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, putting your stake in the ground, and winning mindshare in the marketplace – being known for a certain “something.” Another key factor in your brand positioning is your competition. Sure, you need to put your stake in the ground and claim your turf. But is it turf that you can own? Can you realistically beat your competition to own it?
Rather than leaving your market positioning to chance, establish a strategy.
What you’re ultimately striving for is to be known for something – to own mindshare of the market. This is typically easier for consumer product lines than for B2B companies, because positioning a single product against three to five competitors is a simpler task than positioning a mid-size B2B company with numerous offerings in numerous markets.
Owning a strong position in the market is challenging for most small- to mid-size companies, but you have a better chance of achieving it if you clearly define a strategy and build your brand around it.
Your competitive positioning strategy is the foundation of your entire business – it’s the first thing you should pin down if you’re launching a new company or product. It’s also important when you’re expanding or looking for a new edge
Few crucial aspects to be looked at, while mapping the competition, are: –
- Who are the local major & minor competitors?
- What is their size & financials?
- Where are they located?
- Who are their clients & suppliers?
- What sets of product & service are they offering?
- What is their supply & distribution network?
- What are the positives & negatives of their business strategy & operations?
- What is their present strategic positioning, recent steps telling strategic manoeuvring & speculation on their future goals?
- What are their recent branding initiatives?
- What value do you provide and how is it different from the alternatives?
MCG model of competitive mapping is done under the constant light of the following, in order to give a meaningful insight to our clients: –
ØProfiling the market – Once we document the size of the market, and identify the major competitors and how they’re positioned; it is crucial to determine whether the market is in introductory, growth, mature or declining stage.
ØSegmenting the market – Grouping the prospects into “segments” or “personas” having similar problems which market faces, uncovering the true wants and needs –and how to beat the competitors. By grouping prospects into segments or personas, our clients can efficiently market to each group.
ØDefining what is the core value to be delivered – At the highest level, there are three core types of value that a company can deliver: operational efficiency (the lowest price), product leadership (the best product), or customer intimacy (the best solution & service). Determining which one to deliver based upon the needs of the market and the competitive gap existing i.e. values which competitors lack in delivering or the value which is not looked at but customers are expecting & willing to pay.
Ranking ourselves among competition
Once we list the competitors & their profiles, we rate our clients with direct competitors based on operational efficiency (price), product leadership and customer intimacy.
Staking a position
Identifying areas where the competition is vulnerable. Determining whether we can focus on those vulnerable areas.
After Competitive Positioning
Once we design a competitive positioning strategy, we assist in developing a brand strategy which is helpful in identifying the desired positioning & clearly bifurcating it from the competitors.