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How Positioning in Marketing Can Elevate Your Brand

Julia McCoy
Monday, 19th Feb 2024
Julia McCoy
5 min read · Jan 11 2022
positioning in marketing

Imagine you’ve got the best product in town, but nobody knows it exists. That’s where positioning in marketing comes into play. Merely existing isn’t enough; it’s about shining the spotlight on the uniqueness that sets your brand apart.

In this blog post, we’ll define what is positioning in marketing, how strategic positioning shapes the way customers see your brand, and underscore its significance in distinguishing yourself in a crowded marketplace.

You’ll learn how to craft strategies that make your product stand out, develop compelling positioning statements, and use perceptual maps to understand your competition better.

Plus, we’ll explore real-world examples of positioning in marketing from brands like Taco Bell and Coca-Cola to see these concepts in action.

When we wrap up, you’ll be fully equipped with how to elevate your brand’s standing effectively.

Table Of Contents:

What Does Positioning Mean in Marketing?

Positioning in marketing, at its core, refers to the process of establishing a distinct image or identity for a product, service, or brand within the target market’s mind. It’s about carving out a unique space where your offering is perceived as irreplaceable by your customers.

The essence of effective positioning lies in how well you communicate your product’s unique attributes and benefits compared to competitors. This involves strategic planning around how consumers perceive your offerings.

Here are some examples of market positioning:

  • A women’s shoe brand could position its products as a status symbol.
  • A breadmaker might position itself as the healthier option.
  • A carmaker could position its vehicles as the safest choice for families.

Remember, successful brand positioning isn’t just about where you stand now but also potential future growth paths aligning with consumer expectations.

Why is Market Positioning Important?

Market positioning is about distinguishing what makes your offerings different — and better — than other brands. By effectively communicating these differences through strategic content marketing, you create a compelling reason for customers to choose you over others. This differentiation not only helps in attracting new customers but also aids in retaining existing ones by reinforcing their decision to stick with a brand that aligns with their needs and values.

Your market position directly influences how potential customers perceive your brand. A strong position conveys expertise, reliability, and value — qualities that consumers actively seek when making purchasing decisions.

Through carefully crafted SEO content that highlights these attributes, you can shape perceptions in a way that positions your brand as the go-to authority within your niche. For example, incorporating targeted keywords related to quality or innovation can enhance consumer perception of your offerings.

Fueling Content Strategy Success

A well-defined market position serves as an invaluable compass for guiding all aspects of your content strategy. Knowing precisely who you are targeting enables more personalized content creation; it ensures every piece from blog posts to social media updates is designed with specific customer preferences in mind.

This tailored approach not only boosts engagement rates but also improves overall effectiveness by delivering messages that resonate deeply with audiences at various stages of their buying journey.

In essence,

  • Market positioning shapes consumer perception,
  • Differentiates brands from competitors,
  • Gives direction to targeted content creation efforts,

and ultimately,

  • Lays down the foundation for lasting success in both traditional markets and digital spaces alike.

By prioritizing clear-cut differentiation coupled with precise targeting through savvy SEO practices, your business stands poised not just to survive, but to thrive amidst ever-evolving marketplace dynamics — cementing its status as a leader worthy of attention and trust among discerning consumers.

Types of Positioning

Exploring the marketing landscape reveals how crucial positioning is for a brand’s visibility. Think about Apple Music or Taco Bell — their success isn’t by chance.

There are five types of positioning in marketing: customer needs, product price, product quality, product use, and competitors.

A common type of positioning involves homing in on the needs of your customers. Know your target market and how you can fulfill their specific requirements.

Then there’s product price positioning. Ever noticed how some brands position themselves as competitively priced? They’re emphasizing the best value for your money.

Product quality can also be a powerful positioning strategy. Companies leverage high-quality perceptions to distinguish themselves from competitors offering similar products at lower quality levels.

The use/application positioning approach tailors products for specific scenarios or uses, carving out niche markets where they become go-to solutions for particular problems.

Positioning your brand as better than your competitors is another good technique. Show where your company stands compared to others in your industry.

All these strategies aim at one thing: shaping how your target market perceives you — ensuring your message hits home with prospective customers every time.

What is a Brand Positioning Strategy?

Brand positioning involves crafting a unique space in the minds of your customers about what your brand represents. This strategic effort not only differentiates you from competitors but also clarifies why potential clients should choose you over others.

Comparative Positioning: Highlighting Your Edge

In comparative positioning, companies juxtapose their offerings against those from other brands. By doing so, they effectively spotlight their Unique Selling Propositions (USPs) and underscore the added value they bring to the table.

For businesses aiming to carve out their niche, leveraging comparative positioning can provide that critical leverage by making clear distinctions between them and their rivals.

Differentiation Positioning: Unveiling Your Unique Feature

An equally powerful brand positioning strategy is differentiation positioning. This tactic revolves around emphasizing features or services that are unparalleled — something competitors cannot replicate easily.

Whether it’s an innovative product design, exceptional customer service, or proprietary technology, differentiation helps brands stake claim on attributes uniquely theirs.

Understanding how to capitalize on these differences makes all the difference in crowded markets.

Segmentation Positioning: Tailoring Messages for an Audience Segment

Last but certainly not least is segmentation positioning, a technique especially beneficial for companies targeting multiple demographics.

Through segmentation strategies, marketers tailor messages specially designed for each group’s needs and preferences — ensuring relevance across diverse audiences while fostering deeper connections with that segment.

Comparative vs Differentiation Strategies

Comparative positioning pits your brand directly against competitors, showing why you’re the better choice. Think Apple Music boasting its exclusive albums over Spotify’s generic offerings. It’s about highlighting what makes you different and better in direct comparison.

Differentiation carves out a niche solely for your brand in untouched territories. Taco Bell did this by mixing fast food with Mexican cuisine, an approach no major chain had taken before.

Choosing the right positioning strategies can be the secret sauce to elevating your offering. Whether it’s leveraging high-quality products as status symbols or emphasizing product quality over price as many luxury brands do successfully, understanding the concepts of brand positioning in marketing and product positioning can transform how potential customers see you.

Dive into the art of standing out. Brands like Apple Music & Taco Bell show it’s not just about being different, but being boldly better. #BrandStrategy #MarketingMagic Click to Tweet

Crafting Compelling Positioning Statements

A strong brand positioning statement is like your company’s secret handshake. It’s like telling everyone, “Here’s our identity, our mission, and why you should care.”

To start, clearly identify your target audience. These are the folks who will nod along as they read your statement because it speaks directly to them. Knowing their needs helps tailor your message so it hits home.

Next up: competition. Your category where you compete sets the stage for understanding how crowded or unique your market space might be. Here lies an opportunity to highlight what sets you apart from competitors — a critical piece of any branding strategy.

Your differentiator from competitors isn’t just about being different; it’s about being meaningfully different in ways that matter to your target audience. This could range from product quality to customer service excellence or even a commitment to sustainability — anything that gives customers a solid reason to choose you over others.

Last but not least comes the payoff for customers — the “what’s in it for me?” factor that drives engagement and loyalty.

Click here to see more brand positioning examples from Zendesk

The Role of Perceptual Maps in Market Positioning

Imagine a tool that helps you see how your product stacks up against the competition, all laid out on a simple graph. That’s what a perceptual map does for market positioning.

A positioning map is not just any chart; it visually represents product comparisons against competitors based on various attributes important to the customer.

A perceptual map is crucial for firms trying to identify their position in the eyes of consumers. By plotting products or brands along axes representing different characteristics (like price, quality, or usability), companies can identify gaps in the market, areas of overcrowding, and strategies their rivals are employing.

To draw up an effective perceptual map, you not only need to understand its concept but also have a talent for strategic analysis.

For those looking to dive deeper into crafting these insightful charts, CFI offers comprehensive guidance. Here you’ll find everything needed to use perceptual maps effectively as part of your broader marketing strategy.

Example of a perceptual map from Corporate Finance Institute

Repositioning a brand or product in the marketplace is no small feat. Crafting a new identity for a brand or product calls for an intricate strategy that not only transforms its essence but also aligns it with the desires and expectations of both current and future patrons.

The Coca-Cola Company’s revamp of Mother Energy Drinks in Australia is a prime example of market repositioning done right. By honing in on distinct characteristics, elevating product excellence, and aligning with the tastes of Australians, Mother Energy shed its previous image as a mere energy booster to become an emblem of prestige among its intended audience. This shift wasn’t just about changing perceptions; it was about altering the very essence of what Mother Energy stood for.

To achieve similar success, companies need to craft compelling positioning messages that align with their core values while meeting customer needs. A successful product positioning strategy hinges on understanding how your target market perceives your product versus competitors. Tools like perceptual maps can give invaluable insights into where you stand in consumers’ minds relative to rivals, guiding your efforts more effectively.

Coca-Cola turned Mother Energy into a hit by nailing its product positioning strategies —showing it’s all about hitting the right note with your market. #MarketingWin #BrandStrategy Click to Tweet

FAQs – Positioning in Marketing

What does positioning mean in marketing?

In marketing, positioning is how you make your brand occupy a distinct spot in the minds of your target audience.

What are the 5 types of positioning in marketing?

The five main types include product attributes, benefits, use or application, competition comparison, and price or quality levels.

What is a positioning example?

Volkswagen’s “Drivers Wanted” campaign positioned it as a car for those valuing driving experience over status symbols.

What is the purpose of positioning?

To carve out a unique market space that makes customers think of your brand first for their specific needs.


Positioning in marketing is the golden ticket to elevating your brand. It lets you shape how customers see you, making your brand stand out. From Taco Bell’s unique Tex-Mex menu to Coca-Cola’s energy drink repositioning, success stories abound.

Remember: knowing your audience and what makes you different paves the way. Crafting that killer positioning statement can truly set you apart.

Perceptual maps? These aren’t merely diagrams; they offer a deep dive into your competitive landscape, revealing how you stack up against the big names in your industry.

Nail down your positioning strategy with precision and creativity and make every move count towards elevating your brand above the noise.

Written by Julia McCoy

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