Perception is Reality: Market Positioning
Market Positioning refers to the ability to influence consumer perception about a brand or product relative to competitors. So whether you want your brand to be seen as Luxury, Sporty, Safe, or Reliable, you need to communicate to the market in a way that makes that attribute stand out against your competition and stick in the consumer's mind. The example above isn't completely accurate but gives you an idea of a perceptual map of the auto industry.
There are several types of positioning strategies. You could position by:
Product attributes and benefits: Associating your brand/product with certain characteristics or with certain beneficial value
Product price: Associating your brand/product with competitive pricing
Product quality: Associating your brand/product with high quality
Product use and application: Associating your brand/product with a specific use
Competitors: Making consumers think that your brand/product is better than your competitors
Follow these 4 steps to craft your positioning statement and clarify your place in the market:
1. Figure out what makes you different or unique compared to your competition.
“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”― Sun Tzu, The Art of War
What are your strengths? What are your competition's weaknesses? Where are the opportunities?
2. Identify current market position
As objectively as possible, Identify your existing market position and how the new positioning will be beneficial in setting you apart from competitors.
3. Competitor positioning analysis
List out 5-10 of your competitors and how you see their current market positioning. What are they currently saying to try to differentiate themselves?
4. Develop a positioning strategy
With this thorough understanding of your sector, you can craft your positioning strategy and consistently tell the market how you are different and how you will deliver where others have failed.
Examples of Market Positioning in competitive spaces:
Pay attention to ads and see how each brand tries to position itself to be perceived as different and more valuable. What do they say? How do they say it?