Definition: Product Positioning, as the name suggests, entails selecting the position in the target market (its niche), that the product or service, attempts to occupy. It is how the ultimate consumer views or perceives, a product, in relation to its competitors.
Basically, it’s a process of setting the locus of the product in the minds of the target audience. Therefore, the firm determines in what way and on what basis the product has to be positioned in front of the target customers.
Dettol stands for ‘Trusted Protection’
So, we can say that product positioning or positioning is the process of shaping an image and value, about what the product is meant for, to occupy a clear, unique and desirable place in the consumer’s mind.
Therefore, the firm communicates a message to the consumers while developing a competitive advantage. It states a convincing reason for why the consumers should buy your product. Now, the word ‘positioning’ can be used in different contexts, these are:
- Place: The place occupied by the product in the target market.
- Rank: In what way, the product stands against its competitors, considering different parameters.
- Mental Attitude: Consumers frame of mind.
- Strategic Process: Activities which must be undertaken, to develop an optimal position in the market.
To create a successful positioning, the marketer must possess the relevant marketing intelligence with regard to competitors, customers and market trends.
Why Product Positioning matters?
Product positioning identifies the particular market niche, which the firm wants and intends to capture, as well as it defines why the firm is distinctively capable of capturing it.
Every company wants to create a special image of its offering, that stands out from the crowd, in the consumer’s mind. In this process, the firm states, what the product stands for and what makes it different from the rest of the products available in the market offered by competitors.
Consumers often connect the brand name with their lifestyle, status, professional roles, etc., which tends to create an image in the consumer’s mind. At the time of purchase, they don’t actually buy the product, but they buy that image, which they have in their mind.
What is Perceptual Map?
For the purpose of the product positioning, the perceptual map can be used, which is nothing but a 2D graph representing, where the company’s product stands in the market or should stand, in comparison to its competitors, considering the basis which is relevant to the buyers, be it price, quality, customer service, use etc.
Approaches to Product Positioning
- Positioning by product attributes or consumer benefit: According to this approach, product positioning can be done on the basis of the brand characteristics or the benefits delivered. Companies using this approach may include automobiles, smartphones, cameras, electronic appliances and many more.
- Berger paints is for long-lasting paint.
- Pediasure is for growth and nutrition.
- Listerine is for mouth wash.
- Maggi is for 2-minute noodles.
- Bata is for comfortable footwear.
- Positioning by price-quality: As per this approach, the positioning of the product is based on its price-quality, i.e. the manufacturing company consciously offers better services, quality and features, in premium products for which they charge a higher price to cover the cost and the promotional expenses.
- For Example, Zenith watches are positioned for premium quality watches.
- Positioning by product-user: In this approach, the product is positioned keeping in mind a particular consumer or group of consumers.
- Johnson & Johnson for baby products.
- Positioning by use of application: In this approach, the product is positioned for an occasion, event or time of use.
- Boroline for antiseptic cream.
- Moov for waist and muscle pain
- Head & Shoulders is for removing dandruff
- Saffola for keeping the heart-healthy
- Positioning by corporate category: A positioning approach used to perceive the brand, as belonging to a different product category. This is used when the existing product category, already has a number of competitors.
- Boroplus is positioned as an antiseptic plus healthy skin.
- Finis perfumed phenyl is positioned as a disinfectant and cleaning agent.
- Positioning by corporate identity: Those companies that turned out as highly trusted brand names, and use their names to indicate the competitive excellence to promote their new brands.
For Example LG, Parle, Sony, Reliance, Toyota, etc
- Positioning by competitor: When the competitor has a good image in the market, and the marketer seeks the consumer to perceive their brand as superior or equivalent to the product offered by the competitor.
For Example Dettol and Savlon, Surf Excel and Tide, etc.
What is Product Repositioning?
Product Repositioning is a strategy to expand the reach of the product as well as to increase the overall sales by approaching a larger audience. In this process, a number of new features and specifications are added to the product, or sometimes new uses are introduced, in an attempt to reposition it for the current as well as a potential target market.
Further, it is not necessary that only those products which encounter a decrease in sales, overtime undergo repositioning.