Positioning, in the context of marketing, refers to the act of designing the company’s offering and image to occupy a distinctive place in the mind of the prospective target market.
The result of positioning is the successful creation of customer-focused value proposition. Here are a few examples:
Perdue (chicken) – More tender golden chicken at a moderate premium price.
Volvo (station wagon) – The safest, most durable wagon in which your family can ride.
Domino’s (pizza) – A good hot pizza, delivered to your door within 30 minutes of ordering, at a moderate price.
Companies often employ differentiation strategies to position their offerings or images. These include:
Product differentiation – in terms of form, features, performance, durability, reliability, style, design etc. as well as service dimensions (ordering ease, installation, maintenance, training etc)
Personnel differentiation – competence, courtesy, credibility, reliability, responsiveness, communication. E.g. stewardesses of Singapore Airline are courteous, responsive, speak many languages and wear traditional costume.
Channel differentiation – coverage, expertise, performance etc. Dell, for example, in known for selling PCs over the Internet.
Image differentiation – e.g. Marlboro with its “macho cowboy”
Reference: Kotler & Keller, “Marketing Management”, 12th edition