Like parallel parking, marketing positioning can be perfected

Like parallel parking, marketing positioning can be perfected

Apr 01, 2008
By staff

Remember learning to drive and how hard it was to get your car positioned squarely against the curb, perfectly fit between the car in front and the one in back? Remember twisting and turning the wheel to learn which maneuver moved the car in the right direction? Developing a product positioning to give marketing efforts life takes nearly the same amount of effort and finesse.

Simply, positioning is what your customers think about your product often in relation to similar products or services. Whatever they would say in one of those man-on-the-street interviews like the ones you see on late night TV shows--is how your product is defined. It's the space your product occupies in the mind of your customer.

What do the marketing messages of your favorite brands tell you about what product makers want you to think? Some examples in and out of the industry are (1) "The simple joy of comfort."--Atopica and (2) "The ultimate driving machine"--BMW.

The experience of truly knowing your customer helps you find the most effective position. There is a strategy that you can use to gain smooth and accurate movement like the invention of power steering was to parallel parking. Discover the existing positions your product owns in customers' minds. Upon reviewing them closely, determine, based on the strengths of your product, which ones you have the best chance to own and execute tactics to drive those messages home. As the famous marketing strategists Al Ries and Jack Trout said, "It's a battle for the mind."*

Trina V. Burton, MBA
Marketing Director

Trina Burton welcomes your questions, comments, and thoughts related to her column, submit to [email protected].