A key element of any positioning strategy is how you deliver value to your market at the highest level. Are you: better/faster, more complete, or cheaper? A thorough brand audit will uncover valuable insights about your brand and take it to the next level.
This focus should be reflected in your positioning, brand, pricing, distribution and messaging. Aligning them and understanding how your competitors deliver value to the marketplace will guide you when creating new campaigns and sales strategies, and improve the results of your marketing activities.
To help this process there are 3 steps you can take:
1) Select The Type Of Value Proposition
Product Leadership: Your focus is innovation: new technologies, better products/services. Because your products are new, different and unique, your prices are likely to be higher than those of your competition, but you’re delivering a superior product/service.
Apple does this effectively with their innovative technology and products and charging a premium for them.
Operational Excellence: You can deliver your product/service at a lower cost than that of your competitors, thanks to better manufacturing processes, better economies, or other advantages.
Customer Relationship: Your goal is to solve your customers’ problems with a broad portfolio or a customized set of products/services. You’re selling a relationship that is superior to the relationship offered by your competitors.
This is what we do at SpellBrand. We do not want to create innovative services nor do we want to cut corners to reduce costs. Instead we want to create special bonds with our customers were we become stake holders in their success and that happens through one on one care and consulting. Here are some examples of consultants we have worked with.
2) Review Competitors’ Value Propositions
It’s a good idea to understand the value propositions of your competitors in the marketplace. This will help as you consider your competitive positioning and the mindshare that you’d like to own.
For example, if all your competitors deliver value through operational excellence and you have an opportunity to focus on customer intimacy, you’ll have a better chance at differentiating yourself.
Walmart doesn’t focus on innovation and product leadership – it focuses on creating cost efficiencies to deliver products at the lowest possible price. Its entire business model is built on operational excellence.
3) Analyze the Market
After you’ve rated yourself and your competitors on your ability to deliver value to the market, consider the marketplace and the value propositions that you and your competitors deliver. Are they identical? Are they different? Think about the problems your customers face, and take an objective look at the market. Pretend you’re a prospect. How cluttered is your market? Do you stand out? Does the competition stand out? Are there potential opportunities for delivering additional value to your market?
This isn’t the end result of your competitive positioning strategy, so don’t be frustrated if you find that everyone is delivering the same type of value to your market. If that’s the case, there’s still room for differentiation and owning mindshare; it’s simply a good idea to have an objective view of your market as you consider the mindshare you’d like to own.
And remember, mindshare is a perception, so you don’t always have to change your product/service to change the market’s perception of you – to change their perception, you have to change your marketing.