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Product Positioning – Types of Product Positioning | Principles of Marketing

Product Positioning

Product Positioning is a crucial element of marketing strategy that defines how a company or product is perceived by its target market. As part of the positioning strategy, the product or service is given a unique image that distinguishes it from competitors.

In addition to increasing brand loyalty, a well-defined positioning strategy helps companies communicate their product’s benefits to their target market effectively.

Depending on the marketing objectives and target audience, companies can use different positioning strategies. The seven different positioning strategies are discussed below in detail.

i. Attribute Positioning:

This strategy emphasizes a particular characteristic or feature of a product or service in order to differentiate it from its competitors. In attribute positioning, companies emphasize a unique feature of their products that their competitors have not yet used.

For example, Volvo uses safety as an attribute positioning strategy, highlighting its innovative safety features like airbags, anti-lock brakes, and seatbelts. An attribute positioning strategy works when the unique feature is valuable to the target audience and isn’t offered by competitors.

ii. Benefit Positioning:

Benefit positioning refers to how a product or service benefits the target market. It emphasizes the benefits that a product provides. The Nike shoe, for example, emphasizes its performance benefits, such as comfort, durability, and support. Using benefits positioning is effective when the benefits are relevant to the target audience and are not available from competitors.

iii. Image Positioning:

Image positioning refers to creating a specific image or perception in the minds of the target audience of a product or service. Rather than emphasizing its functional benefits, image positioning emphasizes the emotional and psychological benefits of the product.

For example, apple emphasizes its innovative design, style, and unique style with its products. When the target audience values the emotional benefits of the product and is willing to pay a premium price for it, image positioning is effective.

iv. Occasion Positioning :

Occasion positioning involves focusing on specific occasions or situations when the product is used. It emphasizes the relevance of the product to a particular situation or occasion.

Hallmark, for example, emphasizes the emotional value of its cards for specific occasions such as birthdays, weddings, and anniversaries by emphasizing occasion positioning.

An occasion positioning strategy works well when the target audience values the emotional significance of the occasion and wants to express their emotions through the product.

v. User Positioning:

User positioning emphasizes the relevance of the product to the specific user group. It focuses on the specific characteristics or preferences of the target audience.

For instance, Dove emphasizes how its products are suitable for women of diverse skin types and preferences as part of its user positioning strategy.

In situations where the target audience has specific needs or preferences and is searching for a product that meets those needs, user positioning is effective.

vi. Competitive Positioning:

Competitive positioning refers to differentiating one’s product from its competitors in the marketplace. Specifically, it emphasizes the unique selling proposition (USP) that sets it apart from its competitors.

For example, to differentiate itself from Pepsi, Coca-Cola emphasizes its unique taste and brand image through competitive positioning. It is effective to use competitive positioning when the target audience is aware of competitors’ products and is searching for a product that is superior in some way.

vii. Product Class Positioning:

Product class positioning emphasizes that a product is relevant to the specific product category or class in the market by emphasizing its specific category or class. As an example, Toyota uses product class positioning to emphasize the fuel efficiency, reliability, and affordability of its mid-size cars.

When the target audience is searching for products that meet the specific requirements of a product category, product class positioning is effective.

A product’s features, target audience, competition, and market trends all play a role in choosing the right positioning strategy. These factors must be evaluated and a positioning strategy selected so that the product’s benefits are effectively communicated to the target audience and differentiated from its competitors.

An effective positioning strategy involves various steps, including market research, identifying the needs and preferences of the target audience, developing a unique selling proposition for the product, and developing a marketing communication plan that effectively communicates the product’s advantages.

The positioning of a product or service is an integral part of a marketing strategy because it determines how a product or service is perceived by its target market. An effective positioning strategy is essential for communicating a product’s benefits and distinguishing it from competitors.

Several types of positioning strategies exist, including attribute positioning, benefit positioning, image positioning, occasion positioning, user positioning, competitive positioning, and product class positioning.

There are several factors to consider when choosing a positioning strategy, including communicating the benefits of the product to the target audience and separating it from competitors.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What are two approaches to product positioning?

Ans: Two common approaches to product positioning are:

  • Differentiation:

An approach that emphasizes the features, characteristics, or benefits that make a product stand out from its competitors. The purpose of creating a unique selling proposition (USP) for a product is to position it as different or superior in some way to appeal to target customers.

Various factors can be used to differentiate products, such as quality, design, performance, technology, convenience, or customer service. As a result, a product is able to stand out in an crowded market by creating an impression of value and superiority in the minds of consumers.

  • Cost Leadership:

Offering products at a lower price or a better value than competitors is an important part of this approach. Product positioning must emphasize its cost-effectiveness, attracting customers who are price-sensitive. To reduce costs, companies often streamline operations, optimize production processes, and implement efficient supply chains.

A company can position its products as affordable alternatives without compromising quality or performance by leveraging economies of scale, cost advantages, or innovative cost-saving techniques.

The company may use either approach independently or in combination, depending on its goals, target market, competitive landscape, and unique product characteristics. In order to communicate the desired brand image and value proposition to the target audience, a deep understanding of customer needs, market dynamics, and a clear communication strategy are necessary.




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