There are many reasons to start a business. For one, you have unlimited earning potential. Then, there’s also the freedom of working on your own time. However, with all the advantages of starting your own business, you should also take note of the hardships that you can encounter, such as working longer hours during the start-up phase: needing to wear different hats to address problems on various aspects of the business, a steeper and higher learning curve, and the possibility of not being profitable.
For these reasons, you have to carefully curate a business plan before launching your own business. It isn’t an easy feat to build multi-million dollar businesses, after all. Aside from blood, sweat, and tears, you should be knowledgeable about the industry. To start, you should decide what your product is, and more importantly, your products position.
What Is Product Position?
First things first, let’s look into the concept of product positioning. This is all about where the product fills in the gap in the market or why your customers might want your product. You may be wondering what does positioning mean in marketing. The answer is, product positioning is the edge you provide compared to other competitors in the market. Marketers position products to appeal to certain people. They create an image of their brand that they want consumers to accept. So marketers try and think of ways that consumers will respond positively to and ultimately choose to buy the product or service.
Why Is Product Positioning Important?
Some business owners build their product first and then think of the positioning. However, this is a common misconception. It is better to first find your products position, and then you can build your product, price, how you want to promote it, and where. Check out why it is important to position your product first and why you should spend time thinking about your products position:
- Fulfill unmet needs in the marketplace: Differentiate your product from others in the marketplace. Know where your product or service stands, and what unique value it will provide to consumers. If you position your product correctly, you would find that buyers would flock to you because they have a need that they can’t get elsewhere. Sure, the big brands may already have a loyal following, so new market players should produce something that is either cheaper or better quality than the current ones.
- Tell a story: It’s not enough to have a good product. The best brands also have a good story behind it. This way, you can connect to consumers and make them want to buy your product as opposed to the numerous ones in the market. With that being said, after creating your product, you then need to tell one consistent story that unifies your brand. This is because people don’t buy products… they buy ideas. What is the big idea that powers your content, your marketing, and your sales methodology?
- Helps design your marketing strategy: If you think carefully about your product positioning, you can then proceed to lay out the plans on how to continue to generate more sales and build a loyal customer base. This will serve as the foundation for other promotional ideas in the future.
- Cope with market changes: Once you’ve built your product and launched it, you should avoid being complacent. New market players are always ready to take your place. To remain at the top, always identify new competitive advantages and develop to suit the changing expectations of the market. If you’re a marketer or business owner, this also makes you active, alert, and always ready to rise up to new challenges.
- Attracts different types of customers: Product positioning helps you identify your target market. If you do this correctly, you can even capture numerous buyers from different backgrounds, age groups, and demographics. You should note how various consumers have unique expectations as well. Some may be looking at the price specifically, some the unique features your product offers, some want novelty, and some want safety and ease of use. By promoting different types of competitive advantages, you can also attract different types of buyers.
How to Position Your Product
- Know what your brand is all about
First, clearly define who you are and what your company is about. Define your core values and beliefs. This means to identify the principles you stand for and what you stand against. This way, you are more quickly understood in the mind of your customer when you clearly communicate what your company’s values are. One product positioning example using this is Healthy Options. Just by looking at the name of the company, you would immediately know that this brand is all about providing healthy products or services to consumers. Those who enjoy eating tastier food might opt for other businesses. Meanwhile, health nuts and fitness junkies would flock to the brand immediately. It might seem counterintuitive to exclude anyone, but you know you can’t be all things to all people. You must get comfortable with choosing who to lose and where to focus on.
- Decide what you want your consumers to feel
What does your customer really want on a deep, emotional level? One example is Uber. You might think that Uber’s primary service is transportation, but when you really look at it, you’ll realize that what they’re really offering is convenience. Their customers choose Uber because they’re saving time waiting long lines to hail taxi cabs with just a few clicks and a few minutes of waiting on an available driver. Another example is Starbucks. You might wonder why people keep buying coffee from Starbucks if they can make one perfectly good cup of joe at home. This is because Starbucks doesn’t only sell coffee, their product positioning sells status and connection as well. If you drink from a Starbucks cup, you’d immediately think that the coffee tastes better because of the brand.
- Align the felt need of the customer to your brand’s core values
This should be an easy step if you’ve done steps one and two correctly. A natural connection should be made between what your brand is all about and what you want your customers to feel. And once this is done, you will automatically see how effective your product positioning is. A brand that achieves alignment with customer expectations can expand market share, reach new audiences, gain new customers, and build a loyal following. You can further do this by surveying lost customers and the customers of your competitors. You might think that the money is in reaching new buyers, buy the bulk of the business is in returning customers. Customers who chose not to buy from you the second or third time around have good reason for it, so don’t waste the opportunity to ask them why and better align what it is they desire with your business’ branding.
Examples of Product Positioning
- inBloom Handmade BAR
Image taken from inBloom Handmade BAR’s website
What makes this bar unique is that it offers clients the option to make their own handmade crafts. Their product positioning caters to those who want to sip delicious drinks, chillout, and get creative in the process. Just book a reservation and the staff over at the bar will provide a variety of patterns and pigments to choose from. This establishment has been enjoyed by a lot of tourists, parents, children, and even corporate groups.
- Jianbing Company
Image taken from Jianbing Company’s website
Jianbing Company offers customers a catering experience that is far from ordinary. They take pride in using only the freshest and locally sourced ingredients. They positioned their product to target those who want to experience the famous menu in Jianbing China, which are its chili sauce and crackers made from handmade dough.
- Bahia Blanca
Image taken from Bahia Blanca’s website
Bahia Blanca offers a variety of items that pay homage to Argentine culture. One look at their handmade pieces and you’ll instantly be drawn to the prints and weaving techniques that are famous in the local Bahia Blanca region. They positioned their product to cater not only to women, but also to men and to children.
- Namesake Coffee
Image taken from Namesake Coffee’s website
There are surely a lot of coffee beans in the market. What makes Namesake Coffee unique is that they roast on a 6 lb San Franciscan coffee roaster that provides clients with a special coffee experience when they book the company at their events. Not only that, but Namesake Coffee also partnered with a number of nonprofits and part of their earnings are donated to build the community and orphanages in Uganda and feed refugees in Dayton.
Whether you’re an experienced marketer or a budding entrepreneur, knowing the importance of your product positioning is key to establishing a brand that can outwit the competition and last for decades to come. For more information, visit Strikingly’s blog for more resources on business tips and tricks, and the ins and outs in branding and marketing.