What is product or service positioning? Examples, techniques, and template


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The appropriate positioning can remodel a struggling product or service into one that flies off the shelves. That is since positioning is about perception calibrating the suitable perception of your item is paramount to conveying the value it provides above its competition.

Table of contents

What is the definition of product or service positioning?

Item positioning is the act of defining exactly where your product fits in the market relative to its rivals as perceived by your shoppers.

Let’s break down this definition of product positioning:

  • “… win this article your product matches in the market What is your item and what is it not?
  • “… relative to its competition …” Who are your opponents and how does your solution evaluate to theirs?
  • “… as perceived by your prospects …” This last a person is notably essential products positioning is much a lot more about the perception of your merchandise than any kind of bodily differentiation

Item positioning vs. differentiation

Merchandise positioning is not differentiation. A product’s positioning ought to operate with its differentiation, but the are not the very same detail.

Here’s most basic way to explain the difference amongst product positioning and differentiation:

  • Differentiation is tangible
  • Positioning is perceptual

In other words, a product’s differentiation is (a lot more often than not) the tangible distinction. For illustration, does your products give better characteristics than your competitors?

Let us say you are comparing the functions offered in a Toyota Camry versus a Ferrari:

Product Differentiation Example: Picture Of A Toyota Camry Next To A Picture Of A Ferrari With Perceived Qualities Listed Underneath Each Car

As you can see, the Toyota is remarkable if you’re solely worried about performance and practicality.

Positioning, on the other hand, is perceptual. It has small to do with the true capabilities and performance.

How is your product perceived? Is it seen as a luxury? Significant-stop or spending budget? Is it noticed as getting of bigger quality than your opponents? Or, is it perceived as exciting and much more ground breaking?

Let’s look once more at the illustration of the Toyota and the Ferrari:

Product Perception Example: Picture Of A Toyota Camry Next To A Picture Of A Ferrari With Features Listed Underneath Each Car

That is products positioning — how your product is perceived by the market place relative to your competition.

Now that you have determined your product or service positioning, you can use it to differentiate your product. The two will need to go hand-in-hand, but the essential variation is that positioning is about notion, not physical differentiation.

Why is product positioning critical?

Solution positioning is vital because, although physical differentiation is superior, conclusions are typically designed dependent on how a solution is perceived.

For illustration, acquiring a luxurious motor vehicle or handbag is psychological — not for the reason that of how it appears to be or its design and style or dimensions, but simply because of how it’s perceived.

Following all, no one decides against purchasing a Ferrari since it does not have a heads-up display or wi-fi charging  they purchase it (at exorbitant value points) due to the fact it’s a Ferrari!

The product or service and manufacturer are positioned these types of that they carry a specific perception, one that is remarkably attractive no matter of real physical capabilities. Leveraging the electricity of perception can lessen the need to have for actual physical differentiation and allow you to need a higher rate stage.

Defining your item positioning method

The adhering to elements really should influence your solution positioning system:

Industry evaluation

The to start with and most important action to defining your item positioning technique is being familiar with your market.

Although there is no one way to conduct current market assessment, some main queries you could possibly explore consist of:

  • Who are the core demographics in your current market? Are they college students? Affluent people? Retirees?
  • What rules and legislation do you have to have to look at?
  • What are the market traits? Is the current market rising o shrinking? Maybe undergoing a significant transformation or a period of time of disruption?
  • How much is the industry impacted by exterior forces? What are the political, geographical, and economic impacts?
  • What the assumptions, pitfalls, and uncertainties about the industry and its long term?

Aggressive landscape

Products positioning is all about how your goods are perceived in relation to their direct competitors. Therefore, it is paramount to have a excellent comprehension of your competition.

Of program, you want to construct a deep comprehending of your opponents, their strengths and weaknesses, and differentiation. Similarly importantly, you want to assess your competitors’ method and how they are positioned in the market.

Creating a holistic photograph of the aggressive landscape can assist you recognize positions in the market that could be saturated or underserved. A wonderful device for this is perceptual mapping (more on that later).

Goal industry segment

Defining your goal market segment is core to product or service positioning. For example, let us say you want to placement your solution as a luxury merchandise, but your core target marketplace are teens. Useless to say, several of them are likely to be in a position to manage your product.

A different example would be a B2B solution aimed at early-phase startups compared to a single that targets big enterprises. The latter would be more centered on remaining perceived as safe, protected, and able. The former would be extra involved with positioning itself as youthful and fun.

Enterprise and manufacturer values (and positioning)

Your product’s positioning will be greatly affected by your company manufacturer and its latest positioning.

For example, Apple positions itself as progressive and resourceful and seeks to target that market. For a long time, Apple leveraged this track record to differentiate itself from other laptop manufacturers and seize a client base of innovative pros, from musicians to artists and the like.

As these kinds of, Apple’s products and solutions also stay and breath this ethos: they are aesthetically pleasing, often colourful, and have a layout that is unlike any of their rivals.

Product vision and worth proposition

Eventually, your product or service eyesight and worth proposition engage in a vital job in merchandise positioning. Comprehending the key differentiator — your moat — is main to defining what will make your products exceptional in the industry. An helpful products position will hone in on this and amplify it.

What is a perceptual map?

Just one of my go-to resources for knowing the current market to come across the best merchandise positioning is a perceptual map.

Perceptual mapping, also recognized as sector mapping, is a diagrammatic technique used to visualize the relative positioning of aggressive products. Usually in the form of a 2×2 matrix, perceptual maps request to map out direct competitors’ positioning relative to each and every other.

Perceptual maps can aid you determine gaps in the market, crowded positioning, and when it could be time to reposition.

Example Of A Perceptual Map With Logos Of Various Candy Manufacturers Plotted Along X And Y Axes

The axis on a perceptual map will differ relying on your sector, products, and shoppers.

For example, you may map your items primarily based on no matter if they are perceived as:

  • Cheap <> Costly
  • Very low- <> Substantial-high quality
  • Youthful <> Mature
  • Entertaining <> Critical
  • Small <> Huge
  • Prevalent <> Exceptional

There’s no great science to developing a perceptual map. Even so, a perceptual map must be knowledgeable by exploration — namely, aggressive evaluation and consumer investigation. Employing this information, you will need to ascertain what attributes are important for your clients and how they understand products in the industry.

If you want, you can also validate your perceptual map through perception-primarily based thoughts as portion of customer interviews.

Illustrations of prosperous merchandise positioning

In her reserve Certainly Awesome, April Dunford shares a personalized story about the influence that the right positioning can have.

Performing in a startup for a B2B databases merchandise, the corporation had been battling with gross sales. Though the products was exceptional to its competition, the firm identified that shoppers typically did not realize the price the products would convey in excess of their recent databases solution. Eventually, Dunford’s group achieved with a prospect who argued that the solution was not a databases at all, but a small business intelligence tool.

By repositioning the item as a enterprise intelligence instrument, the gross sales staff observed rapid outcomes. When prospective buyers stopped evaluating the product or service to their present databases, they began to understand the dilemma the solution was built to remedy and the worth it could carry.

As you can see, positioning your products properly can be a game changer. Apple, Nike, Lush, and Patagonia are all illustrations of providers that have performed product positioning exceptionally nicely.

Let’s dive a bit further into just about every product positioning example.

Apple (MacBook)

Apple positions alone towards innovative people by leveraging its popularity as an ground breaking firm. It dominates this position in the industry so perfectly that you would be tough-pressed to find a designer who does not use a MacBook.

This positioning translates into all areas of the MacBook — from the apps aimed at artistic industries, this kind of as Last Minimize Professional for movie enhancing and Logic Pro for audio, to its modern structure and special attributes that problem the norm.

Nike footwear

Nike positions by itself as model for elite athletes. From its tagline, “Just Do It,” which types its positioning to force the boundaries of human efficiency, to the products on their own, which are commonly the go-to selection for athletes.


Lush is well known for their handmade, animal- and chemical-absolutely free merchandise. They posture on their own as a sustainable and moral corporation that does not do animal testing and results in solutions that are not only very good for you but for the natural environment as well. This interprets to Lush’s exclusive store models and the goods themselves.

For case in point, you will obtain no packaging in a Lush retailer aside from being wrapped in recycled paper at payment. The merchandise them selves are imperfect and fragile, usually sporting blemishes. This doesn’t detract from the product or service in truth, it plays properly into its positioning, advertising the reality that items are handmade and chemical-cost-free.


Patagonia manufactured headlines a few of a long time in the past when they introduced an ad campaign Black Friday titled “don’t acquire this jacket.” The campaign was a foyer against quickly trend and to promote sustainability.

Patagonia’s corporation mission sales opportunities the enterprise to participate in activist and sustainability work. This translates into their goods and services, from 100-per cent recycled product to their free repairs assistance.

Products positioning template

Defining your product positioning tactic starts with vital thing to consider all-around the pursuing factors:

  • Your merchandise eyesight
    • What is the long-term vision for your products?
  • Market/industry group
    • What is the body of reference for the products?
    • What marketplace does it belong to?
    • In what category inside your sector/industry does it sit?
  • Aggressive options
    • Who are your immediate competitors?
    • What are their strengths?
    • How are they perceived?
  • Focus on market place segment
    • Who is your goal marketplace segment?
    • What are some key attributes of that phase that your item will tap into?
  • Distinctive characteristics/gain
    • What attributes are exceptional to your product or service?
    • What is your product’s value proposition?
    • How do you intend to differentiate your merchandise?
  • Corporation brand
    • What is your business known for?
    • What are the key characteristics that your manufacturer is affiliated with?

Down load a customizable Google Sheets edition of the product positioning template underneath:

Product Positioning Template


Products positioning can make or break your solution. If your situation is lousy in the current market, your merchandise will sink.

Try to remember that to attain the appropriate positioning, you want to have a great knowledge of your market, customers, and competition. A terrific resource to enable you visualize this is recognized as perceptual mapping. It can aid you recognize saturated positions in the market and underserved kinds, supporting you come across the ideal positioning for your product.

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