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3 types of product positioning strategies and how to best leverage them

As gaining shelf space becomes more competitive for brands, marketers should be looking into leveraging one of the various types of product positioning strategies. A long-time staple of in-store marketing, product positioning strategies are tied to how items are displayed in the shopping aisle to maximize sales. Unfortunately, CPG brands may find they have little control over their placement in the store without a hefty investment. Mobile marketing offers a path to cost-effectively enhancing in-store placement.

There are three standard types of product positioning strategies brands should consider: comparative, differentiation, and segmentation. Through these strategies, brands can help their product stand out by targeting the right audiences with the best message. Mobile marketing enhances all of these strategies and helps guide consumers to products in the shopping aisle.

3 Traditional Types of Product Positioning Strategies

Conventional models of product positioning strategies center on catching the eye of consumers. While there is a wide range of options for brands to consider in product positioning, most can be broken down into one of three categories.

  • Comparative: Comparative positioning strategies work by placing products right next to other brands to highlight their competitive edge. A typical example of this occurs when stores place a white label value brand next to a more expensive name brand product. Often, the label includes a “compare to X brand” statement to show the consumers that the products are similar, but the value brand offers a better price.
  • Differentiation: Sometimes, the uniqueness of a product can’t be duplicated, making it ideal for a differentiation strategy. An excellent example of a product easily differentiated is Barilla’s Pronto pasta. While the pasta aisle is competitive, Pronto offers a unique selling point in that it requires no draining. As such, this is the primary focal point that the brand highlights on its packaging to gain consumer attention.
  • Segmentation: Sometimes, helping a product stand out requires focusing on multiple audiences with different needs, but with the same product. Consider a simple product like Bayer aspirin. The brand offers bottles of its tablets in the pharmacy aisle at the grocery store, but they also provide smaller, on-the-go packs for purchase at the convenience store. Through this, they target consumers buying bottles of medication for their households for use in the future, as well as travelers or individuals dealing with an immediate ache or pain they want to take care of right away.   

leveraging the types of product positioning strategiesBrands may struggle with obtaining optimal shelf space to leverage these types of product positioning strategies. In some cases, they may rely on packaging to help draw the eye of consumers. However, mobile marketing can offer brands opportunities to differentiate their products in the shopping aisle without the need to update labels.

Updating Traditional Product Positioning Strategies With Mobile Marketing

Mobile marketing can be used to guide consumers to products in the aisle even when shelf space is not optimal. These strategies work well in conjunction with rewards programs where consumers receive points for seeking out and interacting with participating items. When leveraged through an in-store mobile app, these programs:

  • Incentivize interaction for comparative positioning: Brands that don’t wish to rely on discounts to compete with value brands often look to rewards programs as a way to provide value without cutting prices. Consumers often view rewards points as having a higher value than their simple face amount as rewards points are earned. Apps which provide a way for consumers to receive rewards points for scanning UPCs or receipts can be an excellent way to help products stand out even against lower-cost competitors.  
  • Leverage mobile video to differentiate products: Barilla partnered with Shopkick to gain attention for their new Pronto pasta product. Shopkick provided the brand with a platform to share a mobile video announcing its unique selling point: convenience.  Consumers received kicks (aka rewards points) for viewing the mobile video which helped them to remember the product when they went to the store. Overall, it was a success, with 50% of viewers of the video choosing to purchase the product. These promising results are why many brands choose to contact Shopkick to enhance in-store marketing.
  • Offer data-driven personalization for segmentation: Mobile apps provide a unique opportunity to cater to consumers by location, which creates an automatic kind of personalization brands can leverage to enhance sales in a specific area. These programs work off GPS, beacons, and other devices that push notifications to consumers when they enter a location.

Brands have many opportunities to enhance in-store marketing with mobile apps. These programs drive in-the-moment product recognition which can be used to introduce new offerings or stimulate interest in old ones. Pairing them with standard product positioning strategies only improves the results.

Traditional product positioning strategies can gain a significant boost from mobile marketing.

Traditional product positioning strategies can gain a significant boost from mobile marketing. By using incentives, engaging content, and location-enabled messages, brands reach consumers when they’re about to make purchase decisions. The primary goal of product positioning is to increase sales by boosting visibility and Shopkick enables this without requiring optimal shelf placement.

Shopkick improves our partner’s sales in the store by using mobile marketing to enhance the traditional types of product positioning strategies. To see the results of our program, review some of our success stories.

Image courtesy of Jirsak