Become a Market Leader: Mastering the Art of Product Positioning
Valentin Huang 07/10/2023 Glossary
6 Minutes

How do you make your product stand out in a crowded and competitive market? How do you communicate the value and benefits of your product to your target customers? And how do you create a lasting impression and a loyal fan base for your product?

These are some of the questions that product positioning can help you answer. In this blog, we will explain what product positioning is and why it is important for businesses. 

Product Positioning: What is it?

Simply put, product positioning refers to the process of determining and communicating how a brand intends its product to be perceived and felt by its market. It is a unique marketing strategy that presents the key benefits of the brand's products and services to the respective target audience in a presentable way.

By relying on focus groups, observations, and rigorous market research, marketers can efficiently determine the type of audiences that should be targeted in the market. The target audience is selected on the basis of favorable responses to the brand’s product. A wonderful product positioning is exhibited to your target audience: how a product can solve the customer’s problems and why the solution is better than the rest of the products available in the market. 

Going further, to position your product in a worthy place, knowledge and understanding of ideation will help you unlock new insights and uncover unique positioning opportunities that will differentiate your products from those of your competitors.

Product positioning is, in essence, a strategic effort that determines the most appropriate place for your excellent products and services in a constantly evolving marketplace. The ultimate goal is to effortlessly demonstrate the superiority of your product over available alternatives.

When brands closely explore the essence of their target audience, their desires and aspirations, product positioning defines their product's distinctive ability to satisfy consumer needs like no other in the marketplace. Thus, it forms the basis of the marketing narrative.


Why Product Positioning is Significant

There are not many products that offer a 100% compatible solution for all market segments. If one strives to create a diverse and far-reaching marketing story and connect with all segments of the population, one will most likely fail to achieve lasting resonance with even a single group. Therefore, it is important for product teams to recognize the market segments that will work best with their product category.

The value of new and existing products must be articulated and conveyed in a way that resonates especially with the respective audience. For example, a fashion company wants to promote its luxury clothing line to affluent consumers. Rather than positioning it as "affordable," it is more appropriate to promote it as the go-to choice for the most influential people within the higher-income demographic.

If you do not want to stick to just one position for a particular product, you can always make more than one position. The primary aim is to make your product an ideal option for the chosen market segment. If your product caters to the needs of more than one demographic, you can simply craft a unique positioning strategy for each segment.

To expand your product positioning strategy, learning about the (USP) unique selling proposition will help. Developing a compelling USP will strengthen your product positioning strategy and help you differentiate your offering and captivate your target audience.

A Step-by-Step Guide to Positioning Products

The art of product positioning is multidimensional and cross-functional. You have to rely on marketing and product management functions to present the best face of your product to the target market. In essence, you can bring out the differentiating spirit of your product by considering the following steps:

Step 1: Know your Persona

It all starts with increasing and improving your knowledge of your preferred target consumers.

As you delve into the psyche of your potential buyers, you have to learn more than just their age ranges and geographic location. It is crucial to comprehend their unique perspectives, aspirations, and influences. In this way, you can create a compelling narrative that resonates with their deepest desires. Likewise, creating marketing personas will fuel effective product positioning. 

Unveiling this valuable information is typically done through market research and surveys. For surveys, you can carefully select focus groups that align with your ideal personas. The purpose, again, is to cultivate a deep-rooted sense of the personality of your persona. As you do this, you can master the art of customizing the marketing message in an emotionally resonating manner.

Step 2: Study and Evaluate Your Competitors 

As mentioned earlier in the article, good product positioning requires two key characteristics:

  • identifying the optimal message about your product for your target market segment, and

  • conveying exactly why your product is way ahead of the rest of the competition in that market segment.

Carefully analyze and study the competitive landscape of your products in the marketplace. Do you find anything that your competitors are overlooking? An emotional trigger sometimes works best to create a lasting, recall-worthy position for your products in the minds of consumers.

You can conveniently fine-tune your market positioning by conducting careful competitor assessments. By differentiating your offerings from the rest of the crowd, you can weave an enchanting narrative and dive toward the pinnacle of success in the bustling marketplace.

Step 3: Crafting the Persona Perception for Your Product

Next, you have to unravel the most difficult step in the process. You are expected to carve a distinctive image of your products in the minds of your valued customers. By incorporating the information you've learned about your ideal customer, it's time to weave your desires into the uncharted terrain of the product market.

The art of product positioning goes beyond merely conveying the unique value proposition for the products you offer. It is not just about features and benefits; it's about stirring emotions within your potential buyers. The brand must evoke a deep, positive feeling every time it crosses your path.

Remember that if you do nothing to encourage favorable emotional reactions in your buyers, over time they may develop their own reactions.

Small Businesses and Product Positioning

Market research doesn't have to be a daunting task, especially if you are a small business owner. The best, and perhaps easiest, opportunity is to reach out to your inner circle and get their product feedback. By analyzing realistic sales data from these consumers, you can modify any future product positioning strategy. This is a useful, data-driven approach that goes beyond mere speculative behavior. Instead, you have a window into the actual actions and behaviors of consumers.

You don't always need a big marketing budget to harness the power of product positioning. Let your customers' purchases become your guide, understand them to the core and learn the art of effective communication to build a solid marketing plan.


Apple: A Compelling Example of Product Positioning

Consider Apple as a great example of product positioning. Focusing primarily on the elements of innovation, design, and customer experience. Apple has successfully mastered the art of staying ahead in a fiercely competitive landscape, all while cultivating an unwavering sense of identity.

The triad of innovation, design, and customer-centricity is the cornerstone of Apple's reign, captivating hearts, and minds worldwide. Apple embraces a profound purpose – empowering the people through technology, granting them a voice, and fuelling a movement of empowerment.

Simplicity becomes their guiding principle, unraveling complexity from people's lives, and inviting them into a realm of effortless engagement. Apple wants its consumers to surrender to the allure of Apple, where emotions intertwine with technology, and a world of limitless possibilities awaits.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What do you mean by product positioning?

Product positioning refers to the strategic process of shaping how a product is perceived by the target market. It involves crafting a distinctive image and value proposition that sets the product apart from competitors, resonates with the needs and desires of the intended audience, and establishes a favorable position in the minds of consumers.

What are the 4 types of product positioning?

The four types of product positioning are:

  • Attribute positioning: Focusing on specific product attributes or features that differentiate it from competitors, such as speed, durability, or price.

  • Benefit positioning: Highlighting the unique benefits and advantages that the product offers to the target market, addressing their needs, desires, or pain points.

  • Use or application positioning: Positioning the product based on its specific use or application, targeting a particular context or situation in which the product excels.

  • Competitor positioning: Positioning the product by directly comparing it to competitors, emphasizing superiority, or addressing perceived weaknesses in competing offerings.

What is a good example of product positioning? 

​​A good example of this is Apple's positioning of its iPhone as a premium, cutting-edge smartphone. Apple has carefully cultivated an image of innovation, sleek design and seamless user experience. By highlighting features such as advanced hardware, intuitive software and a seamless ecosystem of apps and services, Apple positions iPhone as a must-have device for tech-savvy people who value style, performance and being on the cutting edge of technology. This positioning has enabled Apple to command a premium price point and build a loyal customer base that associates iPhone with prestige and excellence.

What are the 3 C's of product positioning?

The 3 C's of product positioning are:

  • Customer: Understanding the needs, preferences, and behaviors of the target customers. This involves conducting market research, gathering insights, and segmenting the target audience to identify the ideal customer profile.

  • Competitor: Analyzing and evaluating the competitive landscape to identify key competitors, their strengths and weaknesses, unique selling propositions, and market positioning strategies. This helps in identifying opportunities for differentiation and finding a distinct positioning in the market.

  • Company: Assessing the internal capabilities, resources, and brand identity of the company. This involves understanding the company's strengths, unique value proposition, and brand reputation and aligning them with customer needs and competitive factors to establish a compelling and differentiated product positioning strategy.

Mastering product positioning is an ongoing journey, one that requires continuous learning, adaptation, and strategic thinking. As we've discussed throughout this guide, the key to effective positioning lies in truly understanding your target audience, differentiating from your competitors, and clearly articulating your product's unique value proposition. 

That's where Harvestr steps in. Harvestr is your all-in-one product management platform dedicated to helping impact-driven teams like yours collaborate, innovate, and build products that truly resonate with your audience. 



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