Strategic company positioning of the company: what is it? The strategic positioning of the company consists in implementing a strategy that seeks to give an offer a credible, attractive and different position from what already exists on the market.
“Offer” means all the products and services offered for sale by a company. These are intended for target customers, consumers, who at the time of purchase ask themselves:
- “Why choose this product/service over another?”
- “What is the difference between this or that product/service?”
- “Which company should I buy from without making a mistake?”
The purpose of a company positioning is to facilitate the choice of the consumer/customer in the grip of an enormous offer on the market, by ensuring that your offer has a specific (and very clear) place in their mind.
Good positioning must be:
– simple: the offer is easily understood and perceived by the consumer, the buyer and the prescriber,
– credible: the offer is relevant in terms of the positioning of competitors and adapted to the needs of potential customers,
– attractive: what the company offers is truly differentiating on a market.
How to succeed in a good strategic corporate positioning?
The positioning depends essentially on what the company wants:
What is your commercial policy and how do you intend to influence the consumer?
What strategic choices do you want to make? Play on the price? The quality ? The amount ? Values ?
Either way, the goal of the game for you is to win the battle for the attention of potential customers. Stand out from the crowd to make them buy your products or services.
5 steps are necessary for successful positioning:
1. Identify your persona
Start by precisely qualifying your persona (the typical profile of the ideal customer) using the empathy map, which is an easy-to-use profiling tool to get to know your target customers better.
Who is he ? What are his problems, his expectations? How does he behave?
2. Focus on company values
What values do you want to convey? About your team, your collaborators, your suppliers, your products? Why do you do what you do? What is the purpose of the business?
The objective is to federate and engage your target around your concepts.
3. List your competitive differences
- What are the characteristics of your offer?
- What are you doing different from your competitors?
- What do you do best?
Use the perceptual map (also called competitive mapping or positioning map) to visualize your competitive positioning.
4. Gather your social proof
The positive opinions and testimonials of your customers are all assets that allow you to convey reassurance to your target.
Use this social proof in your marketing strategy to reinforce your target.
5. Work on your storytelling
The way you are going to write the messages intended for your potential customers, through the story you are telling (storytelling), changes their perception.
Think about the values to convey and the way you promote your offer.
Good positioning is about bringing different value with a specific position.
By having identified during the segmentation stage groups of consumers whose needs are homogeneous, you know who and how to address them. You need to target the right people and your offer is positioned so that the target market recognizes its particularities.
Mapping or perceptual map of the market: the tool to visualize its positioning
The perceptual market map (or mapping) helps you:
- Visualize the current positioning of the company and define the desired positioning,
- Identify commonalities with your competitors,
- Concretely locate the positioning of your various direct competitors,
- Identify market expectations and possible opportunities.
- It comes in the form of a two-axis chart on which you will place your business and your competitors.
This tool gives you, at a glance, a good indication of the market and your place in it.
To design your competitive mapping:
- Select the two most relevant/important/priority criteria for your target customer: notoriety, price, quality, service, design, usefulness of the service, range, etc.
- Once the criteria are defined, create a 2-axis chart, place the logos of your company and those of the competitors listed on the matrix according to the evaluation (scoring) assigned to them on these two criteria.
Compare the position of market players placed on the matrix to deduce unmet expectations among your customers or marketing opportunities to be seized.
– Do not choose the 2 criteria to be evaluated at random: Conduct a qualitative survey or a preliminary survey with your customers to understand what their 2 priorities are regarding your services or products.
– Take advantage of this survey to ask them to evaluate (by scoring from 1 to 10) your competitors on several criteria. You will generate a scoring in order to position them on the mapping.
– If applicable: your competitors’ websites, as well as their marketing operations, are rich in information to identify their priorities (“do they play” on price, quality, quantity, etc.?).
The importance of positioning your business well
Every company carries messages and values that will differentiate it from others. Thus, the same product can be positioned differently and not address the same target.
For example, what is the difference between these 3 waters?
Volvic®: this water focuses on purity and targets households with young children,
Cristaline®: 100% family-friendly and very economical water,
Contrex®: “the slimming partner” aimed primarily at women.
In general, the consumer will always favor a brand or a product that fits into his lifestyle and that corresponds to his current of thought.
Your customers are no different!
It is therefore important to take their expectations into account as a priority, to distinguish yourself through value-creating elements while relying on the means available to the company to deliver the advertised offer.
Good positioning has several dimensions, it allows:
- to distinguish you sustainably from your direct and indirect competitors,
- to reinforce the perceived value of your offer to consumers,
- to engage people, prospects, customers, suppliers towards your brand/product or service,
- to retain and sustain the customer relationship,
- to develop your marketing mix strategy.
What are the risks of poor strategic company positioning?
In case of bad positioning or absence of positioning, you risk contrario:
- To be invisible in your market (not to attract or retain the attention of your target).
- To experience a lack of understanding of your offers.
- Not selling your products/services at the right prices.
- Be badly or little recommended by your customers.
All these consequences affect the performance of your business, but it is never too late to review and correct your positioning!
Do not try to please everyone, a positioning is more likely to impose itself on its public, if it is simple and based on a small number of functional or symbolic characteristics.