Competition these days has never been fiercer. The power of the internet allows people to spin out brands – from logo to packaging to delivery – with incredible ease and speed. So knowing where you stand among your competitors has never been more important.
You’ll need to take a look at something called product positioning.
The most basic definition of product positioning is: where your product sits in the marketplace. But product positioning is much more complex than that simple definition, and it’s a crucial part of a larger brand strategy. It shows the benefits of your product to a specific audience and differentiates it against your competitors.
To make your product’s positioning an integral part of your larger brand marketing strategy, you’ll need to consider several things.
What does your brand stand for? To hold your own among competitors, it should be clear to your target audience what your brand’s principles are. Ask yourself: What is the purpose of your brand? How do the values of your brand create your central proposition? Whatever your brand’s mission, the authenticity of how that mission is built into your brand’s DNA is critical. Your brand’s values must shine through with consistency across every touchpoint. They should be present in an everyday way, baked into your strategy – not simply as part of a campaign. What does your brand deliver to people? Think about your brand’s products – what is their main function? What is their draw? And what makes them better than other products out there? Nail down where your points of differentiation are and stick with them. For example, if you’re in the business of selling soap, maybe your brand’s biggest pull is the integrity of its all-natural ingredients. Maybe it’s a superior fragrance performance. Maybe it comes in a variety of fun, accessible shapes. Figure out what sets your brand apart and flex those drivers.
What do people see when they look at your brand? In the age of social media and constant sharing, aesthetic has never been more powerful. How are you visually presenting your brand? Think about how color, texture, material, visualization, and even written language all help emphasize your product’s attraction. Get that right to draw people into your brand when they’re walking up and down the aisle in store. Just make sure you don’t take your eye off the ball when it comes to product delivery. A well packaged product may get people to buy it once, but if the goods on the inside are lacking, you’ll be lucky to get repeat purchase.
Do you offer your brand at a competitive price? Pricing should not be an afterthought. To determine pricing, you should of course consider the pricing of your competitors’ products and also the strength of your brand to command a premium. Consider your target audience and how elastic they are in terms of price to determine how much they’re willing to pay for products in your category. Look at your competitors to see if there are any price gaps in the market – price tiers where consumers would purchase but there isn’t yet an offering.
The way you design your brand and the cost of materials to create your product should be well thought through to price your product in accordance with your brand strategy.
What kinds of promotions do you run to draw people in? So, you have a product that fulfills a need, knows what it’s about, has a creative look, and a fair price – what else can you do to make sure people are lining up? Draw them in with promotions. Free samples, coupons, and even bonus products are great ways to drive short term trial of your brand amongst many others. French brand L’Occitane is notorious for adding discounted travel-sized products as bonus gifts and including free samples with every purchase. How will you use promotions to attract your target market to the magic of your product?
How widely available is your brand? Physical availability is of course extremely important for every successful brand. After all, if no one can get their hands on your product, what’s the point of it all? Consider how and where you want people to find your brand and how available you want to make it. Is it a new snack product that you want on every grocery shelf in the country? Or is it the world’s most expensive pair of shoes and there’s a limited amount for sale? Based on your complete product positioning, determine how widely available you want to make your product, then plan the right strategy for making those placements possible.
How do all of these questions apply to your competition? Your brand doesn’t exist in a vacuum, so while it’s important to lay out all of the facets of your product, it’s also important to see how they compare with your competitors. Which brands are there that have a similar core values and products to yours? Are they at the same price point? How will you compete with them and either defend or steal market share?
Figuring out your product positioning is key to winning shoppers in the market. If there’s little difference between you and a competitor, standing out can be done by flexing your brand in a number of ways. From choosing more attractive packaging, to being considered better value for money, or even a more relevant brand that connects better with people.
It all depends on what’s driving your category, your competition, and your customers’ feelings about where your brand stands amongst it all.
At proquo ai, we show you how you compare to your competition and what matters most to your category and to your customers. Our brand management platform shows you how people feel and think about your brand through our 16 Drivers – a revolutionary framework which diagnoses the strength of your brand’s relationship with people. The 16 Drivers helps brand owners position their brand optimally in market by understanding how well their brand seduces and persuades people on both emotional and rational levels. Equipped with AI-powered guidance, proquo ai tells you exactly where your brand stands and what you should be doing next to grow.
Curious to learn more about product positioning and how it fits into a larger brand strategy? Take a look at our guide, “How to Build a Brand Strategy.”