Successful positioning places a brand in the front of the minds of their targeted audience. When an audience looks at a category or product and instinctively thinks of a specific brand first, that product has been positioned well. To effectively position a brand or product it takes research about other products or brands in your market and industry. Competitors may have superior strategies or objectives than yours. Since competitors are trying to reach similar audience segments, finding your competitors strengths and weaknesses can also help to position your brand more favorably. Even competitors who have less market share may have more effective ways of positioning. Critical analysis of your market and industry can help find competitors who are doing things successfully and others who are not. These results create valuable data that can be used to improve your own brand’s positioning.
How are we Different— and Similar?
Analyzing your brand’s points-of-difference and points-of-parity with competitors shows desirable differences and similarities from a consumer standpoint, deliverability from a company standpoint, and differentiation from a competitive standpoint. Points-of-parity are customer opinions and associations that are in line with that of your competition. This may be parity in a category—when audiences apply attributes to all products in a category. There may be correlational parity which tries to justify perceived weaknesses by aligning with the competition. And there may be competitive points-of parity that are used to minimize your competitors’ points of difference.
Fast Food Positioning
A fast-food restaurant has points-of-parity with its competitors in their similar menu choices, similar restaurant look and feel, and similar pricing. Consumers accept these similarities as the norm in the industry. Competitors must find points of differentiation and may use higher quality ingredients, or have more menu flexibility, they may add a playground to their locations, or they may raise or lower prices accordingly. These similarities and differences create an opinion or association in the minds of consumers to these brands. and this creates a position for your brand in the market. Therefore, extensive research about other products or brands in your market and industry is vital in helping a brand position itself in the minds of their audience.
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