A brief guide to product positioning

Stripo / Glossary / A brief guide to product positioning

In this article, we will take a look at the types of product positioning strategies in marketing. Using definitions and specific examples from this article, you can decide which one is the best for your company.

What is brand positioning?

Brand positioning is how the consumer perceives your brand and what images or associations arise in their head when the brand name is mentioned. Through positioning, you show the basic features and qualities of the product, talk about the problems that your product solves and show for whom it is intended.

Even if the company does not pay enough attention to brand positioning, people still form the image of your brand. Therefore, it is better to manage this process by yourself.

Major types of brand positioning

There are a lot of ways of positioning, depending on what characteristics the authors take as a basis. But it is important to remember that the positioning concept within channels adjusts to a specific market situation. Therefore, it is worth focusing on a specific case, taking into account the market and the capabilities of the company.

Below, we have listed the main brand positioning strategies. They are suitable for any brand: Young and with a history, global, and local. The clearer business owners understand their audience and product, the easier it will be to use quality positioning services in advertising for them.

1. Competitive positioning

This strategy is based on opposing brands to competitors. The weaknesses of competitors, the desires of consumers that they cannot satisfy, and the strengths of your brand are taken into account. This strategy option is suitable if there are already strong players in the niche. The strategy is applied to win competitors’ market share.

Example: Advertisement for a car rental company in the United States called “Avis”, which is ranked top 2 in the list of competitors. The message of the advertisement is “Avis is only #2 in renting a car. So why go with us? We will try harder.”  

2. Niche positioning

In this strategy, you focus on offering and describing the features that only your tool/product has.

3. Leader-based positioning

It requires a company to meet the following characteristics: An innovative product, development of a new market, leadership positions.

Example: Tesla Motors, launching the $75,000 Model S electric car, has created a premium segment for electric cars.

4. Brand positioning based on consumer needs

The brand communicates directly to its target audience, it distinguishes and isolates it, showing that this audience is unique and deserves the best. As a rule, such a positioning strategy is visible in advertising slogans with the phrases "for those who", "created for that."

Example: An application for weather-dependent people which helps people with a meteorological dependence to monitor sudden changes in the weather. Their positioning: “an app for meteorological dependent people”. Such a positioning helps this app to set a competitive price in product placing for business. Consumers will be more likely to pay more if they understand that the product was created specifically for them. That’s why positioning by product users in retail is so popular, where it is so hard to stand out from a crowd.

5. Price positioning

This strategy is based on the exploitation of price. Several options are possible in this strategy:

  • the client gets everything the competitor offers but at a lower cost. Such positioning is reasonable if there are competitors on the market that offer their products at inflated prices;

  • the client gets more and pays more. This positioning is for those customers who are willing to pay for additional benefits.

Example: Cosmetic brand L'oreal has positioning related to its high prices “Because you’re worth it”.

6. Prestige-based positioning

The preferred positioning option for companies that produce premium and luxury goods. Emphasis on exclusivity, luxury, and quality.

Example: Bentley positioning “We are opposite of mass production”.

Famous brand positioning statements in different industries

Most successful brands use captivating stories. That’s why their positioning statements are not just beautiful words, but an emotionally powerful message. 

Old brands usually have historical narratives. For example, the storytelling of the Skoda brand, whose founder allegedly traveled in his youth with an Indian man, whose portrait later hung in his office. A stylized Indian profile in a feather headdress, similar to an arrow, was reflected in the car logo. 

Such stories may be created artificially, and they are usually closely related to the authenticity of the brand. Storytelling allows a brand to get closer to its target audience, to create a sense of belonging. It can be used not only when creating a new brand, but also for the promotion of a new product of the established brand. It is a perfect way to describe product features and benefits examples in a creative way. 

Famous brand positioning examples can be not only successful. Mistakes in positioning can be very expensive. Coca-Cola is famous for its mistakes in eastern countries. In China, when Coca-Cola had to translate its name in Mandarin, they chose “Ke-Kou-Ke-La” very unwisely because it meant “bite the wax tadpole” or “a female horse stuffed with wax”. Soon enough they realized their mistake and changed the translation to “ko-kou-ko-le” which means “happiness in the mouth.” 

As we see, to create the correct concept of positioning, it is required to know the market, be able to highlight the advantages of a product, and present it in a way that finds an emotional response from the consumer.