DEFINING YOUR COMPETITIVE POSITION IN THE MARKETPLACE
What is it that sets your company apart from your competitors?
Competitive positioning is the foundation that all your sales and marketing strategies are built.
Competitive positioning is about defining how you’ll “differentiate” your offering and create value for your market. It’s about carving out a spot in the competitive landscape and focusing your company to deliver on that strategy.
Good strategies include:
Market profile – size, competitors, stage of growth
- Document the size of your market, major competitors and how they’re positioned.
- Determine whether your market is in the introductory, growth, mature, or declining stage of its life. This “lifecycle stage” affects your entire marketing strategy.
Client segments – groups of prospects with similar wants and needs
- Understand the problems that your market faces. Talk with prospects and customers, or conduct research if you have the time, budget and opportunity. Uncover their true wants and needs – you’ll learn a great deal about what you can deliver to solve their problems and beat your competitors.
- Group your prospects into “segments” that have similar problems and can use your product in similar ways. By grouping them into segments, you can efficiently market to each group.
Competitive analysis – strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats in the landscape
- List your competitors. Include any competitors that can solve your customers’ problems, even if their solutions are much different than yours – they’re still your competition.
- Rate your own company and your direct competitors on operational efficiency (price), product leadership and customer intimacy. It’s easy to think you’re the best, so be as impartial as you can.
Positioning strategy – how you’ll position your offering to focus on opportunities in the market
- Identify areas where your competition is vulnerable.
- Determine whether you can focus on those vulnerable areas – they’re major opportunities.
- Identify products/services you can offer to meet the true needs of your market in a new and better way.
Value proposition – the type of value you’ll deliver to the market
- There are three core types of value that a company can deliver:
- Operational efficiency (the lowest price)
- Product leadership (the best product)
- Customer intimacy (the best solution & service)
- Determine which one you’re best equipped to deliver; your decision is your “value proposition.”
Without differentiating yourself, it takes more time and money to show your prospects why they should choose you – as a result – you often end up competing on price. This is a tough position to sustain over the long term and ends up being a race to the bottom.
Give us a call (800) 589-0969 or email us at email@example.com to see how we can help differentiate your business.