How to grow your business with a positioning strategy

We live in truly incredible times. With over 3.8 million searches on Google daily, thousands of marketing messages a day and switching between digital platforms up to 21 times a day, our attention span is less than 8 seconds. Even less when it comes to websites speeds – most of us close the website page if it takes more than 3 seconds to download.

positioning strategy

What does it have to do with positioning strategy you may ask? Well, to truly carve out a niche for your business and cut through other marketing noise, you need to start with understanding what it is you offer, how it helps people and how your offering is different from everybody else’s.

Whether you are working at a start-up, running your own business or leading a marketing team, you will want your business to flourish. For that you’re going to need to get some customers, and that means you’ll need a positioning strategy that clearly communicates:

  • What it is that you do
  • How your products and services will benefit customers
  • Why customers should choose you over everyone else

To create the back-bone of a killer positioning strategy you will also need to do research into your audience, competitors, industry and the real problems people have that your products solve in order to clearly see how to position your products, services and brand.

After all, you don’t want to leave your position in the market down to chance. If your business strives to be known for a particular thing, you need to clearly create a strategy that your business can build upon. If you don’t, you may end up blending in with your competitors, and your target audience won’t recognise your name or what you stand for.

The truth about marketing is that if you get your strategy wrong, you are likely to get your product wrong too and if your product does not serve anybody and you are not ultimately making people’s lives better and richer in some sense, perhaps it’s time to rethink why you do what you do.

Get your positioning wrong and you may end up competing with your competitors solely on price rather than on your unique selling points and value added as you scrap around for every lead and sale you can.

A good positioning strategy achieves the following…

  • The customers’ problem is clearly highlighted
  • It showcases your USPs in a way that meets the customer’s needs
  • Customers clearly understand your brand identity/message and what you offer
  • Your business/product/service stands out from the competition

positioning strategy

So, where do you start?

Step One: Positioning – understand the market and your place in it

In order to create a killer positioning strategy, you first need to better understand your market before you can position your business within it. After all, no one wants to enter a market that they don’t stand a chance of winning in. You can then set SMART goals for your first year and perhaps the next few years or even realise that maybe your initial grand plans just aren’t going to happen.

Step Two: Customer Insight – Get to know your customer and their problem

Before you start looking at Google Analytics, assessing social media posts reach and other metrics, It’s important to conduct research to find out what your customers specifically want and need. You could ask for feedback from previous and prospective customers – either face to face or by surveys. By uncovering what the customer really wants, you can then take advantage of this knowledge to put your business ahead of competitors by fulfilling customer needs and solving their current problems. You’d be surprised how many businesses, even the market leaders don’t really understand what their customers’ problem is.

Step Three: Competition – who they are and how they solve clients’ problems

To position yourself in the market, you need to know where you currently stand against your competitors’ products or products and services that solve the same problem. Comparing yourself to your main competitors will determine what you’re doing well and what needs to be improved. Finding gaps in the market that other competitors have not yet filled will be advantageous to you as it gives you an edge others don’t have, giving you a unique position in the market.

At the end of the day, just because your mum says you have the best product doesn’t actually mean that you do so you need to take a step back and compare it to the other options available.

If there is nothing different about you, it will take more time, effort and money to entice customers or engage with you. Find something that differentiates you from the rest, and focus on that. If your product or service shares many of the same characteristics with the competition, you need to make something different or market something in a different way. This could be the difference between standing out from the crowd and getting no customers.

Step Four: Your business – what are your products and services?

Look at all the services and products you offer and determine if it is clear that your business provides a solution to your clients’ needs. It needs to be instantly clear to your customers what you offer and what you can do for them. If it’s not then you might need to tweak that shiny new branding/ website/ communication that looks great but ultimately offers no clue as to what you do and how good you at it.

Step Five: Your value – work out how your product solves your client’s key problem

Then you need to identify how exactly your products solve your clients’ problems.

Outlining clearly how your products ultimately make someone life easier or better and tapping into your clients’ problems and frustrations can allow you see clearly the value of your business.

At the end of the day, you might have a nice shiny product that truly solves your existing clients’ problem, but does your marketing make it easier for any new prospects/ leads to understand why they should choose your product over the next one?

Ideally, you should be able to communicate in a few words what it is you do and how it helps clients. Call it an elevator pitch, call it the positioning statement – something short , succint and creative that your clients will resonate with.

Step Six: Stay authentic and unique

Customers connect with brands based on how brands make them feel. Whether that is through a product, website, photo or content, it is important that you don’t blend in with your competitors. The uniqueness of a product or service is what makes it a must-have for customers and creates a talking point amongst other prospective customers.

People naturally like products to have a distinct exclusivity because it means expanding on their own identity by using products that are unique.

“In evolutionary terms, we all collected,” says Dr. Dimitrios Tsivrikos, consumer psychologist at University College London. “We collect articles or resources to survive, but survival doesn’t only rest upon what we need physically. We need, psychologically, to distinguish ourselves. ‘’

All positioning strategy covered, what’s next?

Now that you have invested time in the foundations of your positioning strategy, take the time to share it with other stakeholders to get feedback, ideas and maybe even encourage them to soak up your brand values throughout everyday life. Depending on the feedback you receive, you can either tweak your strategy or start taking steps to position your business in the market.

Once you have tweaked the strategy, you’re ready to move onto the next step with your marketing, like web development, SEO, content creation and search advertising.

Are you ready to start building a positioning strategy to refine and grow your business?

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