Competitor Compare and Contrast Now gather together your companys version of the same set of information that you sought out in the competitor analysis and the competitor positioning analysis. Hold the two data sets up for comparison. It should become pretty evident where your market positioning strategy should place its focus. Market positions that allow you to take full ownership of a niche are rare but valuable. Develop a unique positioning Idea once the ideal market position is identified the goal is to create a unique impression in the mind of customers that associates something specific and desirable about your brand that is distinct from the other competitors in the space. With all this information in hand, you should be able to clearly and specifically state who you are as a company, who you are not, what problems exist in the market, how you solve for those problems, and how to cater to the customer base. Will you need to translate website copy into other languages to serve the most promising market segments, for example? These facts form the basis of the market positioning statement.
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The number of buyers in the market, the importance of their patronage to the supplier, and the buyers cost of switching between suppliers can all be relevant. Suppliers with a handful of powerful buyers are usually vulnerable to the terms buyers want to set. Competitive rivalry — how many competitors exist in the given market? The roosevelt more competitors there are offering similar products or services the less attractive the market. Threat of Substitution — how many similar products exist in the market? Where the an abundance of similar products exists, the likelihood of price-driven brand switches runs high. Suppliers have less power in saturated markets so those markets are less attractive. Threat of New Entry — how profitable is the market? More profitable markets attract newcomers, eventually eroding profitability unless there are barriers to entry such as patents, economies of scale, government compliance issues, etc. The competitor positioning analysis will help you understand the factors that influence profitability in the market where you wish to compete. The resulting data set will also help inform decisions concerning whether to enter a specific industry or not, whether to increase capacity in a specific industry, and how to go about developing competitive strategies.
Check press releases, white papers, shareholder reports, promotional campaigns, mergers, acquisitions, and hiring practices for deeper insight into the direction the competition is moving. Competitor Capabilities — the answers to the above three questions should outline a comprehensive story of what the competitors capabilities are. That information should inform an understanding of where their strengths and weaknesses lie, which will help you direct focus to where your efforts will be database most effective at the end of the market positioning process. Competitor Positioning Analysis Michael Porter of Harvard Business School says that there are five forces of competitive position analysis that determine the competitive intensity and attractiveness of a market, and point to the place where power lies in any business situation. Porters five forces are: Supplier Power — how easy is it for suppliers to raise prices? The number of suppliers, the uniqueness of their products or services, their relative size and strength in the market, and the cost of switching between suppliers all factor into the answer. Buyer Power — how easy is it for buyers to drive prices down?
Some will take time and effort to gather and analyze. As long as you understand that this process will aid the development of your own marketing strategies and help locate needs in the market shredder that arent being met then maintaining the motivation to see the process through shouldnt be a problem. A thorough competitor analysis can be broken down into four subcategories. These arent necessarily financial objectives, and may instead relate to market share or growth rate. If you can pinpoint one or two crucial objectives such as short-term revenue. Investing in research and development, or whether they are investing in translation software to serve international market segments, then you can act and react accordingly. Competitor Assumptions — general, and typically unqualified data that may include past experience, market trends, and regional cultural factors, should be noted for reference against the rest of the data. Competitor Strategy — this is probably the most difficult information to uncover but also the most useful.
Instead they rely on a clearly defined market segment where they can serve the customer base more meaningfully because of their unique attributes. Who are your competitors and what do you do differently? Trying to slot your company into a market position already occupied by a competitor entails a tough uphill battle. Its also a bad idea to try and leverage another brand by likening yours. Imitation may be the highest form of flattery, but in business, flattering the competition too much can weaken your brand just as easily as it can strengthen. Address these questions for yourself and write the answers down so they can be referenced or revisited later. Competitor Analysis, next, you want to conduct a thorough competitor analysis to understand who they are, what strategies they use or may have planned, how they may react to your strategic actions, and how your actions may influence their behavior to your advantage. Some of the data youll need is easy to find.
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If your audience misunderstands you, theres a good chance that you misunderstand yourself on some level. To sort this predicament out, or avoid it altogether, there are a few questions you need to answer decisively. Who are you as a brand and what do you stand for? The most unique attributes of your business will set you apart from the competition, but establishing difference or uniqueness is not all there is to an effective positioning strategy. Distinction of those attributes and values that only your company can provide to customers, also needs to be established.
So does attraction, which can be expressed in terms of attributes and values that the target customer base genuinely wants or needs. Who are your target customers and what do they want or need? With difference, distinction, and attraction determined, you can then shift the focus outward to determine which customers your company best serves. Those customers will represent the market segment your final market position will be set up to serve. How will you reliably meet those needs? Great brands understand about that it simply isnt possible to please all people, in all ways, all the time.
Determine current position —, determining your existing market position is every bit as vital as any competitor analysis. Thats because you have to understand your own market position to be able to properly compete for your share. Competitor positioning analysis —. An accessory to the competitor analysis, competitor positioning analysis identifies the conditions of the market that influence how much power competitors are able to exercise. Develop a unique positioning idea —.
With all the analytical data in hand, you should have a better idea of who you are, who you are not, and who your best audience. Its time to make a statement about those facts. Test the effectiveness of your brand positioning —. Testing methodology will consist of qualitative and quantitative data gathering, mainly determined by the steps prior to this, but may also include focus groups, surveys, in-depth interviews, ethnography, polls, etc. The results of the testing should then be rated against a set of criteria listed below. Determining Current Market Position, one of the telltale signs that a brand has neglected their market positioning is that they feel misunderstood by their target audience.
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But, those who can follow the process through to the end will find that every action that follows becomes an expression of the market positioning strategy. Market positioning follows seven basic steps listed below: Draft a positioning statement —, there are four simple questions reviews that will yield a set of basic facts about the identity you have determined for your company (see below). The positioning statement is the result of plugging those facts into a basic, formulaic sentence structure. Compare and contrast to identify your own uniqueness —. Differences between your own messaging strategy and communication channels, and those of your competitors reveal openings in the market that your positioning message should address. Competitor analysis —, investigating and analyzing the competition helps to determine the strengths and weaknesses of your own business measured against the competition. Understanding the differences between a business and its competitors is central to finding gaps in the market that can be filled.
The Steps to an Effective positioning Strategy. The process is best broken down into its steps to keep the concept as simple as possible. But, do not assume that knowing the steps makes execution easy. It takes a great deal of the clarity and conviction to follow through. Knowing the steps should help with the clarity part, but conviction is something that must be developed internally if it doesnt already exist. Its very important for marketers to muster the conviction of the organization, because following the process through to the end creates degrees of certainty moving forward that cant be substituted any other way. Plenty of companies out there get by without much conviction, and without a dedicated market position strategy. But without some degree of certainty and conviction, most companies will eventually default to the status quo when the waters get choppy. Its only a matter of time.
and error in this thinking. Yes, you can opt out of a deliberate positioning strategy if you want, and yes there will be an organic result that flows from inaction. But one way or another, your brand will occupy a market position for as long as it exists, and its a mistake not to take full control of it, because you can bet the competition will. One last cautionary tale before moving on to the guide. Actively positioning a brand means the brand must decide to stand for something, hang their hat on a set of values, and stand by that decision for the long-term. Its easier said than done, and once positioned, it is very difficult — but not impossible — to reposition without compromising the credibility of the brand. For that reason, a solid market positioning strategy is crucial to the vitality and longevity of a company. The sooner you undertake this process, the better off your business organization will.
A positioning strategy is a deliberate branding plan or process that operates on the symbolic levels of consumer consciousness, where meanings and associations even of individual words really hold weight. A market positioning strategy is built on business data and seeks to compose the precise chain of words to balance concepts of differentiation, distinction, and similarity in a unified brand-narrative. It is a long-term effort to solidify the identity of a company, and its products or services, in a unique space within the minds of the target audience. It is an organized attempt for a brand to set itself apart from the crowd and influence the way their target audience perceives them. The idea of market positioning was first introduced in 1969 by jack Trout in a paper published by Industrial Marketing Magazine. The concept was later popularized when Trout and co-author Al ries published a bestselling book under the title, positioning The battle for your general Mind, in 1981. Ries and Trouts book describes the positioning strategy as an organized system for finding a window in the customers mind, based on the idea that communication can only take place at the right time and under the right circumstances. This brief positioning strategy guide has been compiled to help give you an idea of how market positioning works.
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Learn about Market Penetration, according to the market research firm, yankelovich, the average media consumer sees between 3,000 and 20,000 marketing messages per day, depending on how you qualify exposure. Even at the low end of that exposure range, those numbers are far too great for any one label, logo, or slogan to leave a significant impression. And this condition has not been created by the internet and ecommerce either. In fact, studies dating back to the 1960s indicate that people have been exposed to as many as 5,000 advertising messages per day since those early days of television. The basic business takeaway is that marketing in todays consumer society is excessively message-heavy and over-communicated; people swim in an ocean of advertising messages. So, advertising messages, in and of themselves, must really hit remote their mark if they want to carry any meaning at all. This is also nothing new; in the late 1960s, the idea of market positioning was born to create a way for brands to cut through all the advertising clutter and reach an audience of people whose minds they do stand a chance of leaving. So, what is a market Positioning Strategy?