Positioning is an act of courage.
Podcast’s Episode Available on fmrgz.com/podcast
The mistake that many professionals, creatives and entrepreneurs make is to think that anyone can be their costumers. By making that statement, none of your prospective client or fan will feel that your brand, solution or product is tailored to them and their specific needs.
That’s where positioning plays a huge role.
Positioning is a fundamental business strategy.
Positioning is to position your brand, solution, or product in the mind of your customers/audience relative to your competitors.
Positioning is answering the question: “How do I become less interchangeable in the mind of my customers/audience?”
To answer that question, you will need courage. The courage to pick one door, open it, enter and close it behind you. What you will find is a world full of opportunities where your creativity will never find an ending.
Take a deep a breath, gather all the courage you can find in yourself and make the leap.
Define your positioning
Ok now that we have the same understanding of positioning, let’s answer your question: “How do I define my brand, firm or product positioning?”
Let me share a past experience with you. Two years ago, I started working with an engineering company on the launch of their new product. During our initial marketing sessions, we used a tool to help us define the space that wanted to occupy in the market and in our customers’ mind.
The idea is simple: curate the different segments that you want to touch, prioritise your targets and then develop and deliver personalised and relevant messages to engage with different audiences.
I highly recommend you to use it for your business, no matter if you’re a creative, a professional or an entrepreneur. Our message is different, but we all have to share it.
Oh… I almost forgot. The “tool” is the STP Marketing Model. The acronym stands for Segmentation, Targeting and Positioning.
The STP Marketing Model — Part I: Segmentation
Segmentation is the process of dividing a broad market into sub-groups of consumers. In other words: imagine that the market is all the connected humans in the world that you can potentially reach.
To accomplish that, you can use various characteristics such as:
- Demographic: segmenting your audience by marital status, age, ethnicity, family size, gender, income level, education level, etc.
- Geographic: segmenting buyers based on where they live (e.g., country, region, state, province, city area, etc.)
- Psychographic: by lifestyle, hobbies, activities, opinions, personality traits, attitude, political affiliation.
- Behavioural: breaks down the market by how they use products – including brand loyalty, their usage level, key features used, etc.
While the demographic criteria tend to explain who your potential audience is, psychographic characteristics tend to explain why your potential audience/customer choose to buy.
When you decide to focus on a specific segment, you’re much more likely to be successful than by creating a one size fit all marketing campaign.
The STP Marketing Model — Part II: Targeting
Targeting is the process of determining the commercial attractiveness of each segment and make a decision.
They are three main factors to consider in your targeting:
- The size of the segment and its potential to grow in the future;
- The profitability of the segment: Which segments are prepared to pay the most for your products/services? Or in other words: what’s going to be the lifetime value of a customer in a segment?
- The ease of reach: how difficult is it for you to reach the segment with your marketing and the means you possess. Is it going to be expensive to try and acquire a customer?
You determine that for each segment to help you decide which one you should target.
The STP Marketing Model — Part III: Positioning
Finally, we have Positioning.
You want your product, service or brand to occupy a unique space in the mind of your in the audience.
There are three standard ways you can position your assets to achieve a competitive advantage:
- Functional positioning: refers to solving a problem or providing a benefice to your audience/costumers;
- Symbolic positioning: enhancing the self-image, ego, social belongingness need or emotional fulfilment of your audience/costumers;
- Experiential positioning: refers to focusing on those elements of your products, services or brand that connect emotionally with your audience/costumers.
Ideally, you want to combine all three positioning factors.
I know that all of this is a lot of work. But you have to do it because good positioning will drastically increase your chance for successful marketing campaigns and business decisions.
Before the conclusion, I would like to play a little game with you.
Take a piece of paper and a pen/pencil and write down which brand, an artist or entrepreneurs comes first in your mind when I say:
What will happen is that most of you will have a clear answer for each word. Why? Because those brands, artists or entrepreneurs occupy a clear space in your mind with specific positioning.
I want you to do the same with your product, service or brand.
Your audience/customers should think about you first when triggered by specific situations.
Let me give you two example to clearly illustrate the concept of Positioning for an artist and liberal practitioner:
1) My name is Kelly, I am a songwriter and musical artist. I use music as therapy and after my friends’ encouragement, I decided to share it with other people going through the same situations in life. During my segmentation and targeting processes, I came to the conclusion that
- I will create a functional positioning by helping young women express their voices and feelings through my songs.
- My symbolic positioning is to give them confidence and self believe by being part of a loving community.
- Finally, my experiential positioning is determined by the experiences that I provide during my digital/physical gathering (listening sessions, zoom focus group call, healing reading club, etc.) and the direct interactions through social media and private newsletter. I won’t necessarily be the person who will talk all the time (I will invite professionals and other people from my audience to share their perspectives) but I will build and provide the platforms to give space to these young women and later, anyone interested.
2) Hello, my name is Stephane and I am physiotherapist for dancers with more than 10 years of experience.
- My functional positioning is defined by helping creative dancers practice their art with respect to their body needs.
- I state my symbolic positioning by providing them with the knowledge that will solidify the connection with their bodies, boost their egos and perform better.
- Finally, I will use 1:1 and group workshops to provide sensory stimulation and determine my experiential positioning.
That’s it! I hope that these examples will clarify your understanding of positioning and help you see how powerful that can be for you and your firm.
In conclusion, positioning is the process of answering this question: What’s your unique POV/perspective that makes you less interchangeable in the mind of your audience/customers?
I will leave you with that question.
It’s a lot of information, I know. Take it easy… Read the article or listen to the podcast’s episode more than once if needed.
Take care 🌹