Market Positioning: How does my product satisfy the needs of my market better than my competition?
Market positioning is the way you communicate precisely the place your product holds in the marketplace. How you position your product in the mind of your customers determines how the product is perceived. Positioning is a strategic component of marketing. It ties together information about your product, your market, your competition and your industry. It is the answer to the very basic question: What business am I in? “The what’s for dinner business?” “The family vacation business?” Or you can distinguish yourself on the basis of the needs you fill, the services you provide, the distribution channel you use, the pricing strategy you employ. Think about your product from the perspective of your customer and that of your competition. Note that buying usually comes down to a decision of choice: your task is to figure out how to make the customer choose YOUR product.
When your research is complete, take a third piece of paper and summarize your findings into a position statement of 50 words or less that answers two questions:
- What business am I in?
- Why will my customers want my product rather than that of my competition?
Market Connection: How will the market know I have what they need?
Making connections with your target market lets the customer know you have the product they need. Unless you are a consumer direct marketer, these connections are made with the assistance of intermediaries: businesses that warehouse, transport and sell your product to those direct consumer contacts and the businesses that represent your product to that system. These businesses are the marketing channels that move products from the point of production to the final buyer. Some, such as wholesalers and retailers, buy and resell the product, others, such as independent warehouses and transportation companies provide distribution services for a fee. Others, such as brokers, present the product in the marketplace for a commission.
Channel businesses are a key component of your marketing strategy. How a channel business warehouses and distributes products, how it targets consumers and how it features and merchandises goods all define its particular set of needs and resulting in buying criteria. To be an effective marketer, producers need to identify and understand the differences among channel markets and market their products accordingly. No single marketing program works for all markets.
- i. What distribution channels are best suited to my product, my customers & my business?
- ii. What are channel cost/benefits?
- iii. What will it take to sustain market/channel connections?
When your research is complete prepare a strategic response to these questions:
- What will it cost to reach each potential market segment?
- Where can my business reach the best market at the least cost?
- Which market and channel options should I develop now?