illustration of positioning strategy

How to Gain a Competitive Edge with Positioning Strategies

How do you convince potential customers to see that your brand offers something truly special when they're bombarded with countless options?

Written By: 

Carl Undag


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Let's face it: today's market is a battlefield, whether you're a B2C or B2B. You might believe, with good reason, that your brand offers something truly special. But how do you convince potential customers to see it that way when they're bombarded with countless options?

What is a Positioning Strategy?

Think of your brand positioning strategy as the foundation for your brand's identity. It defines how you want to be perceived by your target customers – what makes you unique, valuable, and different from the competition. It's the concise answer to the question: "Why should I choose you?"

A successful positioning strategy directly informs your value proposition. Your value proposition is a clear, concise statement outlining the specific benefits your brand offers customers and how it solves their problems.

But it's important to remember that positioning isn't just about a single message or tagline.  It's a core element of your overall brand-building strategy. It informs everything you do, from marketing materials and messaging to product development and customer service approach. It ensures consistency and reinforces the unique image you want to project.

Why is an Effective Positioning Strategy Important?

Here's why, with a deeper dive into each benefit:

illustration for cutting through noise

Cuts Through the Noise

Consumers are bombarded with messages from countless brands across countless channels.  An effective market positioning strategy creates a distinct space for your brand within this overwhelming noise.  

It's like having a clear, concise message on a brightly colored sign that stands out from the sea of generic banners.  This clear message lets potential customers easily understand what sets you apart and why they should pay attention.

illustration for attracting ideal customer

Attracts Your Ideal Customer

By clearly defining your brand's unique value proposition, you attract the customers who will most likely benefit from your offer. This targeted approach allows you to focus your marketing efforts and resources on the people who matter most – your ideal customers. 

By understanding your ideal customer's needs, wants, and pain points, you can craft messaging that resonates with them directly. This targeted communication attracts the right kind of customers, saving you time and money in the long run.

illustration for premium pricing

Commands Premium Pricing: The Value Perception Advantage

When your brand occupies a strong, well-defined position in the market, you can justify charging a premium price for your products or services. Customers who perceive your brand as unique and valuable are more willing to pay a higher price. 

For example, let's say you sell athletic shoes. Suppose your brand is positioned as the leader in cutting-edge running technology. Customers prioritizing performance will be more likely to pay a premium for your shoes than a generic brand.  Effective positioning creates a perception of value that transcends simple price comparisons.

illustration for brand loyalty

Builds Brand Loyalty

A strong positioning strategy fosters trust and loyalty among your customers. When they understand what your brand stands for and how it solves their needs, they're more likely to become repeat customers and advocates for your brand. 

This emotional connection goes beyond just the product itself.  It creates a sense of trust and loyalty that keeps you returning for more.  Effective positioning helps you build a community around your brand, fostering a loyal customer base.

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Guides Marketing & Sales Efforts: The Messaging Compass

Your positioning strategy is a compass for all your marketing and sales activities. It ensures consistency across all touchpoints and informs the messaging in advertising, social media, website content, and even sales presentations. Imagine a brand positioning itself as the provider of the most sustainable cleaning products.  

Their entire marketing strategy will reflect this positioning, from website copy to social media content.  This consistency reinforces the brand message and makes it easier for customers to understand it. Effective positioning streamlines your marketing and sales efforts, ensuring a clear, unified message reaches your target audience.

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Provides a Competitive Advantage: Standing Out from the Crowd

An effective positioning strategy sets you apart from the competition, making it harder for them to steal your customers.  For example, you're a new coffee shop competing with established giants. By positioning yourself as the neighborhood coffee shop that sources ethically traded beans and offers a cozy, community atmosphere, you create a unique space within the market.  

This differentiation makes it harder for competitors to undercut your price or offer similar products simply.  Effective positioning allows you to carve out your niche and attract customers who value the unique experience you provide.

Types of Positioning Strategies

Let's delve into some of the most common positioning strategies, exploring their strengths and the industries where they truly shine:

illustration of appliance brand quality positioning

Quality Positioning

Quality positioning is all about highlighting your product or service's superior craftsmanship and durability. It's a strategy that builds trust and establishes a reputation for excellence.

Quality positioning creates a perception that your products are dependable and built to last. This is essential for expensive or frequently used items. Customers know they're getting a product that will perform well and stand the test of time.

Strong quality positioning also allows you to justify premium pricing for high-quality products. When customers understand the superior craftsmanship and materials, they're more likely to see the value proposition and be willing to pay a higher price.

Industries that Thrive on Quality:

  • Luxury Goods: High-end watchmakers and handbag brands often emphasize meticulous craftsmanship and timeless design, hallmarks of quality positioning.
  • Appliances: Brands known for durable kitchen appliances with extended warranties can leverage quality positioning to set themselves apart.
illustration of smartwatch brand benefit positioning

Benefit Positioning

Benefit positioning goes beyond simply listing features. It focuses on the specific advantages your product or service offers to customers. This strategy is about understanding their needs and presenting your offering as the solution.

Here are some approaches;

  • Lifestyle positioning strategy
  • Customer service positioning strategy
  • Convenience positioning strategy
  • Product positioning strategy

Benefit positioning connects with customers emotionally by addressing their concerns and frustrations. It speaks directly to what matters most to them.

By highlighting your product's benefits, you create a value proposition that resonates with your target audience. Customers understand exactly how your offering will improve their lives.

Industries Where Benefits Shine:

  • Fitness Trackers: These apps has a positioning strategy centered on how how these features like tracers help users achieve their fitness goals (e.g., "Get a better night's sleep and stay on track with your calorie goals").
  • Cleaning Products: These brands highlight the benefits that truly matter to customers, like time-saving features like single-step cleaning solutions that simplify their busy lives.
illustration of retail value positioning

Value Positioning

Value positioning focuses on your brand's overall worth, highlighting how it delivers superior value compared to competitors. It's about demonstrating the ROI for customers, making them see your brand as smarter or more economical.

Value positioning clearly explains to customers exactly what they're getting for their money. It goes beyond simply listing features and benefits to showcase the overall value proposition. Customers understand the return on investment they'll receive by choosing your brand.

This strategy positions your brand as the more intelligent or economical. It emphasizes the value you deliver compared to competitors, making it a clear choice for customers who prioritize getting the most bang for their buck.

Industries That Thrive on Value:

  • Retail: Warehouse clubs highlight bulk discounts and high-quality products at competitive prices, making them a smart choice for families and businesses seeking savings.
  • Travel: Budget airlines demonstrate value positioning by emphasizing affordability while providing a safe and comfortable travel experience. Customers get a great travel option without breaking the bank.

Price Positioning

Price positioning leverages your product or service's cost to create a distinct brand image. Here, you can take two main approaches:

Value-Based Pricing: This approach targets budget-conscious customers and emphasizes affordability and value. For example, discount retailers like dollar stores often position themselves as offering everyday essentials at low prices, making them a go-to option for price-sensitive shoppers.

Premium Pricing: This approach positions your brand as a provider of superior quality and exclusivity. High-end jewelry stores, for example, might focus on the craftsmanship and materials used in their pieces to justify premium pricing. Here, the high price tag builds a perception of luxury and status.

Price positioning allows you to create a clear target audience based on price sensitivity. You can attract value-conscious consumers seeking affordability or position yourself as a premium brand for those who prioritize luxury and exclusivity.

Price can also be a powerful tool for shaping brand perception. Value-based pricing positions your brand as smart and economical, while premium pricing cultivates an image of luxury and status.

Industries that Utilize Price Positioning:

Fashion: This industry thrives on price positioning. High-end clothing brands target customers seeking luxury and exclusivity with premium prices, while discount fashion chains cater to price-conscious consumers seeking affordability.

Electronics: The world of electronics offers a clear example of price positioning. Budget-friendly smartphone brands can gain traction with price-conscious consumers, while high-end brands emphasize cutting-edge technology and design to justify premium pricing.

How to Create a Positioning Strategy: Owning Your Space in the Market

Here's a step-by-step guide to help you build a winning message:

Step 1: Brand Discovery

A winning positioning strategy starts with self-discovery. Before effectively positioning yourself in the market, you must understand your brand's core identity. Here's what you need to explore:

Brand Identity: What are your brand's core values and mission? What makes you unique?  Start by making who you are as a brand clear. Ask yourself: What story are you trying to tell? What principles guide your business decisions?

Strengths & Weaknesses: Conduct a realistic assessment of your strengths and weaknesses. What are you good at? Where can you improve? Identifying your strengths allows you to leverage them in your positioning strategy.

For example, Imagine you run a small, artisanal bakery. Your core value is using fresh, locally sourced ingredients, and your passion lies in creating unique and delicious breads. This sets you apart from mass-produced options. However, you might lack brand awareness for larger bakeries.

Step 2: Know Your Target Audience 

Once you fully grasp your brand identity, it's time to shift your focus to your target audience. Understanding who you're trying to reach is crucial for crafting a strategic positioning. Here's how you do market research:

Identify Your Ideal Customer:  Who is your perfect customer? Develop a buyer persona that details their demographics, interests, needs, and buying behaviors. Understanding these aspects allows you to tailor your message and positioning strategy to connect with them directly.

Pain Points and Aspirations: What are your ideal customer's biggest challenges or frustrations? What are their desires and aspirations?  Your positioning strategy should address their pain points and offer a solution that helps them achieve their goals.

To continue with our artisanal bakery scenario, your ideal customer might be health-conscious professionals who appreciate high-quality ingredients and unique flavors. They might be frustrated with the limited bread options available at larger grocery stores and long for fresh, flavorful alternatives.

Step 3: Know Your Competitors

A firm grasp of your brand identity and target audience is crucial, but understanding the competitive landscape is just as important. Here's how to analyze your competitors and identify strategic advantages:

Identify Your Main Competitors: Who are you playing against? Research your main competitors and understand your market position. What products or services do they offer? Who is their target audience?

Positioning Strategies: Analyze your competitors' positioning strategies. What message are they communicating? What are their strengths and weaknesses?  By understanding their approach, you can identify opportunities to differentiate yourself and offer a unique value proposition.

Building on our artisanal bakery example, your main competitors might be large grocery chains offering mass-produced bread and national bakery franchises. These competitors might focus on convenience and affordability, offering a wide selection of bread at lower prices. However, they may lack the unique flavors and quality ingredients you offer. 

Step 4: Craft Your Unique Selling Proposition

With a clear understanding of your brand, target audience, and competitive landscape, you're now ready to develop the core of your positioning strategy - a unique selling proposition.

Your USP must be what sets you apart from others. It's your unique value proposition to your target audience, something your competitors don't. Look back on the previous steps, from brand discovery to competitor research. See which angle you can set your brand to make it stand out.


Let's revisit our artisanal bakery example.  Combining your focus on fresh, local ingredients with your target audience's desire for unique flavors, you can craft a powerful USP like: "We bake extraordinary bread made with love and the finest local ingredients, offering a taste sensation you won't find anywhere else." This USP highlights your commitment to quality, craftsmanship, and unique flavor profiles, directly addressing the needs of your health-conscious, taste-bud-discerning customer.

Step 5: Refine Your Message

Your Unique Selling Proposition (USP) forms the foundation of your positioning strategy. Now, it's time to refine your message into a clear, concise statement that resonates with your target audience.

Summarize your USP in a compelling statement. This statement should be clear, concise, and memorable. It should capture the essence of where your business stands and resonate with your target audience. Think of it as your brand's elevator pitch, a quick and impactful summary of what you offer and why it matters.

Continuing with the artisanal bakery example, your USP highlights using fresh, local ingredients and the exceptional taste of your bread.  Here's how you might translate that into a positioning statement: "The Ann Arbor's Premier Artisanal Bakery: Where Fresh, Local Ingredients Meet Extraordinary Flavor."  This statement positions your bakery as the top choice for those seeking high-quality, flavorful breads made with locally sourced ingredients.

Step 6: Communication

Crafting a winning positioning strategy is just the first step. You must ensure your message reaches your target audience and resonates effectively. 

For your positioning strategy to truly take hold, consistency is key. Integrate your positioning message across all channels, including your website, marketing materials, social media presence, and even customer interactions. Every touchpoint should communicate the same core message, ensuring a clear and unified brand voice.

Don't let your positioning strategy gather dust on a shelf.  Track its effectiveness and be prepared to refine it as needed. Monitor customer feedback, market trends, and campaign results.  Are you reaching your target audience?  Is your message resonating?

Own Your Brand's Narrative with Evolv!

Remember, your positioning strategy is a living document and part of an overall business strategy. As your brand evolves and the market landscape shifts, revisit and refine your message to ensure it continues to be relevant and impactful.

Need help in building effective brand positioning strategies that win customers? Let us know how Evolv can help you!

Also, check out our blog and be updated with the latest insights and trends.

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About the Author

Carl Undag

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Evolv's dedicated copywriter, blending storytelling prowess with business acumen for impactful results.

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