Published by MBA Skool Team, Last Updated: May 25, 2020

What is Positioning?

Positioning is a marketing concept followed by marketers to generate an image of their product/service in the mind of customers. Positioning helps to create a distinct image of the brand and the product in the mind of the consumers in comparison with other products or brands. Every marketer considers the brand positioning as one of the most important aspect of overall brand creation. People have different perception about a brand based on how the brand was positioned in the market.

Importance of Positioning

In marketing, the positioning concept is followed after the market segmentation where the market is broken down and a target group for their product is identified using targeting strategy, which is collectively known as STP marketing strategy. After selecting a niche market, it helps to create an impression in the customers mind. Companies create a positioning statement for their brand, product or service which helps customers identify with the business.

Types of Positioning


Positioning is broadly classified into three types:

1. Functional: This is used when the brand or products provide solutions to problems and provide benefits to customers. It focuses on the function, benefit or utility that it gives to the customer.

2. Symbolic: This is useful for creating a brand image which helps create brand equity, a sense of social belongingness and ego-identification. It is when a customer has an affection, social connection, ego identification etc with the product.

3. Experiential: This creates sensory and cognitive simulation in the minds of the customer. It is one of the basis of the experiences which a customer can relate to.

Companies use a positioning process, which is step-wise method to place the product or service in the right way in the consumer's mind. If a company decides to change the way people perceive a brand, then they revamp the logo, slogan etc of that brand. This process is known as repositioning of the brand, which helps create a different image of the brand.

Key Elements of Positioning Strategy

Positioning is critical for any brand, product or service to ensure an impression is created on the mind of the consumer. The main elements considered by a marketer for creating a strategy for a brand or product are:

1. Product Features: Positioning can be done on how the product looks, feels, appears etc.

2. Utility & Benefits: It takes into account the value which a product gives and which needs are solved.

3. Use Categories: This defines how the product can be used.

4. Occasion: The time, event or the occasion when the product can be used.

5. Competitive Comparison: Positioning an be done when compared to a competitive offering.

In positioning the product is differentiated based on 2 things to achieve competitive advantage: -

Points of Parity (POPs): The positioning is done on the basis of mostly similar elements compared to a competitor.

Points of Difference (PODs): In this case, there is a clear difference in the product offerings vis-à-vis the competitor.

The above product positioning graph for laptop, i-pod, netbook and kindle shows the benefits in terms of different parameters. This method of understanding positioning is also known as perceptual mapping or brand mapping.

Examples of Positioning

Positioning examples of products can be understood on the basis of various parameters, characteristics and features of products & services. Some key examples are:

1. Aspirational: Nike (Just Do It).

2. Emotional: Coca Cola (Open Happiness).

3. Price-Based: Rolls Royce (Trusted to Deliver Excellence).

4. Problem Solution: Head & Shoulders shampoo (Dandruff free hair).

5. Benefits: Colgate (Prevents cavity and fresh breath).

This article has been researched & authored by the Business Concepts Team. It has been reviewed & published by the MBA Skool Team. The content on MBA Skool has been created for educational & academic purpose only.

Browse the definition and meaning of more similar terms. The Management Dictionary covers over 2000 business concepts from 6 categories.

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