What does positioning mean in marketing?

You can’t position your brand.
At least, not as much as many would like you to believe.

Surprised? You shouldn’t be.
To understand why it is not something you create, we need to start by answering the question: What does positioning mean in marketing?

A quick definition

Positioning refers to the process of positioning a brand or product in the minds of consumers.
It is the magic behind strategic branding, and to master it you’ll have to create a unique and differentiated image for the product in the consumer’s mind, making it stand out from competitors.

And here’s where the first, common misunderstanding enters the conversation: A “differentiated image” is not, as plenty marketers nowadays promote, just a logo or a website. The visual identity of a brand may be its more notable part, but it’s also just the tip of the iceberg.
Anyone can have a logo nowadays – but most businesses don’t have a clear-cut Positioning strategy. One that defines the role their product or service plays in the market.

The process of positioning a product or brand begins with Market Research, in which you should gather information about consumers’ needs, preferences, and attitudes towards different products. This process can include surveys, focus groups, Google reviews, and other methods for gathering data. Your goal here is to collect:

  • Generic demographic info
  • Challenges
  • Opinions
  • Desires
  • Fears

You can use the information to create a positioning strategy for the product or brand.
This strategy will outline the Unique Selling Proposition (USP) of your product or service, which you will then use as cornerstone for storytelling techniques and frameworks.

What does Positioning mean in marketing?
What does Positioning mean in marketing?

The elements of Positioning

To understand what Positioning means in marketing, one of the key elements is the development of a unique and compelling Brand Personality
This personality should feel human, reflect the values and attributes that are important to the target market, and it should be consistent across all of the brand’s marketing materials. 

Together with the study you conducted on your target audience, the Brand Personality is an essential part of your strategic approach to Positioning.
In order to effectively position a product or brand in the minds of consumers, you can’t ignore the competition. This means analyzing the Positioning strategies of competing products and brands, and developing a positioning tactics differentiates you from competitors.

Once you have a clear idea about your Positioning, write it down clearly to set in stone your Positioning Statement. It should be incorporated into all aspects of the marketing mix, including product design, pricing, distribution, and promotion. This will help to ensure that the product or brand is consistently presented to consumers in a way that reinforces its unique positioning.

Once the Positioning Statement and your USP are in place, you will have the basic ingredients to attempt what big brands succeed at – influencing how the consumers perceive you.

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