What’s Your Market Position?

Now that you’ve given your company a good SWOT, it’s time to work on market positioning.

Market Positioning is a term that came in vogue back in the 1970s, thanks to a couple of marketing guys (Al Ries and Jack Trout) and their book, Positioning, the Battle for Your Mind. Many professionals consider Positioning one of the most important marketing books ever written.

With so many products in the marketplace (some 30,000 in the average grocery store), Ries and Trout argued that you have to establish a position for your brand to distinguish it from others in the marketplace in the consumer’s mind. Whether you are aware of it or not, your brand already has a position, even if that position is “nowhere.” This position is based on existing consumer perceptions, which may not be favorable. Your job is to make sure those perceptions, and thus your position, are exactly how you want them to be.

What position do you want for your brand? What are the three or four words you want people to think of when they think of you? A good agency will help you find the best position and then go to work making sure you occupy it.

Most successful brands, and successful positions, can be simplified to an association with a word or an idea. When you think Volvo, you think safety. Volvo spent many years and millions of dollars establishing themselves as the safe car company. You might remember their commercials showing the crash dummies during safety testing. When you think Maytag, you think reliable appliances. When you think Corona, you think beach. The list goes on. Verizon, Tesla, CNN, Apple, Pepsi, they all have strong associations with a word or an idea. This association helps define their position in consumer’s minds, which secures their corner of the market.

Where’s a good place to start when you’re picking a position for your brand? One good place is to take a look at your brand’s strengths. If you’ve done a SWOT analysis, you’ll already have a list. Ideally, one of those strengths will be enough to develop a unique position. If you’re still stuck, consider one of the following:

1. Product attributes (anything that makes you stand out compared with the competition?)
2. Price/quality (Lowest price or highest quality)
3. Use/application (How it’s used or how it can be applied)
4. Product class (is it a luxury model)
5. Product user (who is the main user of the product? Is it a certain group or class of people?)
6. Product competitor (can you reposition the competition?)
7. Cultural Symbol (Think glowing apple on the MacBook Pro or the logo for BMW)

Your position can be just about anything, but you’ll want it to be concrete enough to say “We will position ourselves as X.” With a clearly stated goal in mind, it will be easier to work on achieving it.

If you need help deciding what position you should take for your brand, contact Highstreet Advertising at 253-845-0230. We can take an objective approach to the situation and provide valuable options for your consideration. Even better, Highstreet can help you figure out how to making sure your brand is able to actually take whatever position you decide on.