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Position - takes more than practice to get it right

To market your company, product, or service successfully, you need to identify, claim, and defend a unique competitive position in your target market. A position that is the most attractive to your potential customers, and that is in alignment with the value you provide.

No, No, No!!! Not that kind of position!!!

It’s important to be aware that as a business, you occupy a perceived brand position in the market whether you like it or not! Your customers and competitors all have beliefs about your position, and these perceptions will act as reality until you define yourself.

Benefits of identifying your competitive position in the market

Occupying a compelling competitive position is a huge help when creating marketing campaigns. It allows you to focus on, and articulate how your strengths address real market needs better than the competition. By claiming and defending a position of power relative to your competition, you can shape perception in the market and define the rules of engagement.

What a position creates

  • Clarity in the minds of the sellers – what is being sold
  • Clarity in the minds of the buyers – why should they buy the product
  • Clarity in the minds of R&D and Production – expectations for the product

Know where you are now! Know where the competition is! Know where you want to be!

Once you take stock of your competitive position, you’ll learn that there are at least three critical positions in the market that you need to be concerned with:

  1. Your current competitive position
  2. The position(s) of your competitor(s)
  3. The ideal position in the market

By understanding your position in the market relative to your competition, you can design messaging and marketing plans that play to your strengths. By knowing the ideal position in the market, you can choose to make the business or product changes that allow you to claim and defend that more dominant position!

Finding a position: how does it work?

Positioning is a process that requires data, analysis, and answers to some basic positioning questions. Here’s a short overview of the process:

  1. Collect data: Survey your customers, vendors, employees, and other stakeholders to assess current perception
  2. Know the market: Understand the factors that will affect buyers now, and what will drive them in the coming years
  3. Take stock: your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT)
  4. Analyse the competition: study their marketing claims. Do a SWOT on them
  5. Put it all together: plot your position relative to the competition and to market needs and trends. Plan your strategy based on where you are now, and how you will evolve toward your ideal competitive position

Positioning statement

Once you’ve collected and analysed all the data, you will be able to follow the steps to creating a positioning statement. Typically you will have two or three versions of your positioning statement.

  1. long version — which states in detail, many of the differentiators and benefits for doing business with your company
  2. general summarized version — for use in collateral and generic ads
  3. a very short version — the elevator speech: what, where and why in less than 30 seconds

Your positioning statement can be sliced up or expanded (must keep it in the same context) to suit your tactical and collateral requirements to drive your marketing messaging, and the company.

Unique sales proposition (USP)

A USP is a statement that sets your business apart from the competition in a positive way. It essentially makes a promise to prospective customers that you do things a certain way, and your products/services produce certain results.

Teddrick.

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