Digital product positioning strategies get consumers to approach the brand, rather than the other way around. They provide an option outside of shelf space optimization for improving product visibility when the consumer is in the shopping aisle, while also facilitating online product discovery. With ever-changing technology, brands should focus on a more tech-forward approach when it comes to positioning strategies.
Bigger companies can look to smaller challenger brands in gaining the upper hand on product visibility in the shopping aisle. Sales for these small brands rose by 4.9% in 2018, making it the fastest growing segment in the CPG market. This rapid growth is attributable to an influx of direct-to-consumer brands as well as the broad accessibility of aggregated shopping platforms. Adopting some of the tactics used by these brands can heighten the visibility of a product, even when shelf space is limited.
Product Positioning Strategy #1: Build an Authentic Presence
Smaller brands have been able to pull market share from larger CPG conglomerates by focusing on individualized attention. These brands target a specific pain point of consumers and use their product as a service to resolve it. Consider Dollar Shave Club as an example. A common problem that many consumers face is running out of razors, or not being able to find the right blades. Additionally, these individual blades could be costly on the store shelves. Dollar Shave Club found a way to offset that high expense and inconvenience through its subscription service.
It’s this ability to directly resolve a consumer’s problem that improves the visibility of a product. Dollar Shave Club didn’t offer a new, groundbreaking product; razors have been around for centuries. It was the subscription aspect—where the brand turned their product into a service—that created its authentic relationship with consumers. The company solved a common consumer problem and became an expert in their niche.
Often, strategic partnerships help large brands build authenticity through association. Shopkick, for example, has established authentic relationships with a large audience of active users who rely on its mobile app to shop and discover new brands in a fun and engaging way. Partners who team up with Shopkick receive the benefit of that consumer trust, as the app’s reputation extends to the brands that sponsor it.
Product Positioning Strategy #2: Use Nostalgia to Target Gen-X Shoppers
Generation X is a small but influential segment for brands, especially those with loyalty programs. About 82% of these consumers actively participate in at least one loyalty program, and 77% redeem rewards at least once a quarter. These individuals show they are more than willing to engage with brands if those brands can get their attention.
Campbell’s focused on this market when attempting to improve sales in their snack foods sector. The brand repositioned several established products like Goldfish, Milano Cookies, and Snyder’s Pretzels to capture the attention of consumers who remember the products from their childhoods. The brand also put an increased focus on providing recipes using their soups that produce tasty, affordable meals for families.
Generation X may not be as big as others, but their loyalty indicates they are a high-value prospect for brands. The product positioning strategies used to reach these consumers are about presenting familiar products in a new way. Campbell’s can trade on the fact that consumers remember eating their soup as a child to encourage them to use it in a recipe as an adult. Adding options like online recipes improves the product’s visibility as it makes the consumer approach the brand.
Product Positioning Strategy #3: Be an Evolving Omnichannel Presence
Today’s brands must be everywhere. This is a significant shift from 20 years ago when many wondered if CPG brands would ever need to worry about eCommerce. Now, it’s one of the most prevalent concerns for brands. The internet has changed how consumers shop—they turn to mobile devices to discover product information, find customer reviews, and seek out available purchase options. Brands must establish omnichannel marketing campaigns to communicate with all potential sales leads. This integrated marketing strategy includes building a foothold with emerging prospects in the smart home sector.
In the U.S. alone, 22% of households use a digital assistant such as Amazon Alexa or Google Home. Another 74% expect to purchase such devices in the near future. That should be a signal to brands that they must expand their digital presence to account for consumers who prefer to search by voice when seeking products. Image recognition searches completed via camera phones are also growing in popularity. Brands need to establish search optimization parameters for their product images to reach those who use these retail image recognition platforms.
Product positioning strategies in the digital space get consumers to approach the brands.
As consumers discover new digital avenues, brands need to expand their omnichannel marketing strategies to reach them. Product positioning strategies in the digital space get consumers to approach the brands. This proactive marketing can include becoming an industry expert, embracing innovation, and targeting lesser-represented generations. The digital space has leveled the playing field when it comes to product visibility, and this creates a path to increasing sales for brands willing to leverage new options in advertising.
Shopkick helps our partners direct consumers to products in the shopping aisle to improve product visibility without changing shelf space. To use our app to connect with traveling consumers, contact us.
Image courtesy of Sergey Ryzhov