Market Positioning Research

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What are the five steps required for effective product positioning?

1. Select key criteria that effectively differentiate products or services in the industry.

2. Diagram a two-dimensional product-positioning map with specified criteria on each axis.

3. Plot major competitors' products or services in the resultant four-quadrant matrix.

4. Identify areas in the positioning map where the company's products or services could be most competitive in the given target market. Look for vacant areas (niches).

5. Develop a marketing plan to position the company's products or services appropriately.

What is the meaning of product positioning and give examples of product attributes?

Product positioning

• Product positioning is a marketing strategy that aims to make a brand occupy a distinct 'position,' relative to the competing brands, in the mind of the customer.

• Firms apply this strategy either by emphasizing the distinguishing features of their brand (what it is, what it does and how, etc.) or try to create a suitable image (inexpensive or premium, utilitarian or luxurious, entry-level or high-end, etc.) through advertising.

• Once a brand is positioned, it is very difficult to reposition it without destroying its credibility.

Product attributes

• Some products require attribute designation. For example, clothes are sold in different colors and sizes. In this case, color is a product attribute and size is another. o "Attributes" are simply properties of a given product, brand, service, advertisement or any object of interest.

• Much brand and market research is targeted at understanding the most significant and powerful attributes of a product/service/brand or product/service/brand class. o A product, service, or brand can have many attributes including cost, value for money, prestige, taste, usability, liking ("affect") and a wide range of image or personality attributes.

o To use one very common example, the car or "automobile" brand class can sometimes include attributes such as prestige, cost, reliability, exclusivity, availability, type (e.g. sporty, family, luxury) and country of origin.

• Usually a client wishes to measure their product or brand as perceived by target markets along several attributes they see important to the brand. If they are in a competitive market, they also sometimes need to know how they rate against competing offerings.

Product Positioning

Product positioning involves tailoring an entire marketing program—including product attributes, image, and price, as well as packaging, distribution, and service—to best meet the needs of consumers within a particular market segment.

In this way, product positioning is part of the overall process of market segmentation, but involves a narrowing of focus.

• "Segmentation analysis tells us how the market is defined and allows us to target one or more opportunities.

• "Product positioning takes place within a target market segment and tells us how we can compete most effectively in that market segment."

The key to product positioning is understanding the dimensions consumers use to evaluate competing marketting programs and make purchase decisions. It may be helpful for small business managers to create a graph in order to map consumer perceptions along several different dimensions.

Once consumer perceptions are understood, the next step is to select the best positioning for the product and take steps to align the marketing program behind this positioning choice. Some examples of possible positioning choices include quality, reliability, and unique features or benefits. Before delving into product positioning further, it may be helpful to understand the process and goals of market segmentation.

Market Segmentation

Market segmentation is the science of dividing an overall market...
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