Positioning is closely related to market segmentation because they are two sides of the process of choosing a target market and effective it functioning.
The positioning is providing the product to the desired place in the market and in the minds of potential buyers by using marketing.
Let's consider the stages of positioning.
The basis of positioning is the results of marketing research, they are, depending on the objectives of the enterprise, determine their direction and content, which in turn determines the application of the relevant methods: expert evaluation, market testing, surveys and the like.
So exploring the perception of the products of the company from the potential buyers, it is advisable to carry out market testing, studying items of the enterprise in terms of competitive analogues, expert judgement, to identify the rating of consumer preferences and reactions of buyers to the positioning of the customer survey.
According to the results of marketing research are developing the maps of perception that characterize the best combination of consumer preferences for product selection.
Sketch map of perception — positioning tool, which is a matrix built on the basis of various sets of parameters from two-dimensional (e.g. price/quality) in a multi - dimensional (using the method of constructing multidimensional scales consumer perceptions and preferences).
The task of positioning can have a different orientation.
Orientation to the setting items of the enterprise means the desire of the enterprise to develop the concept of a primary positioning.
Focus on strengthening in the minds of consumers position products of the enterprise means the desire of the enterprise to strengthen the current position of the product, that is secondary to positioning.
Primary and secondary positioning is based on the same distinctive characteristics of the products of the company. If the company seeks to penetrate new customer segments or new markets, its aim is the repositioning.
Choosing a target orientation of the repositioning, the company uses a new and distinctive characteristics of the products of the enterprise, that is seeking to find and occupy a new niche industry that is valuable for a large number of consumers. So, repositioning is aimed at revising the current position of the goods.
For example, instead of parameters, characterizing the current position of the product, use new parameters: environmental cleanliness, ergonomics, prestige, etc.
Depending on the objectives develop an appropriate strategy.
There are two positioning strategies: offensive and defensive.
Offensive or attacking strategy related to management of product range. With the expansion of the range of increases market share at the expense of market share, which previously worked for competitors, complicated by the launch of competitors ' products, increase the competitive position of the enterprise. But the expansion of the range increases competition between native species of goods, which is accompanied by rising costs, both in General and for marketing.
Defensive positioning strategy called the strategy of "island fortress". Its essence lies in the fact that the variants of a product (or brand), which is positioned as expensive and high-quality, protected from price competition by cheaper goods intended for buyers sensitive to price.
The selected strategy determines the need to develop appropriate tactics positioning. In General, all tactical measures can be divided into two groups: consumer positioning and competitive positioning.
Consumer positioning — positioning is based upon consideration of customer value and focused on the achievement of the desired enterprise level to meet the expectations of consumers.
Consumers due to the effective positioning will be supporters of goods of the enterprise that provides the highest consumer value. Customer value is the difference between total consumer value and total consumer expenditure in the purchase of goods, that is consumer surplus.
Total consumer value is the sum total of values of goods, services, personnel and product image, which the buyer receives by purchasing the product.
Total consumer cost is the total amount of money, energy and psychological costs associated with the acquisition of goods.
Degree of consumer satisfaction from the purchase depends on how it meets his expectations. Consumers may not receive the same degree of satisfaction. If the properties of the product differ from the expected, then consumers are in unsatisfactory condition. If the properties meet expectations, the consumer is satisfied. If the properties of the product exceed expectations, the consumers are in a state of deep satisfaction or pleasure.
Customer expectations are based on experiences derived from past purchases, the opinions of friends or employees, as well as marketing information, information about competitors ' products and promises. The duty of marketers is to note the formation of correct expectations. If they form low expectations in relation to the product, satisfied buyers, but will not be able to achieve a high level of sales. High expectations in relation to the goods buyers may be disappointed.
The modern enterprise must raise the level of expectations and to provide products and services that meet these expectations, that is, the principle of complete customer satisfaction or even great satisfaction.
Provided with deep appreciation the expectations consumers will retain the commitment of a product, brand, company.
Consumer positioning covers positioning information and positioning by creating a image.
Information positioning is based on detailed information about the products of the company.
It covers the following types of positioning:
• positioning based on the distinctive advantages of the product;
• positioning based on specific needs;
• positioning based on specificity of use;
• the positioning focused on a certain category of consumers;
• positioning based on lifestyle, etc.
Positioning by creating the image based not on specific and General information about the product that potential buyers can perceive is not the same, but it allows the consumer to see the product almost always any desired preference. Positioning can be carried out through the creation of preconceived ideas about the company and its products and by positioning based on the benefits offered by the company, either for solving the problem.
In the increasingly competitive environment, it is advisable to apply competitive positioning — positioning is based on the demonstration of the advantages of the products of the enterprise over the competitors ' products.
Using positioning relative to the competitive brand.
Competitive positioning aimed at demonstrating the distinctive advantages of the enterprise or the supply of goods and services at lower prices, or providing consumers with greater benefits compared to competitors.
Competitive positioning focuses consumers on these distinctive advantages in comparison with competitors:
• the offer is designed for emotional impact.
A unique offer is characterized by the fact that each brand has some advantages and in the minds of consumers this advantage is of paramount importance.
It can be both an advantage and a few: best quality, lowest price, highest value, best service, etc.
Generally, preferences reflect a functional advantage of the goods or services in respect of goods and services of competitors.
Because to achieve and maintain the required level of functional benefits is very difficult, enterprises are striving to develop a proposal designed for emotional impact. In this case, the product or service may have similar characteristics, but at the customer they need to call one of a kind Association.
With the goal of providing distinctive advantages of products/services over the products/services of competitors of the company have a policy of differentiation for a product, service, personnel, image.
Differentiation by product means that the company differencesbut their goods. They can:
• to offer products, distinctive high level of standardization, the characteristics of which may only slightly differ from the accepted standard;
• to offer a variety of standard or additional properties not possessed by the products of its competitors (wider seats for passengers business class);
• to differentiate their products on performance or functional characteristics;
• to differentiate their products on such attributes as consistency, durability, reliability.
Differentiation in service means providing a variety of services:
• faster, more reliable or acurate shipping;
• high level of installation or setup and repair services;
• training of users;
• speed of service, etc.
Thus, the enterprise through the differentiation of services can choose from the unlimited number of specific services and benefits provided to consumers, which can differentiate themselves from competitors.
Differentiation for staff means that the company can achieve significant competitive advantage by hiring and training more qualified personnel than the competition.
This should be very carefully selected staff and well prepared, he should be competent, ie have the necessary skills and knowledge, to show friendliness and respect to customers, to serve customers accurately and quickly, to respond immediately to their demands and problems.
Differentiation by image. Even if the offer is each of the competitors a little different from each other, the differences in the image of a company or a product can be quite noticeable to buyers. The image of the company or product brand should be the embodiment of all the distinctive advantages of the product and its position in the market. The development of a stable image requires a lot of constant creative work.
Characters are also able to provide an effective acquaintance with the company or with the trademark and to act as a means of differentiation of the image. Businesses develop signs and logos that provide instant recognition. Consequently, the competitive positioning of the covers and information positioning, and the positioning with the image.
After determining tactics positioning develop marketing mix (marketing mix), which is a set of marketing elements in the optimal combination to achieve a specific goal. Each element of the marketing mix will be discussed in detail in the following sections.
The effectiveness of positioning in the end he will appreciate the market, but it depends on the marketing efforts made by the company to ensure the effectiveness of positioning. However, you need to avoid common mistakes. There are 4 major positioning errors.
Surface positioning (underpositioning) means the wrong approach to positioning in which the company, its products or trademarks lose in the eyes of consumers a certain position.
One-sided positioning (overpositioning) — this is the wrong approach to positioning in which the position of the enterprise, communicated to target consumers, gives them a very narrow view of the enterprise itself, its products or brand.
Ambiguous positioning (confused positioning) means the wrong approach to positioning in which consumers created a vague idea of the enterprise itself, its products and brands.
Speculative positioning (positioning implausible) is an attempt to give the consumer an exaggerated idea about the possibilities of the enterprise, the benefits of its products and brands.