What is positioning – an overview

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Positioning is defined by Business Dictionary as being a marketing strategy that aims to place the brand in the mind of the consumer, on a distinct position in relation to the competition. In their book, ”Positioning the brand: An inside-out approach”, Rik Riezebos and Jaap van der Griten speak about positioning as highlighting the features of a brand that are relevant for the target audience and differentiate the brand from those already on the market.

Brand positioning

Positioning doesn’t focus on the product/service you offer, but rather on the consumer. The product must have a well defined image in the mind of the consumer, different form similar products, a number of features that make it unique. That’s why the term of “product positioning” is rather inaccurate. Basically, not the product itself suffers the modifications when the positioning is made, but its image, packaging, name etc.

It’s important that the brand you represent to awaken new connections in the mind of the consumer, make him resonate with what your organization does. As Simon Sinek said, “people don’t buy what you do, but why you do it”.

Segmentation, targeting, positioning

It’s very difficult to create something that doesn’t already exist in the mind of the consumer when his mind is over-saturated with information. That is why a very important step in the positioning process is segmentation. On the market there are such different consumers, with so many expectations, that it’s difficult to make a product positioning for a wide audience. If you choose a target audience, a group of consumers who share the same values, and speak to them directly, it’s much easier to make them resonate with your brand and product.

Communication

Maybe the most important aspect of positioning is communication. In the information era, the consumer holds the power. Messages are getting shorter and more concentrated. To make a correct brand positioning, your message should not necessarily be a new one, but rather one that attracts the consumer. Less is more. The communication volume is positioning number one enemy. That’s why when you choose the communication strategy, when you make the segmentation or even the positioning, you have to see everything in reverse, from the consumer’s perspective. Under these circumstances, all the questions about your brand have to begin with “why”. The message you send to the consumer actually must answer this question. If you manage to do that, you ensure a good positioning of the brand on the market.

Positioning – an exercise that must begin from analysis

To make a good positioning of your brand on the market, it is necessary to know very well your audience (consumers) as well as your competition. Being maybe the strongest concept in marketing, positioning makes the difference between similar products, influences the mind of the consumer in the advantage of the product and ensures a strong image of the brand on the market. 

Sources:

Positioning the brand: An inside-out approach, Rik Riezebos, Jaap van der Griten

Positioning – The battle for your mind, Al Ries, Jack Trout

Start with Why: How great leaders inspire everyone to take action, Simon Sinek

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