"Product positioning" is a marketing technique intended to present products in the best possible light to different target audiences. The method is related to "market segmentation" in that an early step in major marketing campaigns is to discover the core market most likely to buy a product—or the bulk of the product. Once segmentation has defined this group ("active seniors," "affluent professional working women," "teens") the positioning of the product consists of creating the message likely to reach this group. Positioning involves symbol and message manipulation, including displays and packaging. Two expert definitions: Al Ries and Jack Trout, in their book Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind, introduce the subject by saying: "[P]ositioning is not what you do to a product. Positioning is what you do to the mind of the prospect. That is, you position the product in the mind of the prospect. So it's incorrect to call the concept 'product positioning.' As if you were doing something to the product itself. Not that positioning doesn't involve change. It does. But changes made in the name, the price and the package are really not changes in the product at all'�. Positioning is also the first body of thought that comes to grips with the problems of getting heard in our overcommunicated society." Louis E. Boone and David L. Kurtz, in their book Contemporary Marketing, put it this way: "Product positioning refers to consumers' perceptions of a product's attributes, uses, quality, and advantages and disadvantages relative to competing brands. Marketers often conduct marketing research studies to analyze consumer preferences and to construct product position maps that plot their products' positions in relation to those of competitors' offerings." IN MASS MARKET PRACTICE
Concepts like "segmentation" and "positioning" typically arise in the "large" rather than in the "small" business context. The underlying concepts apply to both, but access to...
Bibliography: Boone, Louis E., and David L. Kurtz. Contemporary Marketing. Thomson South-Western, 2006.
Nunes, Paul, and Brian Johnson. Mass Affluence: Seven New Rules of Marketing to Today 's Consumer. Accenture, 2004.
Ries, Al, and Jack Trout. Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind, 20th Anniversary Edition. McGraw-Hill, 2001.
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