There are essentially seven different ways that companies can choose to position their products or services in the marketplace. These are known as ‘positioning strategies’ and they each have their own advantages and disadvantages. The seven positioning strategies are:
1. Price – This is where a company offers its products or services at a lower price than its competitors in order to gain market share. The disadvantage of this strategy is that it can be difficult to maintain long-term profitability if costs can not be reduced sufficiently.
2. Quality – This is where a company focuses on providing a higher quality product or service than its competitors in order to gain market share. The disadvantage of this strategy is that it can be expensive to maintain high quality standards and it may take some time for consumers to recognise the difference in quality.
3. Functionality – This is where a company focuses on providing products or services with more features and benefits than its competitors in order to gain market share. The disadvantage of this strategy is that it can be difficult to differentiate your product from others in the market if there are many similar products available.
4. Fashionability – This is where a company makes use of current trends and fashions to make its products or services more attractive to consumers
Using product characteristics or customer benefits
Product positioning based on product characteristics or customer benefits is one of the most common and effective positioning strategies. It involves differentiating your product from competing products on the basis of key features or benefits that are important to your target market. For example, if you are selling a new type of toothbrush that is designed to be more effective at removing plaque, you would want to communicate this benefit to potential customers in your marketing materials.
Using company attributes:
Another common positioning strategy is to focus on company attributes rather than product attributes. This can be an effective approach if you have a strong brand identity that you want to leverage in the marketplace. For example, if your company is known for its customer service, you might position yourself as the “customer service” company in your industry.
Price can also be a key differentiator for products and services in the marketplace. If you offer a lower price than your competitors, this could be a compelling reason for customers to choose your product over theirs. Of course, it’s important to make sure that any price advantage is accompanied by perceived value so that customers don’t feel like they’re sacrificing quality by choosing a less expensive option.
Promotional activity can also play a role in positioning products and services in the marketplace. For example, if you launch an aggressive marketing campaign featuring celebrity endorsements, this can help raise awareness of your product and make it more visible in the minds of consumers relative to competing products
The price-quality approach
The price-quality approach is a positioning strategy that involves offering products or services at a higher price point than the competition, while also positioning the products or services as being of a higher quality. This strategy can be used in order to differentiate a company’s products or services from those of its competitors, and it can also help to attract customers who are willing to pay more for higher quality.
In order to successfully implement this strategy, companies need to ensure that their products or services are actually of a higher quality than their competitors’ offerings. They also need to make sure that their pricing is in line with customer perceptions of quality – if customers perceive that the company’s products are overpriced, then this strategy will not be successful.
The use or applications approach
The use or applications approach is a positioning strategy that emphasizes the use or applications of a product or service. This approach is often used for products or services that are new to the market, or for products or services that have multiple uses.
This approach can be used in a number of ways. For example, a company might position its product as being useful for a specific task or application. Or, a company might position its product as being useful for multiple tasks or applications. Either way, the goal is to emphasize the usefulness of the product or service.
There are several advantages to using this approach. First, it can help to differentiate your product from competing products. If your product is positioned as being useful for a specific task or application, then it will be seen as different from competing products that are not positioned in this way. Second, this approach can also help to build brand equity. If customers see your product as being useful for multiple tasks or applications, then they will likely view it as being more valuable than competing products that are not positioned in this way.
There are also some potential disadvantages to using this approach. First, if you position your product as being useful for only one task or application, then you may limit its appeal to customers who do not need that particular functionality. Second, if you try to position your product as being useful for too many tasks and applications, then you may end up confusing customers and making it difficult for them to understand what your product actually does
The product-user approach
A positioning strategy that focuses on the user of the product rather than the product itself. The logic behind this approach is that people will buy a product if they believe it will make their lives better in some way.
Thus, when marketing a product using the product-user approach, companies should focus on how their products make users’ lives easier, healthier, happier, or otherwise better. This can be done through advertising and other marketing communications that highlight user benefits.
One advantage of this positioning strategy is that it can be used to appeal to a wide range of people, as most everyone wants products that will improve their lives in some way. Additionally, this approach can be used to position a company as being customer-centric and focused on solving real-world problems.
However, one potential downside of this strategy is that it may be difficult to differentiate a company’s products from its competitors if they are all claiming to offer similar user benefits. Additionally, this approach may not work well for products that do not offer any clear user benefits or for which the target market does not place a high importance on such benefits.
The product-class approach
The product-class approach to positioning is based on the idea that customers group products together based on their shared attributes and benefits. This approach to positioning involves creating a unique position for a product or product line within a category or class of products.
One way to think about the product-class approach is to consider how you might position a new type of toothpaste in the marketplace. There are already many types of toothpastes available, so you would need to find a way to make your product stand out from the others. You might decide to position your toothpaste as the most effective at preventing cavities, or as the most gentle on sensitive teeth.
Another example of the product-class approach is Apple’s positioning of its i phone as a premium smartphone. In this case, Apple has positioned the i phone as a more expensive and higher-quality alternative to other smartphones on the market.
There are several advantages to using the product-class approach to positioning. First, it can be an effective way to differentiate your product from similar products in the marketplace. Second, it can help you create clear and concise messaging about your product’s unique attributes and benefits. And third, it can help you attract customers who are looking for a specific type of product.
There are also some potential drawbacks associated with this approach. One is that it can be difficult to maintain over time, especially if other companies introduce new products that compete directly with yours. Another potential drawback is that it may limit your appeal, since you’re only appealing to those customers who are specifically interested in the type of product you’re offering.
The cultural symbol approach
The cultural symbol approach is a positioning strategy that involves creating a strong association between a product and a particular culture. This can be done by using symbols, imagery, and other cues that are associated with that culture. For example, a company might use traditional Chinese imagery and symbols to position its products as being authentic and trustworthy. This approach can be particularly effective in markets where there is a strong sense of identity and pride in one’s culture.
The competitor approach
Assuming your company sells products that can be used by your competitor’s customers, one way to position your product is to make it appear superior to the competition. This approach is effective if customers are unaware of the differences between your product and the competition’s offerings.
To successfully use this approach, you need to understand what makes your product different and better than the alternatives. Once you’ve identified these key selling points, you need to communicate them clearly and persuasively to potential customers.
This approach can be risky, however, if customers are already familiar with the competition’s products and don’t perceive a significant difference between them. In this case, emphasizing the superiority of your own offering may simply serve to remind customers of why they prefer the competition’s products.