Today I found such a wonderful article in branding with the title “Product Positioning”. I decided to supplement the author in some matters from a more philistine point of view
What is product positioning?
Here is such a complex definition offered to us by the author of the article:
Product positioning is the strategic planning of how your product fits into the market and how you will deliver unique value to your target audience.
Let’s take a look at how the consumer’s mind works.
A man walks down the street and sees a dog at an exhibition. He evaluates her according to a number of criteria – “a lot of wool – little wool”, “barks loudly – barks softly”, “brave – cowardly”, “sweet – not cute”, “what breed” and gives the result: strong, brave, awesome. This result is combined into an extremely simple and clear image: “A good guard for the house.” The image of this dog occupies a place in his mind – such a title has been assigned to it.
Positioning is the process of identifying and conquering the desired shelf (empty or already occupied) in the mind of the consumer.
If he meets a doggy with stronger criteria, the doggy in his mind will give way to her. But, since it has already established itself there, it will be more difficult to overthrow it than to erect it in an empty place – you will have to carefully compare it with the previous one and draw a conclusion, but the brain does not want extra work! Often, it’s easier to leave things as they are.
We want to make yogurt from natural products. We evaluate whether there are yogurts on the market with such an advertising message. Then we evaluate whether this advertising message is imprinted in the mind of the consumer and whether this yogurt has taken the appropriate place there. If not, we work and borrow. If so, we think how difficult it is to overthrow him. If it is difficult, we change the positioning strategy. All! We don’t focus on one strategy.
Why is positioning so important?
Here the author repeatedly singled out the same thesis from different angles. If we cut it down, here’s what’s left:
Product positioning has a direct impact on sales volume and brand reputation.
Positioning is important because the same product will not suit two completely different people – and you need to understand on what basis to unite the people you need (segment the target audience as a whole into groups, segments).
Now we do not live in the era of Henry Ford, who could mockingly say: “The color of the car can be anything, provided that it is black.” Consumers now have choices and much clearer demands.
“This application has a very expensive car call, I want it cheaper, even with fellow travelers”, “How tired of these restaurants with bad chefs, I want a restaurant where you can cook for yourself”, “I want a game where you can rob cows …” – each of these proposals can generate a search for a solution to the problem and a purchase. And you need to understand what the user wants, adapt yourself to his wishes, and occupy this niche in his mind.
The phrase “Pain CA” just fits here – imagine that a person has a wound. He goes and buys a band-aid. And if his wound requires a bandage, he goes and buys a bandage. Different solutions for different wounds.
This principle works with all categories in today’s market – currently the customer is not convinced by a product that fits in most situations. He needs the perfect solution to his problem, if there is one. If not, then “suitable for most” will do.
How does proper positioning help a client?
We challenge our friend to “choose a dog for us”. “Friend”, – we say, – “I need the most kind dog, so that she behaves well with children and does not spoil things. Obedient, in general.”
The image is set: kind, obedient, behaves well with children.
A friend goes to an exhibition and sees the labels “Labrador” and “Shepherd Dog” there (breeds are taken from the air for an example). He has no knowledge about these dogs. Replace dogs in the example with varieties of yogurt, mayonnaise – imagine that you have a clean sheet in front of you.
And now your friend stands in front of them and thinks: what kind of dog will fit the criteria? The seller opposite looks at your fellow and thinks: “what breed does he need?”. Your friend asks the seller what are the features of these dogs. The seller starts vaguely saying that these breeds can do anything – they are suitable for sports or home protection, and for playing with children, and at the beach they will save everyone. A fairy tale, and more! Suppose that among the mountain of these theses, your friend heard the right one – “playing with children.” But your friend is looking for the ideal breed for a specific task – a modern customer is not convinced by a product that fits in all situations. Dogs didn’t fill the right niche in his head. On this they diverge.
Another example – your friend approaches the seller with a Husky and sees a beautiful sign there: “The best breed according to the expert commission of the World Canine Organization”, “500,000 families with children love huskies and there has not been a single incident with them.” Eligibility! This is the kind of dog he will get. If the positioning were as clear, but not designed for the consumer, he would simply move on – without wasting time, as in the first case.
Given the position in your friend’s head, he would immediately try to buy a dog that takes a place in his mind and fits your criteria: “Oh, my granny has a chihuahua, a model of dignity and adequacy. Obedient and kind. I’ll go and buy it! “.
In this case, your task as a marketer is to urgently try to change his decision. Imagine banners popping up in front of him all over the city as he walks, contextual and social media ads, all in messages that say, “The Chihuahua is evil, the latest research has shown.” He may not believe you, and you will have to work with him further. And he may also come across advertising banners from competitor Chihuahua fans with the banner “We’re doing great, go buy it.”
It is in such a struggle in the consumer’s “walking process” from point to point (sometimes this process takes a very long time, sometimes quickly) that the work of a marketer takes place. And positioning from scratch will always be easier.
And there is also a situation where there is no positioning at all. Without it, you will have dozens of cans of soda in front of you, but they will all be clones of each other. But if the inscriptions “according to a centuries-old recipe”, “the only healthy soda” and “the sweetest on the market” appeared above them, everything would immediately change and you could choose it to your taste! This is how positioning works with the mind of the consumer.
A little about target audience segmentation
Here it is extremely brief. The definition of the target audience is described rather vaguely, geographic features are included in the socio-demographic characteristics, behavioral and psychographic features are forgotten. The product very rarely focuses only on gender, age and income level, but the truth is that without them nowhere – perhaps the author had this in mind when she wrote only them. It is customary to single out 2-3 target audiences at the stage of thinking through the concept, and not immediately go to one (this is also applicable, but you should not forget about different target audiences).