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Positioning (marketing)

From Academic Kids

In marketing, positioning is the technique by which marketers try to create an image or identity for a product, brand, or organisation. It is the 'place' a product occupies in a given market as perceived by the target market. Positioning is something that is done in the minds of the target market. A product's position is how potential buyers see the product. Positioning is expressed relative to the position of competitors. The term was coined in 1969 by Jack Trout in his paper, ""Positioning" is a game people play in today’s me-too market place" in the publication, Industrial Marketing.

Re-positioning involves changing the identity of a product, relative to the identity of competing products, in the collective minds of the target market.

Contents

Product positioning strategy

The ability to spot a positioning opportunity is a sure test of a person's marketing ability. Successful positioning strategies are usually rooted in a product's sustainable competitive advantage. The most common basis for constructing a product positioning strategy are:

  • positioning on specific product features
  • positioning on specific benefits, needs, or solutions
  • positioning on specific use categories
  • positioning on specific usage occasions
  • positioning against another product
  • positioning through product class dissociation
  • positioning by cultural symbols

Product positioning process

Generally, the product positioning process involves:

  • 1 identifying competing products
  • 2 identifying the attributes (also called dimensions) that define the product 'space'
  • 3 collecting information from a sample of customers about their perceptions of each product on the relevant attributes
  • 4 determine each products' share of mind
  • 5 determine each products' current location in the product space
  • 6 determine the target market's preferred combination of attributes (referred to as an ideal vector)
  • 7 examine the fit between:
    • the positions of competing products
    • the position of your product
    • the position of the ideal vector
  • 8 select optimum position

The process is similar for positioning your company's services. Services, however, don't have the physical attributes of products - that is, we can't feel them or touch them or show nice product pictures. So you need to ask first your customers and then yourself, what value do clients get from my services? How are they better off from doing business with me? Also ask: is there a characteristic that makes my services different?

Write out the value customers derive and the attributes your services offer to create the first draft of your positioning. Test it on people who don't really know what you do or what you sell, watch their facial expressions and listen for their response. When they want to know more because you've piqued their interest and started a conversation, you'll know you're on the right track.

Positioning concepts

More generally, there are three types of positioning concepts:

  • 1 functional positions
    • solve problems
    • provide benefits to customers
  • 2 symbolic positions
    • self-image enhancement
    • ego identification
    • belongingness and social meaningfulness
    • affective fulfillment
  • 3 experiential positions
    • provide sensory stimulation
    • provide cognitive stimulation

Measuring the positioning

Positioning is facilitated by a graphical technique called perceptual mapping, various survey techniques, and statistical techniques like multi dimensional scaling, factor analysis, conjoint analysis, and logit analysis.

See also

References

  • Trout, J., (1969) ""Positioning" is a game people play in today’s me-too market place", Industrial Marketing, Vol.54, No.6, (June 1969), pp.51-55.
  • Ries, A. and Trout,J. (1981) Positioning, The battle for your mind, Warner Books - McGraw-Hill Inc., New York, 1981, ISBN 0-446-34794-9
  • Trout, J. and Rivkin, S. (1996) The New Positioning : The latest on the worlds #1 business strategy, McGraw Hill, New York, 1996, ISBN 0-07-065291-0
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