What is positioning?
Each company makes different strategic choices. Consequently, in the same sector of activity, they do not necessarily find themselves in direct competition. Also, and to better differentiate them, we proceed to a positioning of companies in the same sector.
Moreover, positioning can take place at several levels: that of the company, of a brand or of a product. It is also common to have different products or brands with different positioning. The extreme being a positioning for each segment.
Finally, in a more basic way, positioning is simply the way in which the company (or a brand, or a product) wishes to be perceived in a sector. Perception being the feedback of positioning. We can therefore legitimately conclude that if the perception matches the positioning, the work has been done correctly.
Finally, we can illustrate this definition with this quote from Rise & Trout, in 1999:
“ Positioning is not about what you do with the product, but rather about what the product represents in the mind of the prospect”.
The importance of positioning
Positioning serves above all to differentiate oneself from other players in place. And, thanks to this positioning, we give a distinctive place to the company, a brand or its product/service in the mind of the consumer/prospect.
We can therefore consider, by taking certain shortcuts, that positioning serves to distinguish itself from its competitors. We can ask ourselves why differentiate ourselves from other companies? The answer is very simple: to increase our perceived customer value.
Now let’s ask ourselves what would happen to our business if we didn’t do a positioning!
We can decide and choose to do nothing, but whether we like it or not, the customer will have his vision and his perception of our company, our brand or our product.
As a result, the greatest risk is to find ourselves in an undesirable position for our company and in which it would perhaps be impossible for us to compete with some of our competitors. Worse still, finding ourselves in a situation where our supply does not match demand.
Furthermore, we can say that positioning is a mix between market demand and the position of the competition. Also, if we decide to position ourselves close to a competitor, we must be aware that the prospect will have, in his mind, several solutions to his needs.
Establish a good position
Given the large volume of companies, brands and products on the same market, it is necessary to define a positioning that is easy to perceive and understand.
First of all, it is important to clearly determine the market in which we are present, identify the players already active and define the targets.
Once these bases are laid, a multitude of criteria are available to you, but we can retain 3 positioning options:
- Simple positioning: based on a single criterion
- Double positioning: based on two criteria
- Triple positioning: based on three criteria
In order to make the representation as simple as possible, we can use a “perceptual market map”. Indeed, it offers a global presentation accessible to all.
In addition, care must be taken not to make certain errors typical of poor positioning such as:
Under-positioning : a poor determination of the benefits of the product, a lack of clarity
Narrow positioning : too narrow a conception of the specialty in which one finds oneself
Confused positioning : too high an announcement of the expected benefits Lack of
credibility positioning : having great doubts about the announced performances
Once these steps have been followed, you are in the best position to increase your performance and, as a result, develop your business.
In addition, it is important to specify that if you do not have the resources and qualities in-house, certain people or external companies, such as consulting firms, can guide you through these sometimes delicate stages.
Finally, let’s not forget that positioning means differentiating yourself from your competitors. Also, it is essential to keep in mind that these differences must be material, distinctive, defensible and communicable.