Competitive Positioning, definition, and practical advice

In today’s market, saturated with competitors, properly defining our competitive position is vital. Competitive positioning

We will see in this article some essential key points, definitions, mistakes, and tips.

Trying to develop our marketing strategy without being clear about the positioning of our brand or product can only result in a waste of our marketing budget.

Many startups, brands, and products go to market without a precise positioning and struggle to find a profitable niche.

I don’t want you to have these problems.

So let’s get down to business.

Definition of competitive positioning

The aligning of a brand or product is how the customer perceives it and the alternatives in the market.

It is a representation of the product in the mind of the potential customer, with its attributes, characteristics, and how it compares with other similar competing products.

Positioning and segmentation

If positioning is how customers perceive the product,  segmentation is how we define the groups of customers potentially interested in our product.

As we can see, they are related concepts since we want our target segment to perceive our product appropriately.

For example, let’s look at some

Positioning errors

  • Over positioning -> it is too exclusive a positioning
  • Infra positioning -> positioning that does not present anything special
  • Doubtful positioning -> promises that lack credibility
  • Confusing positioning -> when the positioning is not clear

Thus, in a saturated market, any of these errors will represent a problem for our product.

Imagine that potential customers perceive our product as one of the dozens.

Does it help us?

Or as a dubious product, which will not deliver what is expect.

We insist

Let’s not confuse!

The value proposition is what we want to convey to the potential customer about our product.

And competitive positioning is what the customer perceives concerning the product in the market to which it is direct.

As the important thing is the clients’ perception, it will be vital that we correctly segment our target audience.

To start with, we have more chances that our product is perceived as we want.

Let’s imagine some high-end running shoes. For the right segment, they can be perceive as an exciting alternative.

While for the wrong segment, they will be perceived as a luxury product of little utility and overpriced.

In this case,  for this segment, our product would be positioned as a bad alternative.

Key aspects of segmentation

Although I do not intend to post segmentation, I would like to give you some details due to its relationship with competitive positioning.

1) Segmentation must be differentiating> that is, it must allow us to direct our marketing strategies to the chosen segment effectively

2) It must also be measurable> to determine the volume of the target segment and whether or not it is profitable for us.

3) Isolatable / achievable> can we reach the target segment with our marketing actions? Otherwise, the component will not serve us

We can segment based on:

  • Demographic characteristics
  • Socio-economic
  • Lifestyle
  • Benefit sought
  • Shopping behavior

Competitor evaluation

As the competitive positioning is the perception of the clients of our product, another aspect that will also affect will be the competitors.

That is why we will have to evaluate them and see their value propositions and how they position themselves in the minds of our target segment.

Something that can help us is to establish:

Dimensions of perception

To choose some characteristics of our product that our clients value and compare with our competitors.

For example, for an email marketing tool, such as Mailrelay, some of these aspects would be:

  • The price
  • Easy to use
  • Technical support
  • And automatisms

We can make a quadrant and position ourselves and our competitors so that each product is located in the quadrant or quadrants in which it stands out the most or in several of them.

Always from the customer’s point of view.

This will help us understand what clients value the most and what positioning niches may be interesting for us as a company.

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