In today’s market, it is inevitable to find more than a few competitors in the market with similar products and services. Naturally, this increases competition, but it also creates a new problem for businesses from a marketing perspective. Consumers decide which products to purchase based on their perception, so marketing specialists need to find ways to stand out.
Changing Consumer Perception Relative to That of Other Brands: Brand Promise and Competition
The objective of market positioning is to change the consumer’s perception of your brand image in such a way that differentiates your products from rivals that offer similar products. When people are given a choice between many products in a category, it is natural that they will compare between them and choose according to what they perceive as the best product for their needs.
In the STP process, the first step is segmentation, whereby a market is divided into segments based on shared characteristics (Such as age, gender, etc.). Targeting different segments of a market helps businesses increase the efficacy of their marketing strategy as well as get more return on their investment. The final step of the STP process is positioning. By defining their position among their rivals, businesses are able to convey more information about their brand image and change the perception of their products to increase sales to their target market segment.
For example, gaming computers are marketed as high-power machines that are more suitable for gaming or other heavy tasks such as graphics rendering. While gaming computers perform the same functions as a normal computer, the marketers are focusing on their target segment (gamers) and advertising their product specifically for them. In this way, the product has a unique position in the market, and the target consumers perceive the computer as a better option when compared to rivals.
Different Types of Positioning Products in a Market
Several criteria are used by marketing specialists for positioning, depending on multiple factors that are unique to each business. These are some of the most commonly used market positioning criteria:
Quality as Positioning Criteria
Advertising products as higher-quality, when compared to their counterparts, can allow a company to charge higher prices for the same category. However, to market a product as a luxury item, price is not an issue that is mentioned at all. Instead, prestige and superior quality are the focus of this marketing strategy.
Unique Characteristics of a Product Can Make It Stand Out
Even products with very similar uses and quality can market themselves at a different position in the consumer’s mind by focusing on the unique characteristics they have to offer. The automobile industry is often used to illustrate this – where cars are marketed for reliability, speed, safety, or even innovation. The consumer’s subconscious always associates a brand with its unique characteristic if the brand communicates it consistently in its marketing campaign.
Positioning Your Product Involves Filling a Gap in the Market
Whatever criteria a business decides to use for market positioning, the best method is to find a gap in the market and fill it. For example, while electric vehicles have been around for quite some time, Tesla is a market leader because it fills the gap of a functional electric vehicle. When consumers think of Tesla cars, they do not imagine a battery-operated car that will be a nuisance to drive. Instead, they imagine a completely new driving experience and an electric vehicle that functions just as well as the traditional cars. This marketing strategy allows Tesla to charge higher prices easily, and consumers who can afford it will happily pay for it.