More often we find that we just jump into a business without knowing what to do. We think of it as a good idea and say to ourselves that this is going to be a good business without doing some basic research. Positioning your product or business is essential in getting yourself known, either through brand or product. For many people, the perception of quality can be enough to buy a product. The idea that BMW is better than Hyundai is all based on branding and positioning.
Determine company uniqueness by comparing to competitors
When setting yourself apart from your competitors, it is essential to identify opportunities, strengths, and weaknesses within your company, business and or product. Understanding your strengths can be anything from your employee's enthusiasm for excellent customer service to an innovative product. Ideally, you should look at your product or service and measure your strength and weakness against competitors. You may say, "well I don't have any competitors." If you just said that you would be wrong. There is competition for everything. A person with an iPhone in photography could be considered a competitor. Leave no stone unturned when looking at competitors. Identify every element you can think of and include it in your analysis. When looking at your weaknesses, make sure you are honest with yourself. Look at those flaws like poor budgeting, sales techniques, product, technology, processes. Look at every aspect of your business that could create bottlenecks in your launch. The bottom line is you want to look at your competitors and identify where you stand against them and exploit your strengths based on your analysis.
Identify your current market position
Where do you stand in the market? The market is a big scary place where the abyss of niche, positioning, products, and services get lost. It shouldn't be scary when you know where you stand, and how you can make yourself known. How do you identify your current position? You must first find out what sets you apart from your competitors. This doesn't always need to be price. If you saying to yourself right now that price can differentiate yourself you are selling yourself short and could possibly be working harder to generate a profit. Setting yourself apart from your competitors must be researched. You will have to look at your competitors from a customer's perspective and ask yourself where you fall among them. In the previous paragraph, we discuss looking at competitors and identifying everyone that falls in the category of your business. Looking at all aspects of the competition will help you understand even the most overlooked competitor can have an impact on your market position.
Competitor positioning analysis
What is the temperature of the market? Is your current business model or product hot or will you find yourself swimming upstream to get yourself known? Doing a thorough market analysis can help you identify the amount of influence each competitor has on the marketplace and how much your product or service will create. This analysis is essential when starting a business. Let's say you want to start a carpet cleaning business and you are going to invest 50K on a new system and van. While you are doing your market research you find that all of the houses in your area only have hardwood floors. Calling home builders in the area would help give you some percentages on how many houses have hardwood floors vs. carpet. This knowledge can be essential prior to invest 50K on a system. So in this instance, you may change your position from carpet cleaning to floor cleaning.