Product Positioning 101

Product positioning is a marketing strategy that businesses use to shape customers’ perception of products in the market. This is achieved by analyzing the market and competitors, then determining and communicating a product’s unique value proposition.

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A well-defined product positioning strategy helps to ensure that you’re conveying a clear message to your audience at every touchpoint. Take the example of Mailchimp, a SaaS that masters product positioning on their home page and in their key messaging statements.

Know Your Market

Product positioning is a marketing strategy that allows businesses to create a distinct brand image in the eyes of consumers. It helps companies identify their target audience, communicate the unique benefits of a new product or service, and build loyalty amongst customers. It is also a critical component in developing successful products and expanding business portfolios.

To develop an effective product positioning strategy, businesses need to understand their market and competition. By analyzing the current state of a market, businesses can determine what needs are unmet and develop products that address those needs. This process involves identifying the target market, understanding competitors’ positions in the market, and communicating the unique value of the product or service to the target audience.

One of the best resources for determining your market is existing customers. By creating customer persona profiles, you can find out what the primary pain points are in your target market and how your products can help address them. You can also use surveys, focus groups, or interviews to gather more in-depth feedback.

When you know what the key needs of your target audience are, it’s easy to come up with a compelling product positioning statement that will differentiate your products from competitors. This product positioning statement should be clear, concise, and rooted in the value that your products provide to your customers.

Know Your Competitors

The more you know about your competition, the better equipped you will be to craft an effective product positioning strategy. Performing competitive analysis gives you the information you need to distinguish your products from competitors, identify opportunities for growth and carve out a unique space in consumers’ minds.

Depending on the type of business you run, determining your competition can be straightforward or difficult. Direct competitors are businesses that offer the same services as your company, for example landscaping companies or car dealerships. Indirect competitors are businesses that meet the same needs in a different way, like local nurseries or home improvement stores.

You can find out about your competitors by looking at their advertising campaigns, visiting their websites and learning about their marketing strategies. Attending industry conferences or expos is another way to gain insight into your competition. You can also look at their pricing structure to see if it matches or exceeds yours and to learn what customers think about the quality of their products.

You can also use your sales team to identify the names of competitors that pop up during the sales process and conduct an online search for market keywords to see who appears on the search engine results page (SERP). You can use free tools like SpyFu to check out competitor SEO and AdWords campaigns.

Know Your Unique Selling Proposition

A unique selling proposition, also known as a USP, is what sets your product apart from the competition. Your USP should be a clear, concise statement about what makes your business stand out. It should be something that can be echoed throughout your marketing materials and sales pitches.

The best way to come up with your USP is to brainstorm about what you do better than the rest. It could be anything from your customer service to the features and benefits of your product. Then, figure out who your ideal customers are and what their pain points are. You can then compare those needs with who else you’re competing with in the market to determine your positioning strategy.

For example, if you are selling an environmentally conscious product, your USP might be “Bee’s Wrap offers a natural alternative to plastic wraps.” This is something that all members of your sales team can repeat with confidence during meetings with potential clients.

Be sure to avoid hyperbole in your USP. Using words like the best, only, and highest quality can be misleading to your prospects. A good USP is a promise that your business can truly fulfill. It’s not something your competitors can easily replicate. To learn more about how to position your products and services, try Aha! Roadmaps for free.

Know Your Value

The value of your product and its features should be clear to both the team members building it and the users consuming it. However, prospective customers aren’t as intimately acquainted with the design and development process, so you need to communicate your value in a way that resonates with them.

When it comes to product positioning, there are many different strategies to choose from. You can position your product as better, cheaper, more feature-rich, or simply different than the competition. Ultimately, you should select the one that best suits your product and its unique selling point.

If you’re not sure how to position your products and services, consider asking a group of people that use them regularly for feedback. Ask them what they value most about your product and why they think it’s the best option for them. This will give you a good idea of what you should focus on when creating your marketing messaging and delivering it to your target audience.

A great tool to help you determine the best ways to position your products and services is a product positioning matrix or map. These models allow you to visualize the differences between your product and its direct competitors across a range of key factors. For example, you can create a chart to compare your product’s benefits with the features that users most care about.