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