Product positioning is all about figuring out how consumers should perceive your product - whether it’s an app, a pair of shoes, or a food item. It can be a little tricky to master, but in this guide, we'll walk you through the process.
Read on if you want to be ahead of the game in 2022 (and beyond!).
What is product positioning?
Product positioning is all about creating the right image for your product in your target consumers' minds. It's about differentiating your product from rivals and making it more appealing to potential buyers.
The positioning strategies include key elements, from packaging and branding to advertising and promotion. It helps you see the spot between the company's capabilities and customers' needs. The ultimate goal is to deliver solid and clear marketing messages that will attract your target audience.
For example, a luxury car company might position its product as being for "successful professionals" while a budget airline might try to attract "cost-conscious travelers."
Ultimately, the goal is to ensure that consumers see your product as the best option available for their specific needs. It can be challenging, but getting it right can make a big difference to your bottom line.
Market research shows that Most C-suiters agreed that successful product positioning is among the primary responsibilities of product marketers. It's not surprising. After all, if potential customers don't understand what makes your product unique, they are unlikely to buy it.
Among the most noteworthy reasons why product positioning is something worth paying attention to are:
#Standing out from the competition
In a world with seemingly endless choices for consumers, product positioning can help your business stand out from the rest. In addition, it can make your product the obvious pick for potential customers if done well.
#Understanding your own value
Product positioning can also help you and your team better grasp the unique value proposition of your offering. By clearly understanding what sets your product apart, you can more effectively communicate its worth to customers and other stakeholders. It also helps you put a price point that accurately reflects its value.
#Creating a story around your brand
Storytelling is a powerful marketing tool, and product positioning can be integral to creating a solid narrative for your brand. With precise positioning, you can craft a marketing story that resonates and creates an emotional connection with potential customers – and inspire them to become loyal fans of your brand, as well as make repeat purchases.
Types of product positioning
When positioning a product, there are many different directions you can take.
For example, you can focus on the key benefits of your ideal solution, or you could take a more dynamic approach and try to evoke certain feelings in your audience.
To find the best one for your brand, you need to know them all.
Your product has that factor X
A variety-based product positioning strategy is about finding a unique selling proposition or product differentiators that set your solution apart from the other competitors. Any feature or benefit could be included here, from a specific one to something more general.
You should focus on how your product is different and what it offers that others don't. Then, when you've found your angle, use it in your marketing to ensure everyone knows what makes your product special.
If you're selling a new type of toothbrush with a built-in timer, your variety-based product strategy will focus on how your product helps people brush their teeth for the recommended two minutes. Then you would use this information to market your product, emphasizing how it can help people improve their oral health.
In quality positioning, the product is differentiated from others by its highest quality. You need to focus on how well your product is made and the materials that have gone into it.
It's essential to focus on both the internal and external aspects of quality. Among the internal factors can be, e.g., durability, while the external factors can be design and packaging. You should also highlight any awards or recognition that your product has received.
If you're selling a luxury watch, your quality-based positioning strategy highlights that it's made with the finest materials and by master craftsmen. You want to show that all pieces have been thoroughly checked and have the highest quality possible.
Your product delivers superior performance
To position your product as a great performer (performance-based product positioning), you need to focus on its results. It could be anything from how well it cleans to how much money it saves people.
It's vital to have concrete evidence to back up your claims of superior performance. These could be customer testimonials, independent reviews, or before-and-after photos.
Selling a vacuum cleaner that promises to clean better than any other on the market would require focusing on the results it delivers. You need to show how much dirt and dust it can remove from carpets and floors and how quickly and easily it does so.
Your product improves people's lives
Your focus in efficiency-based product positioning is on how your product simplifies a problematic task, provides entertainment, or makes people's lives easier. Think about how your product can help people save time or enjoy life more.
By focusing on how your product improves people's lives, you can create a solid emotional connection with your customers. As a result, they'll be more likely to remember your product when they need it and recommend it to others.
As with performance-based positioning, evidence is essential to back up your claims. Customer testimonials are a great way to do this. Stepping into your customers' shoes is key to showing them how your product uniquely solves their problems.
Let's assume that you have a time-saving app that helps people be more productive. In your product positioning statement, you might say, "Our app is the best way to save time and get more done. It's helped thousands of people be more productive and efficient."
Your product affects the senses
Unlike other types of product positioning, this one does not require comparison to the competitors. Instead, it's all about how your product makes people feel. It can be done by focusing on the senses.
A sensory- and aesthetic-based positioning strategy involves how your product looks, feels, smells, and how your customers respond emotionally to it. When you focus on the senses, you can create a more personal connection with your customers. They'll be able to imagine using your product and feel how it would improve their lives.
Let's imagine that you're selling candles. But they're not just ordinary candles. They're soy candles with a wooden wick that crackles when it burns. Their fragrance fills the entire room and lingers long after they are extinguished. You can reminisce about your best days and relax after a hard day. Have you already felt it?
Your product is worth trusting
The customers want to trust the company and the product they are buying. Reliability-based product positioning is all about trust and credibility. Your customers need to feel confident that your product will work as advertised and that they can rely on it.
This type of positioning is often used by companies that sell essential or life-saving products, such as medical equipment or car safety features.
You are selling a new type of car safety feature. It's an airbag for the back seat that will deploy in the event of a rear-end collision. You position your product as the most reliable and trustworthy option on the market because it has been tested rigorously and meets or exceeds all safety standards.
Your product is sustainable
Sustainability-based product positioning is becoming increasingly important to consumers, especially younger generations. Half of the consumers say they've paid a premium (an average of 59% more) for sustainable or socially responsible products. So if your product is eco-friendly, you should definitely use that as a crucial part of your positioning strategy.
When you focus on sustainability, you can appeal to a wide range of consumers looking for environmentally friendly products. For example, you can highlight the fact that your product is made from sustainable materials or that it's biodegradable. You can also emphasize how it supports fair trade practices or gives back to the community.
You're selling organic, fair trade coffee. Your product positioning statement can look like this: "Our coffee is the best way to enjoy a delicious cup of coffee while supporting sustainable practices. To preserve their flavor, the beans are sourced from small farmers and roasted in small batches."
Your product helps to develop skills
Do-it-yourself product positioning is about more than just the product itself. It's about the customer experience of using the product and the satisfaction from completing a goal.
This type of positioning is often used by companies that sell products that require assembly or installation, such as furniture or home improvement products.
You are selling a new type of do-it-yourself kit. It includes everything you need to build a birdhouse. Your product is the most rewarding option, as it lets people create a personalized birdhouse, allows them to spend their time productively, and makes them feel accomplished.
3 Examples of great product positioning
Product positioning examples should give you a good idea of how to start thinking about positioning your product. Hopefully, these examples also show you that there is no one "right" way to do it. The important thing is that you spend time considering how you want your product to be seen by potential customers and then craft a positioning strategy to help you achieve that goal.
Here are four examples of companies that have done an excellent job with their product positioning.
Subscription-based razors which help you care for the planet? Here it is – Estrid is a Swedish company that positions its product exceptionally well. It hits the target market perfectly – it offers a personalized, sustainable, vegan razors kit that goes straight to your letterbox.
“Hair removal should be optional. Great hair removal shouldn’t”.
It distinguishes itself from other female-focused, rosy brands by being a rebel one that's not afraid to use harsh language and honest stories. Everything from the company's packaging to social media feels very relevant and casual, with a tone that fluctuates when necessary.
It positions itself as the brand for modern women who want to feel confident, stylish, and happy without breaking the bank – all while being among eco-friendly companies.
#2 Red Bull
Here is an example of product positioning focused on factor X. Red Bull has positioned itself as the "premier energy drink" and has done an excellent job of creating a strong brand identity.
When you think of Red Bull, you probably think of the intense marketing campaigns featuring extreme sports athletes.
“Giving wings to people and ideas.”
It is all part of Red Bull's effort to position itself as an edgy, exciting brand. While there are other energy drinks on the market, Red Bull has done a great job making itself the go-to choice for people who want an energy boost. It can be concluded that, with its positioning, Red Bull has left no more gaps in this market category to fill.
For years, Taco Bell was unbeatable when it came to Mexican food available on the American market. Then Chipotle came in with its quality-focused offer. (It was the first US fast food chain to label all genetically modified ingredients).
Chipotle's mission is to provide:
“Food With Integrity.”
Chipotle's product positioning is simple yet effective: they're the "fast casual" option that's more expensive than fast food but cheaper and healthier than sit-down restaurants. It makes the "product" appealing to busy professionals who want a quick, tasty, and relatively healthy meal. Its product teams did a good job.
Create a winning product positioning strategy
As the competitive landscape changes, so too should your positioning strategy. Keep in mind that product positioning is an ongoing process.
By regularly reassessing and tweaking your approach, your product will always have that extra sparkle that sets it apart from the rest and provide you with long-term success.
Therefore, you must constantly determine your audience's needs. And this is something Survicate is best for. We think you'll love this survey software – check it out if you don't want to miss its ready-to-use survey templates.
Customer Experience Expert at Survicate
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Kinga is the creative owner of Brainy Bees. Kinga has over ten years of experience in marketing and delivering a bespoke customer experience across the B2B and B2C fields while redefining a client-first approach. She knows that insights are everywhere, kindness in business is no longer optional, and simply following trends is no longer enough. Also, Kinga operates at SaaStock as a Country Leader.
NET PROMOTER, NPS, AND THE NPS-RELATED EMOTICONS ARE REGISTERED U.S. TRADEMARKS, AND NET PROMOTER SCORE AND NET PROMOTER SYSTEM ARE SERVICE MARKS, OF BAIN & COMPANY, INC., SATMETRIX SYSTEMS, INC. AND FRED REICHHELD.