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How to Determine Your Business's Market Position

You need to know your business's market position before you can create an effective brand for your business (or product, or service). Determining market position depends on three main tasks:

  • Figure out your point of difference. Your unique attributes are what set you apart from your competitors and attract clients to your offering.

    But just being different isn’t enough for a successful positioning strategy. To position your brand, you need both attraction and distinction:

    • Attraction: Provide values and attributes that customers genuinely want or need.

    • Distinction: Provide values and attributes that customers can receive only when they work with your business or buy your product.

  • Decide which customers you serve the best. Focus on the market segment you serve best. Instead of trying to please all people in all ways, great brands please some people — a defined segment of market — in an extraordinary way because of the unique and meaningful attributes and experiences the brands offer.

  • Find your place in the competitive landscape. Look at how your offering fits within your competitive landscape, including

    • How your customers think your offering ranks.

    • How you think your offering ranks.

If people misunderstand your brand, you can’t just wave a magic wand to change their minds. You have to move strategically from the position your brand currently occupies in customers’ minds to where you want it to be. You also have to be sure that the position you want your brand to hold in the marketplace isn’t already taken by some other brand.

If you try to slot your brand into a market or mind position already taken by a competitor, you face a long and tough uphill battle. An equally bad idea is trying to leverage off someone else’s brand. By likening your brand to someone else’s, all you do is cast a spotlight on a competitor and point out your own second-string position.

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