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Positioning is defined as the act of designing the company’s offering and image to occupy a distinctive place in the target market’s mind.
For Example – What brand occurs in your mind when I say walkman? I guess Sony. Similarly what do you think of when I say photocopies? I think Xerox or Cannon. Thus these brands have positioned themselves in the mind of their customer such that whenever the generic product is mentioned immediately these brands come into our mind. Now if I ask most innovative company – I guess you will name APPLE : I agree with you.

In marketing, positioning is the process by which marketers try to create an image or identity in the minds of their target market for its product, brand, or organization.
Re-positioning involves changing the identity of a product, relative to the identity of competing products.
De-positioning involves attempting to change the identity of competing products, relative to the identity of your own product 

Thus Positioning can be defined with the following core points
  1. Positioning is a final step in the Segmentation Targeting and Positioning step
  2. Positioning requires a holistic approach and is one of the most useful tools for marketers.
  3. Positioning is almost completely about perception. How the customer perceives your product or brand is what positioning is all about. Thus the best mass marketers like to use marketing tactics which touch the whole market (Example – Vodafone Zoozoo’s)
  4. Perceptual mapping is generally used to determine the Positioning of a product in the target market.
  5. Positioning can make or break a brand. A rightly perceived product / company gets lots of returns from the market as compared to a wrongly perceived company. Example – Airtel vs Reliance telecom
  6. Communication is of ultimate importance in positioning. The right communication can go a long way in determining the perception of a product / brand.
  7. Finally, Attributes – tangible or intangible (in case of services) are necessary to be involved in the product which increase the positioning of the product in the customers mind.

Product Positioning

Louis E. Boone and David L. Kurtz, in their book Contemporary Marketing, put it this way: "Product positioning refers to consumers' perceptions of a product's attributes, uses, quality, and advantages and disadvantages relative to competing brands. Marketers often conduct marketing research studies to analyze consumer preferences and to construct product position maps that plot their products' positions in relation to those of competitors' offerings."

1. Know your target audience well
It is essential for the marketers to first identify the target audience and then understand their needs and preferences. Every individual has varied interests, needs and preferences. No two individuals can think on the same lines.
Know what your customers expect out of you.
The products must fulfill the demands of the individuals.

  1. Identify the product features The marketers themselves must be well aware of the features and benefits of the products. It is rightly said you can’t sell something unless and until you yourself are convinced of it.
    A marketer selling Nokia phones should himself also use a Nokia handset for the customers to believe him.
  2. Unique selling Propositions Every product should have USPs; at least some features which are unique. The organizations must create USPs of their brands and effectively communicate the same to the target audience.
    The marketers must themselves know what best their product can do.
    Find out how the products can be useful to the end-users ?
    Why do people use “Anti Dandruff Shampoo?”
    Anti Dandruff Shampoos are meant to get rid of dandruff. This is how the product is positioned in the minds of the individuals.
    Individuals purchase “Dabur Chyawanprash “to strengthen their body’s internal defense mechanism and fight against germs, infections and stress. That’s the image of Dabur Chyawanprash in the minds of consumers.
    USP of a Nokia Handset - Better battery backup.
    USP of Horlicks Foodles - Healthy snack
    Communicate the USPs to the target audience through effective ways of advertising. Use banners, slogans, inserts and hoardings.
    Let individuals know what your brand offers for them to decide what is best for them.
  3. Know your competitors
    • A marketer must be aware of the competitor’s offerings. Let the individuals know how your product is better than the competitors?
    • Never underestimate your competitors.
    • Let the target audience know how your product is better than others.
    • The marketers must always strive hard to have an edge over their competitors.
  4. Ways to promote brands
    • Choose the right theme for the advertisement.
    • Use catchy taglines.
    • The advertisement must not confuse people.
    • The marketer must highlight the benefits of the products.
  5. Maintain the position of the brand
    • For an effective positioning it is essential for the marketers to continue to live up to the expectations of the end - users.
    • Never compromise on quality.
    • Don’t drastically reduce the price of your products.
    • A Mercedes car would not be the same if its price is reduced below a certain level.
    • A Rado watch would lose its charm if its price is equal to a Sonata or a Maxima Watch.

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