by Barrett Niehus
Whether intentional or not, if you have a product for sale, you have created a position in the marketplace. You have set a price based on the benefits of your product, and are actively seeking out customers. However, have you given any thought to the possibility that your product may create more sales and greater profit if you merely re-position it in the market?
Most small businesses open their doors or web sites with the intent to sell a product, and have at least a small idea of what their expected customer is like. However, very few spend the time to determine how their specific product or approach to selling the product will differentiate them from the competition. This differentiation is their position within the market, and usually determines the company’s success.
An organization usually positions itself to fully leverage their product and their market. Whether they are the “Low Price Leader,” or “A Cut Above The Rest.” The company’s position determines marketing strategy, price points, and the organizations’ approach to selling. Subsequently, determining a desired position within the marketplace is one of the first steps to differentiating yourself from your competition.
When developing your business plan and sales strategy, fully define your typical customer. Define their age, gender, socio-economic status, and all of the demographics that make up your potential customer base. Now list the competition, and detail exactly how they are positioned to service your customer. Do they achieve sales by deep discounts, do they promise prestige and quality? What has your competition done to position themselves in your market?
Now take a look at your own business and products. With which features will you compete with your competition most effectively? Can you compete in price? If not, can you offer more luxury or prestige? Do you offer more tangible benefits? How about more safety, security, or benefits. Where can you position your business and products where the competition can’t compete?
As I have said, the position of your organization and product in the market is paramount to your success. Choose your position wisely and gear both your price and marketing around this position. Make a conscious decision to position yourself and under no circumstances allow the market to make this decision for you. Only by properly positioning your company can you effectively differentiate yourself from the competition and maximize your sales.