand with. For instance, if a popular toothpaste brand decides to venture into ready-to-eat meals, they will most likely fail. Furthermore, the brand positioning strategy should be in such a way that the customers trust the brand to offer best-in-class products. It would always be beneficial to do a trial run before a full-fledged entry into a new market or even a new product category.

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Product positioning strategy mistake #2: Product launch when the market is not ready

Introducing a poorly positioned product before a market is ready for it could be a grave mistake for brands. Take the instance of Apple’s Newton PDA that hit the markets in the early 90s. This was a period when people were not even accustomed to mobile phones and Filofax diary and business cards were the key tools used for time management and networking. The product was highly criticized for its poor handwriting recognition and the huge price tag associated with it.

Product positioning strategy mistake #3: Ineffective communication of the use cases

One of the key questions that consumers ask themselves before purchasing a new product is why they should buy the product and what are the use cases that the product would serve. Apart from a strong product positioning strategy, it is also essential for businesses to have a clear competitive positioning strategy in place. This will ensure that consumers not only understand the uses of your product, but also become convinced as to why they should opt for your product when compared to other similar products in the market.

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brand positioning

Achieving Successful Brand Positioning in Your Market

What is brand positioning?

A Strong brand is what sets apart the products of one company from another.  Companies use brand positioning strategies to create a brand association in the minds of customers in order to make them perceive a brand in a particular manner. Effective brand positioning maximizes customer relevancy and competitive distinctiveness while enhancing the brand value in the market. The extent to which a brand is considered as favorable, credible, and unique by customers determines the success or failure of a company’s  positioning strategy.

What is a brand positioning statement?

A brand positioning statement refers to a brief description communicated to the target customers about the brand’s unique value in relation to the key market competitors. It is an expression of how the company’s products fills the gaps in a particular customer need better than the competitor brands in the market. It involves identifying a market niche and then establishing the brand in that area.

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Steps in an effective brand positioning strategy

Brand positioningA successful brand positioning strategy requires companies to deep dive into the brand details and discover their unique selling propositions that make their offerings unique and more desirable than similar products in the market. Experts at Infiniti Research have highlighted six critical steps to create an effective brand positioning strategy:

Determine current brand positioning 

One of the first steps towards creating an effective brand positioning strategy is to determine your brand’s current positioning. This gives you important insights into where to go next and also provides an opportunity to further analyze the competition. Start by segmenting and defining your target customers. The next step is to identify your brand’s vision and values and understand what makes your brand different from others in the market.

Determine your competition

Using competitor analysis, you can analyze your key competitors in the market. This will help you gain a better idea of who you are up against in the market and what their key strategies are. Some of the key methods you can use to determine your competition include:

  • Market research
  • Customer feedback
  • Social media

Identify your unique selling proposition

A successful brand positioning is all about communicating to customers about what makes your brand different from the others. Competitor research will reveal patterns in the business operations of competitors that would have been previously unnoticed. Also, as you examine the strengths and weaknesses of the competitors, you may notice that their weakness is your strength. You can use this as a key element in promoting your brand positioning strategy.

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Create a brand positioning statement

As mentioned earlier, a brand positioning statement is a comprehensive declaration that communicates your brand’s unique value to your customers. Before drafting a positioning statement, some of the questions that you must answer includes:

  • Who are your target customers?
  • What are the categories that you deal in?
  • What are the core benefits that your products offer?
  • What is the proof of those benefits?

Test your brand positioning statement

Creating a brand positioning statement is only the beginning. The real challenge lies in testing and gathering feedback on whether the  positioning strategy is living up to what is expected. You must take out time to gather feedback from the target customer and identify if there are any improvements that can be made to achieve the desired result.

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Building a Strong Market Positioning Statement: What Companies Must Do

What is market positioning?

Market positioning outlines what businesses must do to market their products or services to the target customers. It involves the ability to influence consumer perception regarding a brand or its offerings relative to competitors. The primary objective here is to establish the brand identity or image in order to change consumer perception in the desired manner.

Types of market positioning strategy

An effective market positioning strategy encompasses advertising, branding, promotion, pricing, product development, and sales and distribution. Some of the common types of market positioning include:

Customer needs

This type of market positioning strategy involves identifying the company’s target customers and how they intend to satisfy customer needs. This can include the functionality of the product and the experience that they gain from using the product.

Customer perceptions

It is always beneficial for brands to capture the imagination of their customers. This not only helps create a lasting impression on the minds of the customers but also help the company to better plan their market positioning strategy.

Brand recognition

This is one of the most commonly used types of market positioning strategy wherein a brand promotes some basic visual symbols and information associated to itself in such a way that customers easily recognize the brand through these symbols/information. For instance, the logo of Mc Donald’s is unique, and its eye-catching yellow logo is enough for customers to recognize the brand.

Pricing

Pricing is a primary strategy used for competition. Except for luxury goods, markets for most other goods are price sensitive, however, customers do not want to compromise on the quality. So, companies that offer goods at a lower price and with a reasonable level of quality tends to win in most markets. Furthermore, one of the key ways for brands to outperform competitors is with the superior level of quality.

Customer service

Customer services prior to, during, and after the course of purchase is one of the key factors that lead to better market positioning. Customers favor companies that offer better customer service, this is especially true in the case of goods such as electronics and automobiles wherein customers spend more time before making purchase decisions.

Being more diligent and responsive than the competition is integral for business success

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Use or application

Market positioning strategy based on the use or application of the brand involves positioning a product depending on the uses that customers can derive from that product. For instance, for several years Nescafe positioned themselves as a winter product and extensively invested in product advertisements during winters. However, the advent of cold coffee has urged them to build a market positioning strategy for summers as well. Introducing new uses and applications of a product is a measure undertaken deliberately in order to expand the brand’s market.

How to create an effective market positioning strategy?

Building a market positioning strategy is essential for businesses to identify how their brand is perceived in the market and making necessary changes to change these perceptions in the desired manner. Experts at Infiniti Research have listed out some key techniques for brands to create an effective market positioning strategy:

Determine the USP

Unique selling proposition (USP) sets a brand or its products apart from their counterparts in the market. Companies must make efforts to compare and contrast the differences with that of the counterparts in the market. Increased emphasis should be given to the strengths and how they can be leveraged to exploit the available opportunities.

Identify current market position

Analyze the company’s current market position. This helps determine if any changes are required in the current market positioning strategy. In case any changes are required, it also helps determine how new positioning will be beneficial in setting the company apart from other players in the market.

Competitor positioning analysis

Businesses must analyze the current conditions in the marketplace the amount of influence that each player in the market can place on each other. This gives a better picture of who the company is competing against in the market and what their key strategies are.

Develop effective market positioning strategy

Once the company has identified what their brand is and how they are different from competitors, the next step is to evaluate the market conditions, and other opportunities and threats in the market. This way the company has to decide how they wish to position themselves in the market.

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