by Arnold Sanow, MBA, CSP
"Positioning, quite simply, is placing your product or service in a certain
way in the consumer’s mind."
In this competitive environment if we fail to differentiate our services and
products from our competitors we will always be seen as a commodity.
To become less of a commodity and a business where people seek us out we can
position ourselves by following the 9 strategies below:
1. Develop your niche – Look for a niche that your competition is not
filling. For example, one travel agency specialized in being the travel agency
for Hollywood Production companies. By going from a general travel agency to a
specialized one they tripled their income.
2. Know your competition – To stay ahead of the game you need to constantly
be evaluating your competition. By knowing the competition you can copy
success, determine where you have the advantages, and learn from their
successes and failures. To evaluate your competition focus and compare
yourself on the 6 P’s --- price, promotion, packaging, personnel, place and
3. Understand your customers – There is no issue more important to you than
knowing your customers. There’s an old saying, "Determine the wants and
needs of your customers first then work backwards to develop the products and
services. The feast is determined by the consumer not the chef." Only by
knowing the wants, needs and demographics of your customers (age, sex, income,
geographic region, lifestyle, etc.) can you truly position yourself.
4. Develop your unique selling proposition – What is unique about your
services and products over the competition. It could be something as simple as
longer hours, getting back immediately by phone or a more complex unique
selling proposition such as a niche.
5. Offer exceptional customer service – This is one of the main ways to
separate yourself from the crowd. In fact, Time magazine in a recent article
stated that the #1 marketing strategy for companies in the year 2000 and
beyond will be customer service. To move your company to the next level follow
these 6 guidelines to keep customers for life: be reliable, be responsive, be
credible, have the appropriate appearance, show empathy, and have a great
6. Work your strategy – Give everything a chance to work. Many companies
develop their marketing plans and don’t allow enough time to see if a
strategy is really working. Thoroughly analyze and review your strategy before
you lightly discard it.
7. Stress benefits – "What’s in it for me" is what the client is
thinking about. What can they save, gain or accomplish by using your product
8. Develop a business plan – A business plan simply asks, where am I going
and how am I going to get there? The plan will help you focus on where to
position your product or service.
9. Become a "little bit" famous – By writing articles, getting on
television and radio and teaching at local universities you position yourself
so people see you as the expert.
Nine Stratgies to Position Yourself for Greater Profit (492 words)
Arnold Sanow, MBA, CSP (certified speaking professional)
is a speaker, seminar leader, author and business and marketing strategist. He
is the author of 4 books that include "Marketing Boot Camp" and
"Entrepreneur Boot Camp."
About the author
He can be reached at 703-255-3133 or
Web site: http://www.arnoldsanow.com