Importance of Product Positioning
These are not the times for products everyone likes a little. Today’s customers are much tougher to attract and keep than just a decade ago. Everyone is skeptical. And why not? Every 20 minutes on television and even more frequently on the web you hear unsubstantiated claims of superiority about different services, brands of cars, beer, soda, and deodorants.
Product positioning means having a simple answer to the question, “What is to be bought, by whom and why?” Obviously it is important that your prospective customers know how you’re positioned. When you think about it, isn’t that a major reason for advertising, PR, etc.? Even more importantly, however, you want to make sure your employees are absolutely clear on who your customer is, what you sell, and why it’s good.
Testing is the best way to get your positioning right. Ask your potential customers to vote on your product – before you spend all your money trying to persuade them to buy something they don’t want. Test the product’s price, presentation, and features. Try it out on different audiences – at different times and places.
Don’t have the time or money to formally test? Doesn’t matter. Test anyway. Ask everyone you can what they like and don’t like about your product. After they finish being nice, ask them what they really think.
Try this approach to flush out what people actually think about your product. Find someone who has an immediate need for what you will be selling. Ask them to buy it now. Ask them for money… Today! There is no better way of finding out what people really think about your product than to ask them to buy it.
A single new product failure can put you out of business. You must take the time to determine the wants, needs, and characteristics of your prospective customers. Ideally, your product should be perceived by your target prospects as exactly what they need.
When products are positioned properly, the prospective customer feels as though that product or service was made just for him or her. Bottom line, these are not the times for products priced and positioned for no one in particular. In other words, properly positioned products are not for everybody.