September 12, 2018

Creating a Marketing Plan, Part 4: Positioning and Pricing

So you’ve done your research on your target audience and looked at your competition. Are you done yet?

Far from it. You need to do a little thinking now to figure out how to position your company among your competitors so you can grab market share in your target audience.

Positioning, sometimes called branding, defines what your company is about, what its values and mission are, and what distinguishes it from everyone else. It should be tailored toward your target audience. The brand positioning statement will be the foundation that you can tie everything in your strategy back to.

How to create a brand positioning statement

The Cornell 360 blog makes it easy for you; it’s created a template for putting together a brand positioning statement:

“For [insert Target Market], the [insert Brand] is the [insert Point of Differentiation] among all [insert Frame of Reference] because [insert Reason to Believe].”

  • You’ve already established who the target market is; put one of them in this space.
  • The brand is the name of your company.
  • The point of differentiation describes how your brand or product benefits customers in ways that set you apart from your competitors.
  • The frame of reference is the segment or category in which your company competes.
  • The reason to believe is exactly what it says it is; it’s a statement that provides compelling evidence and reasons why customers in your target market can have confidence in your claims.

At Ninja Number, our brand positioning statement reads:

“Ninja Number uses artificial intelligence to help entrepreneurs improve their communications with both potential and existing customers, making it the simplest and most intelligent business phone system among all virtual phone system providers. Through its mobile app, Ninja Number can give entrepreneurs the assurance that their calls will be answered, no matter where they are or what they are doing.”

Here’s how it breaks down, according to the template:

“Ninja Number [Brand] uses artificial intelligence to help entrepreneurs improve their communications with both potential and existing customers [Point of differentiation], making it the simplest and most intelligent business phone system among all virtual phone system providers [Frame of reference]. Through its mobile app, Ninja Number can give entrepreneurs the assurance that their calls will be answered, no matter where they are or what they are doing [Reason to believe].”

More about positioning

You can have multiple positioning statements depending on whether you have multiple target audiences with different needs. Go back to your personas – is there more than one distinct group of people that you’re selling your product to? If so, then create one positioning statement for each target audience.

The positioning statement needs to be truthful, of course, but it must always be memorable. It must also be mutually exclusive – no other competitor should be able to say the same thing.

Think of it as your 10-second elevator pitch to someone who has never heard of your company. If you craft it carefully, it can say a lot, be dynamic and energize your target audience – and your employees, if you have any.

Pricing

Pricing should also play a part in your thinking, and depending on your price point, it could become part of your positioning statement. Take a long, hard look at what your price point is using the basic formula for determining what your gross profit margin should be (Price-Cost/Price). You want to aim for between 30 and 50 percent gross profit margin.

Also look at your target audience again: Are they bargain shoppers who are looking for a deal, or do they splurge on the type of product or service that you sell. Finally, look at your competition and determine where you should fit among them: Are you the low-cost leader, or do you offer the best value? Is your premium product worth a premium price?

You now have the basics of a marketing plan, but you’re not done yet.

Next week: Your Marketing Strategy

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