Businesses across various industry sectors maintain a heavy focus on marketing. Every year businesses all over the world spend a fortune on marketing and promotions.
They do everything to beat the competition including promoting their products heavily through digital channels and social media.
According to Statista, companies in the North American region spent $296.4 billion on advertising in 2021, which was 18% higher compared to the previous year.
In 2022, ad expenditure in the North America region is expected to grow by more than 10% again.
It is the era of digital marketing and across the various industry sectors, companies are experiencing higher competition compared to a few years ago.
However, in order to stand out and outperform the competitors, companies must rely on positioning.
Successful market positioning makes it easier to attract customers by standing out from the competition.
Market positioning means creating and defending a valuable position for your brand/product compared to your rivals in the market.
It cements the brand’s identity and influences your target market’s perception of the brand/product.
Common types of market positioning with examples:
Researchers have found out that market positioning is mainly determined by the hard criteria like product quality or relationship building factors like personal contact.
Apart from it, there are other factors too that affect positioning including geographic expansion, variety of offerings, degree of integration and other factors. The level of familiarity with a company also plays a crucial role in making a positioning strategy successful.
Some of the most common types of positioning in marketing:
It is one of the most common types of positioning used in the industry. Price is among the most important factors for consumers in most parts of the world and especially the areas where consumers are more price sensitive.
Often in most sectors, the companies that offer products at lower prices with reasonable quality are the winners.
In the US retail industry, Walmart is the leader because of its lower pricing strategy mainly.
There are also several more examples across other industry sectors where brands have become winners by offering good quality products at lower prices.
For example, Zara is one of the leading fast fashion brands that sells fashion products at competitive prices. It has helped ZARA win market share and expand its business internationally faster.
Quality is also one of the important factors that influences consumers’ buying decisions in most industry sectors.
It can also be an important differentiator in sectors where price wars are common.
In several sectors including electronics and automobiles, quality is the leading factor that helps you define who your competitors are.
For example, Starbucks is the leader in the coffee industry. It has positioned itself as a premium coffee brand that offers high quality products at premium prices.
There is no significant competitor in the global market with a similar value proposition.
In other sectors too including automobiles, quality is an important factor that has helped businesses win market share.
Positioning your business on the basis of customer convenience can also be an easy method to win market share.
With increasing competition across industry sectors, the focus on consumer convenience or customer experience has kept rising.
It is the era of digital technology, which has enabled higher customer convenience across various industry sectors.
Uber is one of the best examples of how positioning your business on the basis of customer convenience can help you snatch market share from competitors.
In the fintech industry too several new players have arrived that offer higher customer convenience compared to the incumbent players including banks.
Customer service is now an important part of customer experience and industrywide across various sectors the focus on customer service has grown due to the fact that customers consider it important when selecting their favorite service provider.
Several brands across various industry sectors and special services industry have employed a customer-service based positioning strategy to attract customers and win loyalty.
In some industry sectors, it becomes even important due to their structure and level of competition.
For example, in the hospitality sector, restaurant industry and in the banking industry too, customer service is an important part of the positioning strategies of businesses.
In the insurance industry, the companies recognize that it is important to maintain a focus on customer service since contact with customers is integral to their business model.
For example, insurance players like Allstate and State Farm have made it an integral part of their marketing strategies.
It is also a popular option for positioning your brand or product.
Differentiation sets your product or brand apart from your competitors.
If the product offering is very different from those offered by the competitors, the competitive threat reduces and you find it easier to gain market share.
Companies differentiate their products in a manner that it solves an important problem.
That makes it easier to attract customers and gain market share faster.
For example, Tesla entered the luxury electric vehicle market with a luxury sports model.
Its product was an entirely electric vehicle and very different from the ones made by the other automobile brands like Toyota Prius.
Tesla’s target was the higher end market, which made it easy for the brand to overcome the competitive threat from the other automobile brands selling EVs.
Overtime, while other luxury car brands have also started selling EVs and hybrids, Tesla’s competitive advantage remains intact because of the highly differentiated car models and technology.
While differentiation is a great option for positioning and making your brand a success, the level of differentiation must be high enough to carve a different niche.
A few last words:
Brands utilize different types of strategies for market positioning.
Sometimes it may be easier to gain market share by pricing lower, and at other times quality could help you attract customers faster and build a strong market position.
However, market positioning is among the critical first steps to being successful in the market across any industry sector.
Differentiation can help you carve a distinct position for yourself in any niche but then the level of differentiation must be quite high to mark a clear difference between you and your competitors.