According to Philip Kotler – “Market Positioning is the act of designing the company’s offerings and image to occupy a distinctive place in the target market’s mind.”
According to William Stanton – “Positioning means developing the image that a product projects in relation to competitive products and to firm`s other products.”
Market positioning helps to simplify the buying decision of a customer by creating a complex set of perceptions, impressions and feelings about a product compared with competing products. The main questions that a marketer has to answer in order to formulate an effective market positioning strategy are –
Who am I? — Individual, Business, Organization
For whom am I? — Target Market
What am I? — Product, Service, Event, Experience etc.
Why me? — Product and Brand Attributes that influence customers
It appears attractive to the customer
It differentiates itself from what competitors are offering
It has a positive image in the minds of the consumer
It links the product offer with the target market
It provides competitive edge
Process of Market Positioning
Identify a set of competitive advantages to differentiate the product from competitor`s product – A product can be differentiated on the basis of its design, performance, consistency, durability, reliability, superior quality, affordable price, easy availability, superior after sale service, innovative technology etc.
Select the most appropriate set of competitive advantages to formulate a positioning strategy – It involves selection of the number and type of advantages that must be promoted to create a unique selling proposition. It may be best quality, best price, best service etc. Efforts are made to differentiate the product from its competitors.
Effectively communicating the desired position to the target market – It involves adjustment in the marketing mix of the company to communicate the desired position to a target segment and implementation of the positioning strategy through various advertising and promotional measures.
Monitoring and reviewing the Market Position – This step involves monitoring of the market position from time to time and matching it with consumer demands and competitors strategies. Efforts are made to maintain or enhance the desired position through consistent performance and active communication.
Market Positioning Strategies
Market Positioning involves selection of an appropriate marketing mix for each target market segment. The following variables are studied to form a market positioning strategy –
What image the company wants to project to its customer?
The pricing strategy of the company
The type of product and utility of product
Product life cycle
How competitors project themselves?
Consumer expectations from the product/service/brand/business
Consumer perception – the perceived quality and value of brand
Positioning strategies involve differentiating a product from its competitors in terms of:
Price or Quality
Re-positioning – It refers to the process of changing brand identity and product identity in the minds of the target market. It involves creation of fresh positioning strategies for an existing brand or product:
To position the brand or product differently
To change consumer`s perception about the brand or product
To introduce new innovation adopted by the company which differentiates them from their competitors
Branding – It refers to the process involved in creating a unique name and image for a product in the consumer’s mind through symbolic means and visual elements. It aims to –
Establish significant and differentiated presence, and
Create an emotional association with the product
It is essentially the process of building, maintaining and enhancing the image of a product or company through an attractive name, logo, images, fonts, colours, people etc. (symbolic and visual elements)