Product Positioning Framework (Download FREE PDF Template)
February 24, 2022
Products well positioned and presented see an average revenue increase of 10-20% along with an interested audience, certain they’ve picked the right product. In other words, doing it wrong is not an option for any business striving for success.
In the age of the customer, where markets are crowded, and choices and information are readily available, successful positioning requires products to have an explicit and distinct place in the minds of all potential customers.
What is Market Positioning and How it Can Help Tech Startups?
Building a marketing story that appeals to everyone will most likely fail to resonate with anyone. Product positioning is the process of strategically establishing the identity of a product to show its unique value and get perceived in a particular way by a specific target audience.
The first step for a successful brand positioning framework is understanding the market segment most likely to find your product appealing. Next comes the product team’s efforts to achieve a very clear differentiation of the product from the competitors to resonate specifically in the minds of this target segment. For this, you must keep in mind to identify the right communication medium to reach target audiences and speak to the customers in their language.
In addition to effectively targeting your primary audience, a successful brand positioning document can also help you capture a secondary audience interested in your offerings in a different way.
Major Types of Product Positioning
There are various options for brands for the positioning of a product, below are the most common categories:
- Pricing – Pricing remains the most common type of market positioning and, when combined with a reasonable level of quality products, has a higher chance to achieve major success.
- Practicality – Products that make life easier in terms of ordering, selection, and usability are the most preferred by consumers.
- Distinction – An identifiable difference in your product can easily help you stand out from the competition.
- Identification – Unique visual branding, including logos, colors, and typography, can give your brand a recognizable identity.
- A solution to a problem – Products can also be positioned as a ready solution to a consumer’s problem.
Brand Positioning Example
Apple is one of those brands that has created an extremely successful position in the market. Introducing the brand as an overall corporate brand has positively impacted the company’s brand image, extensions, and new products.
For example, Apple’s famous ‘Think different’ campaign focused purely on the consumer self-image feeding the need for uniqueness. It provides a deeper connection and challenges the consumer personally and emotionally by removing complexity from their lives and offering power through technology. Using IBM as a comparator, the campaign challenged the consumer to consider something better than the mindless attachment to a market leader. This frame of reference made the brand position more memorable, becoming part of the consumer decision process when they are ready to purchase.
Famous for minimal and elegant product and packaging designs, Apple also uses this positioning strategy to extend the consumer experience. This has created the ritual of ‘unboxing’ whereby Apple fans record the opening of product packaging and share the experience with the world.
For positioning the iPod, Apple used the benefits and attributes to sell a lifestyle rather than a product. A silhouette-themed advertisement focused on what consumers did with the product rather than the iPod itself allowed Apple to sell the consumer a membership to the Apple lifestyle, providing a sense of identity and belonging.
What are the 4 Elements of a Positioning Statement?
The positioning statement is comprised of 4 elements, let us walk you through each one of them to give you a better idea of the elements of a positioning statement.
- Target Market: Using criteria like demographics, geography, psychographics, pains, needs, etc., identify who and where your target market is.
- Category: State a common industry or market as a frame of reference when evaluating your product or service. If your target customers can’t place your product in a context, they will not spend any time considering your offer.
- Differentiation: Having a single point of differentiation is better than having multiple benefits or features, and this should be stated from the audience’s perspective. For example, having the biggest market share or being an industry leader are weak differentiators and must be avoided.
- Payoff: This is the link between the differentiator and the needs or goals of the target market to tell them how your differentiator will help them achieve what they want to achieve. A meaningful payoff should be based on real market research, not hearsay.
To help you get started, we have created a Product Positioning Template, also known as a brand mapping template. Use it as an internal document to help your team articulate the key benefits of your product and the problem it solves and ground product marketing efforts in the real value you provide beyond features and functionality.
How To Use The Product Positioning Template
Start by defining your target customer segment that will be reached through communication channels ad promotions. Next, to ensure you are providing a solution to your target market’s problem, identify a specific pain point they are struggling with.
Define the impact you’d like your product to have on your target customer and categorize the solution clearly. Moving forward, determine the primary and powerful reason behind your target customer’s purchase decision. And then, to help your customers identify who you want them to compare you with, set a benchmark for comparison.
Finally, reinforce the differentiating factor or the compelling reason that the customer needs to pick your offering versus the competition.