Carve out market space for your business with a competitive positioning strategy that will help you stand out and convince customers to choose you among your competitors.
You understand why you created your business, how your service meets a real need, and why your business does it better than anyone else. But does your audience know that? Sometimes that can be a difficult message to communicate, particularly if you are lost in an oversaturated market, a new market with an undefined audience, or if you are meeting a new need that customers don’t even know they need met.
That’s where a competitive positioning strategy comes into play.
A competitive positioning strategy is how you communicate your value to customers and differentiate yourself from your competition. Conveying your competitive position, or value, is necessary in order to stand out among your competitors. You have to define how your service is unique in terms of:
- Overall unique selling points (USP’s)
With a differentiation strategy, you can solidify your space in the market.
Differentiating yourself is incredibly important to define your brand, value, and purpose.
Solidifying a Competitive Position in Your Market
What is competitive positioning? Put simply, it’s how you compare to your competitors. It’s how you stand out, communicate your value, and convince customers that you’re the best choice for their needs.
To figure this out, you’ll need to do a fair amount of research. You need to understand your competitors, the size and habits of your target audience, and opportunities to penetrate the market. Without this knowledge, you won’t know where your business fits in your market. This is a continual process regardless of the age of your company. Understanding your value proposition is vital to getting the right message to your customers.
Why is Differentiation Positioning Important?
Regardless of the size, age, or demographic of your market, it’s imperative to understand where your business falls and how it is viable. This will help you find the space where you’ll fit and help customers understand how you’re different from your competitors.
For example, let’s say that your research of competitors reveals that your prices are the lowest of the bunch, or that you are the only one with 24/7 customer service, or that your product quality far exceeds all others. Whatever it is that makes you stand out as a business, that is what you want to communicate to your potential customers. Establishing a competitive position explains to customers how you stand out as a business, and why they should choose you among your competitors.
Basically, you need to figure out what it is that you do differently from everyone else, and why customers should be interested in you in comparison.
Creating a Competitive Positioning Strategy that Works
Not every differentiation positioning strategy will work for every business. It depends on your niche, your offerings, and your competition. In the end, it’s all about messaging your brand. Are you a premium brand, a value brand, or one that fits somewhere in between and simply provides the best product or service possible to your target audience. You must identify your unique selling points (USPs) and communicate them.
This is actually a huge part of strategic marketing and SWOT analysis. By identifying your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats, you know how to communicate your worth while also seeing how you can improve.
For the purpose of positioning, however, you need to focus on your strengths and opportunities.
Defining Your Competitive Positioning Strategy
Here are some examples of USPs to highlight in a differentiation strategy:
- Value – Does your service give the most bang for your buck? Communicate how the value of your service exceeds all others. Perhaps you have services included at no extra cost, or your prices are more attractive than your competitors.
- Quality – Is your product at a higher quality than your competitors? This could mean something different depending on the market, need, and product. For example, perhaps you’re selling a product that is more durable, more light-weight, or more portable.
- Uniqueness – Is there something about your service that is undeniably unique compared to your competitors? Perhaps you fall into an otherwise unoccupied niche. In this situation, you are not necessarily the cheapest or best, but you serve an otherwise unmet need with your product.
Creating a competitive strategy means thoroughly researching these types of USPs and how they compare with your competitors. As you formulate your research, document your specific positioning, and then focus your efforts directly on your plan.
A competitive positioning strategy is crucial to find your space within the market, communicate your value to potential customers, and to stand out among your competitors. To do this, you need to understand your market, audience, and your strengths. This takes time, research, and consideration, but it is necessary to find your niche and solidify your brand.
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