Product positioning: definition, benefits and examples

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 22 April 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Creating effective branding and marketing is crucial for most businesses, as these tools and practices can increase sales and encourage customers to learn more about products. Positioning a product is one effective tool that many marketing specialists use to implement strategies. As a foundation for a range of marketing activities, positioning is a way of implementing, adjusting and targeting a particular product to a specific audience and market. In this article, we explain what product positioning is, examine its benefits and provide some examples of positioned products.

What is product positioning?

Product positioning is a tool that marketing professionals use to present a particular product's benefits and problem-solving aspects to a researched, targeted audience. A well-positioned product effectively communicates why a specific person might want to purchase a product you're selling, with messaging that focuses on the features and benefits of the product to that particular market. Positioning helps marketers target multiple audiences with the same product or support activities to pinpoint a particular audience within a specific sector or market.

Positioning a product requires it to be thoroughly identified and defined. Marketers typically gather this information through market research or trial marketing campaigns. Customer feedback and information from these research activities can establish which benefits are most important, often through focus or survey groups. By identifying what a specific audience considers most important, marketing professionals gain insight into different marketing activities that are better targeted and positioned for their specific product demographic.

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How do product positioning help marketing professionals?

Positioning a product helps marketing professionals by providing the insight and information required to develop marketing efforts targeted to a particular audience. By understanding the needs and requirements of a demographic, brand and marketing materials specifically appeal to that target audience. For example, positioning can determine which market a product fits into, the brand vision for a product and the differentiators and customer pain points that can target marketing activity more effectively.

By positioning products to fit a particular niche, marketing professionals achieve more effective outcomes for marketing activities. A marketing campaign based on in-depth research into the benefits that customers prioritise, for example, might be more successful than a general campaign based on the understanding of the brand from passive information. If the positioning is correct, this practice provides a better return on investment for specific marketing campaigns.

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What are the benefits of positioning products?

Positioning is a valuable tool for marketing and brand activities. As a process that requires businesses to explore and understand specific target audiences, effective positioning can impact the success of marketing campaigns, public perception of a product and may even influence brand recognition in a particular market. Here are some of the critical benefits of positioning products:

Meeting the expectations of customers

Meeting and exceeding customer expectations is crucial for sales and marketing professionals, as positive reviews further establish a brand in a specific market. By understanding customer needs and pain points, you can tailor marketing activities to relate to a particular audience. If brand messaging resonates and provides an answer to a specific problem, this is an effective way of meeting expectations for your brand or product range. For example, marketing a product as fast and easy to use might meet customer expectations as something that they can easily use in minutes.

Focusing on sales and marketing

Positioning products provides a strong foundation for marketing and sale activities by giving insight into what a particular customer base wants or needs. This insight helps focus marketing activities on specific taglines, messaging or graphic design styles to sell a product more effectively. For example, a product targeted at a younger female audience may succeed if marketing activities follow the positioning for style, benefits and tone of voice.

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Creating effective brand messaging and storytelling

Brand messaging is a way in which businesses use marketing to encourage customers to buy. Creating storylines and specific styles of messaging around a product helps position it for a particular audience based on their priorities, wants and specifications. Positioning supports the creation of brand messaging for a specific product or line of products to engage with customers and consistently appeal to potential buyers.

Focusing on a specific target market

Positioning allows marketing professionals to look at a specific market or demographic in detail, making it easier to create marketing that appeals to a particular group of people. Products that may have limited use or are designed for a particular purpose benefit from positioning, as it helps marketers find their right audience. For example, a well-positioned niche product may be more likely to attract engagement from its audience with well-targeted advertising.

Attracting interest from new customers

Positioning also supports re-positioning products later in their lifecycle. Examining new markets or emerging audiences that may be a good match for a specific existing product supports marketers in creating different materials to meet the needs of a different demographic. For example, positioning could help re-position a hair dye product from a young, teens-to-20s audience to an older demographic.

Providing strong introductions for new products

Positioning is often part of the initial research and development stage for new products, allowing for a targeted launch suited to a specific audience. Focusing on positioning helps marketing professionals understand the current market and the messaging, language and imagery that might suit a target audience. For example, positioning provides insight into the right time to launch a product and which marketing activities might connect with the target demographic.

Differentiating from the competition

Positioning is an effective way of helping brands differentiate themselves from competitors within the same market. By targeting and understanding the audience for the product, it's easier to create marketing that appeals to customers more than other brands. For example, marketers may create campaigns that focus on specific pain points and needs that otherwise feel neglected.

Gaining clarity on the problems a product solves

Positioning also provides the insight and knowledge required to understand a particular demographic and its challenges. Positioning research also supports sales activities and customer service within a brand, which helps to establish cohesive messaging. For example, positioning research might reveal specific customer problems, allowing sales teams to more effectively close sales.

Improving visibility and brand recognition in marketing

Most businesses' marketing activities focus on both increasing sales in the short term and improving visibility and recognition in the long term. Positioning enhances visibility by helping marketers create advertising and marketing content that's memorable and recognisable in connection to specific products. For example, using specific wording and styles that are recognisable and appeal to a particular audience.

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Reacting to market changes

As the market for a product changes, marketing specialists adapt to these differences. Continuing to position a product once it's released helps brands stay ahead of changes and ensures the product continues to appeal if the target audience's priorities change. For example, a customer group's needs may change to focus more on cost-efficiency, whereas they were previously focused on luxury and longevity.

Examples of positioning a product

Marketing professionals typically implement product positioning across a wide range of different industries and fields. By pinpointing the specific audience for a product, understanding their challenges and knowing which benefits are most important, it's possible to create effective marketing that appeals to the right audience. Here are some examples of positioning used in different marketing strategies:

Example 1: For busy commuters with no time for a leisurely lunch break, the Easy Eat Bento Box is the ideal option. With three tiers of storage for snacks, lunch and a tasty treat that fits in your handbag, our innovative product makes taking a quick lunch easier than ever. It's even available in a range of colours, so busy families can track the meals of each member.

Example 2: Too much to do and not enough time? As a busy parent with far too many things on your to-do list, the Extra Easy Family Organiser makes keeping on top of everything effortless. With practical wipe-clean sections for the whole family, you never miss that birthday party or World Book Day event again.

Example 3: Don't let stains get you down. With the Clean Machine stain stick, even the most stubborn stains come out like magic. Whether you're a clumsy wine drinker or the odd pet paw-print is all it takes to ruin that important outfit, our convenient stain stick solves the problem for you.

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