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positioning

Contributor(s): Ivy Wigmore

Positioning, in a marketing context, is the process of identifying an appropriate market niche for a product, service or brand and getting it established it in that area. The endeavor is further broken down into those three categories. Product positioning, for example, seeks to find a unique niche within the market for a particular product, in which, ideally, it addresses a consumer need that no other product satisfies. Brand positioning and service positioning work similarly.

Positioning a product involves creating a positioning concept, which is an expression of the benefits a customer will receive from the product. The next stage is coming to an understanding of differentiation, which is what sets the product apart from its competitors. Those elements of positioning are formalized in a positioning statement, which articulates how the product could serve the customer in some way that the competition can not or does not.

Variations on positioning include repositioning, which is the process of making changes to a product, brand or service’s perceived identity in the marketplace. Depositioning, another variation, is the practice of attempting to erode a competitor’s brand (or product or service) identity in contrast to your own.

This was last updated in June 2013

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