Once a company has decided which segments of the market it will enter, it must decide what positions it wants to occupy in those segments. A product’s position is the way the product is defined by consumers on important attributes – the place the product occupies in consumers’ minds relative to competing products. Positioning involves implanting the brand’s unique benefits and differentiation in customers’ minds. Thus, OMO is positioned as a powerful, all-purpose family detergent. Pepsodent is positioned as the family toothpaste.
Consumers are often burdened with information about products and services. They can not reexamine products every time they make a purchase. To simplify the buying process, consumers organize products into categories – they “position” products, services, and companies in their minds. A product’s position is the complex set of perceptions, impressions, and feelings that consumers have for the product compared with competing products. Consumers position products with or without the help of marketers. But marketers do not want to leave their products’ positions to chance. They must plan positions that will give their products the greatest advantage in selected target markets, and they must design marketing mixes to create these planned positions.
Choosing a position strategy
Some firms find it easy to choose their positioning strategy. For example, a firm well recognized for quality in certain segments will opt for this position in a new segment if there are enough customers seeking quality. But in various cases, two or more firms will go after the same position. Then, each will have to find other ways to set itself apart. Each firm must differentiate its offer by building a unique bundle of benefits that appeal to a substantial group within the segment.
The positioning task consists of three steps. These include the following:
• Seeking to build position through identifying set of possible competitive advantage ;
• Picking the right competitive advantages; and
• Opting for a final a final positioning strategy.
The company must then effectively communicate and deliver the chosen position to the market.
Identifying Possible Competitive Advantages
Major keys to successfully persuading a customer is to understand their needs and purchasing decisions better than competitors do and to deliver more value. P&E can position itself as providing higher level value to selected target markets it gains competitive advantage. Their product position must be seen as the best when it comes best when it’s related to excellence in product and service, the customers must be assured when it comes to quality and service.
To find points of differentiation, marketers of P;E must think through the customer’s entire experience with the company’s product or service.
• P;E can practice channel differentiation to earn competitive advantage through the way they design their channel’s coverage, expertise, and performance. Dell Computer and Avon distinguish themselves by their high-quality direct channels. Iams pet food achieves success by going against tradition, distributing its products only through veterinarians and pet stores.
• P&E can gain a strong competitive advantage through people differentiation. This can be done through hiring and training better people than their competitors do.
• Even when competing offers look the same, buyers may perceive a difference based on company or brand image differentiation. A company or brand image should convey the product’s distinctive benefits and positioning. Developing a strong and distinctive image calls for creativity and hard work. The company might build a brand around a famous person, as Asoamoah Gyan did with Kleesoft, Nana Ama McBrown with Hisense, Abedi Pele with Parlays Biscuit and so on. P;E can also associate itself with colors, such as TIGO (blue), VODAFONE (red), MTN (yellow). The chosen symbols, characters, and other image elements must be communicated through advertising that conveys the company’s personality.