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product positioning

Contributor(s): Matthew Haughn

Product positioning is the tailored presentation of a product or brand for a specific targeted demographic. The goal of product positioning is to show the product in the best light for target consumers.

In market research, consumers are often segregated into groups such as age, gender or income. Advertisers recognize their consumer targets in these groups and attempt to create images and messages that resonate with these audiences. By understanding a customer base’s needs, a brand can attempt to create messages that show that their product helps fill their needs better than the competition.

Product positioning involves physical advertising such as displays, packaging and media coverage. However, the effort is about positioning a product in the minds of target consumers, who can be hard to reach given the amount of information people consume on a daily basis. Product positioning attempts to craft an audio, visual or textual message for target customers to readily absorb and remember. These messages attempt to convince consumers why the product should be considered above competitors.

Companies and advertisers spend considerable time, money, thought and effort to ensure that a product's positioning reaches their target audiences. These efforts may include survey research, consumer panels and focus groups. Social media has also become a trove of information for researching consumer needs and opinions. With knowledge of the customer perspective, advertising can be created for proper product positioning that is consistent with the brand essence.

This was last updated in July 2017

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