Product Positioning and Market Positioning
A product’s position is the way the product is defined by consumers on important attributes – the place the product occupies in consumers’ minds relative to competing products. Thus, Tide is positioned as a powerfull, all-purpose family detergent; Solo is positioned as a liquid detergent with fabric softener; Ivory Snow is positioned as the gentle detergent for fine washables and baby clothes. In the automobile market, Toyota Tercel and Suburu are positioned on economy, Mercedes and Cadillac on luxury, and Porsche and BMW on performance. Volvo positions powerfully on safety.
Market positioning is arranging for a product to occupy a clear, distinctive, and desirable place relative to competing products in the minds of target consumers. Thus, marketers plan positions that distinguish their products from competing brands and give them the greatest strategic advantage in their target markets.
In positioning its product, the company first identifies possible competitive advantages on which to build the position. To gain competitive advantage, the company must offer greater value to chosen target segments, either by charging lower prices than competitors do or by offering more benefits to justify higher prices. Then if the company positions the product as offering greater value, it must deliver that greater value. Thus, effective positioning begins with actually differentiating the company’s marketing offer so that it gives consumers more value than they are offered by the competition. Once the company has chosen a desired position, it must take strong steps to deliver and communicate that position to target consumers. The company’s entire marketing program should support the chosen positioning strategy.