Marketing positioning is one of the fundamental strategies that helps companies differentiate and succeed in an increasingly competitive market. In a world where customers have a seemingly endless choice of products and services to choose from, the right positioning is crucial to capture the attention of the target audience, build trust and ultimately generate sales. In this article, we will take a closer look at the concept of positioning in marketing, highlight its importance for business success and look at some proven strategies and examples to understand how successful positioning can be achieved.
To successfully differentiate yourself from your competitors and your benchmark, you need to answer the following questions:
It is important to be able to position your company as a leader and first point of contact for specific challenges and to create a uniform web presence with recognition value.
In order to create a uniform image to the outside world, all your channels and platforms must necessarily follow the same values, principles and design approaches. This is the only way to establish yourself as an optimal, unique partner in the minds of your prospects and customers.
From my point of view, the first thing is to know your company very well. You should know what your strengths and weaknesses are and how they are communicated to the outside world.
Once you have done the SWOT analysis, it will be much easier for you to position your products and services in the market, taking into account your strengths and weaknesses, and to differentiate yourself from your competitors. Then your offer can be perceived as above average, positive and helpful.
In the next step, it is essential to define your buyer personas, address them personally and provide them with exactly the content they need to solve their concerns. Show what makes your products or services unique and for which target group they are designed.
Especially for smaller companies, marketing positioning is very important. This is because they work with targeted measures in the area of branding and unique selling propositions, which is imprinted in the minds of the customers. If they are satisfied, they will recommend you to others and thus bring you new customers. However, this is only possible if they can remember your company - which is why it is so important to create a unique external image that your customers will remember.
It is proven that a properly implemented positioning has a successful impact on your business figures and your ROI (Return On Investment) can be noticeably increased.
To be specific about positioning in marketing, you need to be aware that there are 2 main factors:
Especially in inbound marketing, it is important to position yourself as an expert in an industry. This is done by analysing your own strengths and weaknesses and by analysing your customers (buyer personas) and their challenges and pains.
Find out what the top challenges of your clientele are and check whether these pains match your strengths. The intersections of this analysis give you an indication of the direction in which your positioning should develop.
Position yourself clearly and unambiguously in the market!
Align your positioning strategy with your customers and try to answer their challenges with a clear content strategy. Only if you understand what makes your customers tick and can offer them the right help with their challenges will you be perceived as a helpful and competent brand.
Also be aware that not all of your prospects or customers are at the same stage of the buyer's journey. Create different entry points: for customers who only want to inform themselves once; for customers who are in the decision-making process; for customers who are already ready to find out whether your company is the right partner for them.
Try to package this in such a way that your potential buyers quickly and precisely recognise what your company stands for on the market and what exactly you can offer the interested party.
Find out where your target group is and how they want to be addressed. Once you are aware of this, focus on the right channels and provide the target groups with appropriate content. Establish a uniform external image in order to be perceived uniformly everywhere. Communicate your strengths, values and the "why" of your company clearly and understandably. This will strengthen your brand and your image as a whole.
2. Analysis of the market
Now you know your target group and where they are. You also know how your target people want to be addressed and what their challenges are. The next step is to analyse the market. This will give you a picture of how the findings from the target group analysis are covered in the market and which of your competitors address which buyer personas. Analyse where you can position your brand in order to avoid unnecessarily high competition and to facilitate your own positioning. Find out where your direct competitors are positioned in the market and which target group they are interested in. Try to position yourself where you compete with few direct competitors, and ideally where your strengths lie.
3. Communicate your own "why
Get away from just trying to market your brand and your products. Today, it's less about what you offer, how great your products are and how cheap you are - it's about communicating to your customers why you do what you do. The "why" of your business is becoming more and more important. Your customers are interested in what values you stand for and what drives your actions. Here you should be able to explain, without naming your products, why you are active in your sector and why you are the perfect partner - in a personal and authentic way. A good example of this is e.g. FULFILLING DREAMS OF PERSONAL FREEDOM (HARLEY DAVIDSON STORY) or WE STRIVE FOR EVERYONE TO ACHIEVE THEIR INDIVIDUAL BEST PERFORMANCE (ADIDAS STORY).
4. Consistent presence
Make sure that the same message is conveyed on all your channels and that each presence has the same design. You want a unified and clean presence that leaves no room for interpretation. Apply this concept to your entire online presence: your website, your social media marketing (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Xing, Snapchat, etc.), your Google My Business listing, your listings in local directories (Local SEO) and any other channels you use.
These measures are important in order to be perceived consistently, authentically and convincingly in the market.
In order to successfully position yourself strategically in the market, you need to think about the following topics:
The majority of your potential customers have to deal with a specific challenge, usually in connection with emotional factors. Try to know and understand your clients and communicate with them on a human level - at eye level. Show them that you know what problems they are facing and respond to them. Adapt your writing style to your buyer persona, avoid unnecessary jargon as well as empty phrases. Put yourself in your target person's shoes and find out what level of knowledge and depth of understanding they have about your services and products.
Make sure you can offer the right products or services for your clients' challenges. Show exactly how the product or service can help them and what exactly the benefit of your offer is for them. Your products or services should fully address the needs and problems that drive your potential customers to search the web.
Especially in sectors with high competition, it is important to distinguish yourself from the competition and clearly differentiate yourself in the market. Think about what you can do better than your direct competitors and list it. Compare the unique selling propositions with the challenges of your customers and try to pick the USP(s) that exactly address the challenges of your future buyers. However, you have to make sure that you really cover these USPs and that you can implement them to the full satisfaction of your customers. Analyse your competitors and focus on the USP that only you offer and that makes you exceptional.
“People don't buy what you do; they buy why you do it. And what you do simply proves what you believe”. ― Simon Sinek
This approach should stay in your mind, because most companies that present themselves on the web focus on their products and services. Instead, the focus should be on what drives them every day to work for the product or service with full enthusiasm. In short: "the reason why" is crucial. In the age of the excessive flood of products on the internet, this strategy allows you to stand out from your competitors and to present a more emotional and authentic view of things to the outside world. And this makes you "unique".
Younger generations X/Y/Z in particular attach increasing importance to knowing what your company stands for, what its values are and what brand promise is behind it. Be authentic! Communicate with your target group, also allow glimpses behind the scenes. Own up to your mistakes and don't try to cover them up. Facebook / Instagram Live is a great way to give short insights into your business. Such videos do not need to be edited or specially cut, just be human. Live recordings may include scenes that you don't want to have on video, but this is exactly what reflects your authenticity. This is very much appreciated and creates trust in your brand.
Once you have identified the most important thing - the "WHY" of your business - it is not quite as difficult to define your "HOW" and "WHAT". You should also formulate these two points of view and discuss them in the team so that everyone can identify with them.
Another very important point: defining the values for the whole company. This should be a team effort, involving as many employees as possible from different departments. In the discussion you try to find out which values run through the whole company and how you want to carry them outwards.
Several values may be elaborated, the number does not play an essential role. However, try to concentrate on 4 to 8 focus values in the end. Package them in a textually appealing way so that they can be communicated to the outside world in a comprehensible way. All your employees should be able to identify with these values and explain what exactly is meant and how you live them in your daily interaction with each other. Therefore, it is important to share the values with all employees and to explain the background in more detail.
As part of your positioning, you usually work out your buyer personas and their main challenges in inbound marketing. Since you know what challenges your buyer personas face on a daily basis, you should also adapt your brand promise (your user promise) to these challenges. Formulate your Brand Promise in clear words so that you can include it in your texts - be it on your website, your social media channels or in personal conversations. The link between the Brand Promise and the challenges of your Buyer Personas should be clear. This is the only way to be sure that you can offer the right answers and solutions to your focused target group.
After all your research and analysis, you already know your buyer personas and their challenges very well and you know where your potential customers spend their time and get information. Now you can also define how your visual and verbal presence should be designed to appeal to this group of people and pick them up emotionally. Here it is important to find out if there are other influencers of your focus buyer persona that you also want to reach. Be authentic, deliver the appropriate answers to the challenges of your counterpart. Use the linguistic means and the imagery with which you hit your target group right in the heart, then you will inspire them for you and your content.
Use the potential that a clear positioning in the market offers you. To do this, you need to scan and analyse the market and your competitors to find your place in this market network. Consider your strengths and weaknesses. Make sure you have implemented all the important factors of a clear brand and marketing positioning and apply them in all your channels. Consistency is essential to create or maintain brand recognition. Consider topics such as USP, Brand Promise, Brand Values, Golden Circle, etc. that influence your successful positioning. Then you will secure your visibility next to successful brands.
Not sure how to approach this topic? Are you about to rebrand? Or you want to make sure that you are on the right track with your start-up to position yourself successfully in the market? Then you are welcome to contact us. We will work together in 1 to 2 day workshops to develop the starting point for your unique positioning.
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