Positioning and differentiation are vastly important, if you wish your product to rise above competition and succeed in the marketplace. Positioning is defined as the way you influence customer perception of your product compared with their perception of competing products. Differentiation is just what it sounds like, setting your product apart by adjusting price or quality in order to push demand higher.
If you have a great product, that’s wonderful. But if the consumer never knows how great your product is compared to other products like it, you’re shooting yourself in the foot as a business owner. This is why positioning is so critical in the market place. People need to be spoon-fed this information, because most buyers don’t do all of the necessary research. They need to see right up front all of the attributes of buying your product above another. One example of this is the Bounty commercials for their paper towels. They put one of their thick, durable paper towels next to a weaker one dubbed “competitor brand” and pour liquid on each or use each to clean a mess in order to show how much stronger their product is.
Differentiation is also extremely valuable. If your product is the same as every other version like it, you will find that there is no drive for consumers to pick your product. They need to have a reason to buy your product. As with the previous example, Bounty uses differentiation by promoting themselves as the only paper towel with 2-ply and extra strength. Because of this, the value goes up exponentially in the eyes of the consumer. They want to know that they are purchasing quality goods, and if you are constantly showing them how much better your product is, they will always have that in mind when choosing paper towels.
This topic has been especially valuable to me, as I hope to one day open up my own restaurant. There are millions of restaurants in the world, and it is important that I set my business and my products apart. By utilizing differentiation, I will ensure that my products always provide great value to my customers. Knowing now how much of an impact this can have on your business, I will be able to create a successful brand and promote both loyalty and customer satisfaction. Positioning comes into play when I discover what ways my restaurant will be different. I will position myself against competition in the market by promoting the strengths of my restaurant and the advantages of dining there. I will position myself as a low-cost, high-quality restaurant with an enjoyable atmosphere.
In conclusion, product positioning and differentiation are crucial to a business’ or product’s success. Without these key tools, your product will never succeed in the marketplace. Differentiation helps to set you apart from competition, and positioning helps the consumer to understand in what ways you are different and superior.