You Are Not Your Audience: 3 Steps to a Competitive Positioning Strategy

Imagine a car with all the bells and whistles. Ergonomic and temperature-regulating seats, 600W subwoofers, 300W woofers, self-cleaning windows, 360º cameras, traffic light sync, automatic doors AND parallel parking, LTE hotspot, Bluetooth, a mobile entertainment system, and a GPS so powerful it could guide to you Mars.

Does any of that matter if it doesn’t have wheels?

Of course, you’re good at what you do; you aren’t going to leave off the wheels. But you might forget to tell your customers about them.

In marketing, it’s absolutely critical to remember that you are not your audience. As part of your company, you are intimately familiar with the nooks and crannies of your product line. You probably have a detailed understanding of its capabilities, and know exactly how it’s different from its competition in the market.

With all of that knowledge, it’s easy to lose sight of the fact that potential customers don’t necessarily care about what makes you different—at first. They care about solving their problems. Your challenge is to communicate based on both what your audience cares about and what makes you different.

The 3 Ps to a Competitive Positioning Strategy

In order to do that, start by considering 3 Ps:

Performance – What are the capabilities of your product?
Price – How much does your product cost?
Personality – What’s the personality of your brand?

The intersection of these three is your positioning, the thing that sets you apart from your competition in the mind of the consumer.

When communicating the performance of your product, be sure to highlight major functions while also detailing how its unique contributions aid customers in achieving their goals. Customers don’t necessarily care about the specifics of your cross-linked agarose matrix, but they do care that it can help them purify samples of diverse molecular weights. Speak the language of your customer and focus on describing the benefits of your product instead of just its features.

Competing on price can be a slippery slope, and pricing is an inexact science. Consider whether you want to position yourself as a high-end/luxury product, a discount product, or a middle-of-the-road option. Knowledge of how your pricing compares to the competition can affect the direction of your marketing. The wild boar burger with brie and blackberry at a Michelin-starred restaurant isn’t marketed the same way as a Big Mac – the difference in price is related to performance, but also implies different target audiences and customer needs.  

The personality of your brand is a real X-factor, and is the reason that building a relationship with your audience is one of the most powerful tools in your marketing arsenal. Interact with your audience regularly and stay attuned to their specific wants and needs. Develop a character and voice for your brand.

If you nail down the 3 Ps and remember to speak your audience’s language, your marketing will resonate –helping your company become a trusted brand and stand out from the competition.

Once you understand the 3 Ps how do you convey your message? Learn more about how to use creative to tell your story.

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