The most important part of a marketing plan for any company, but especially for a new company, is to determine its market position.
Often considered as a simple marketing task, positioning is at the heart of a company’s strategic, financial and marketing planning. Without it, everything else (numbers, opinions and tactics) is meaningless.
In general, positioning refers to the process of strategic thinking that determines the elements that will allow your company to differentiate itself from its competitors. The difference may lie in the product or service, the delivery method, or the added value of the product.
Enhance your business
The unique selling point (USP) is the essence of your business because it governs your marketing activities and operations and ultimately determines the financial success or failure of your business.
This is what allows your company to stand out in the market and ensures that your customers choose to do business with you rather than your competitors.
Your USP can be the best product or service, a continuous relationship, the lowest price, the best quality, the most innovative ideas, the most qualified personnel, optimal delivery service or any other factor that influences the purchasing behaviour of customers.
Leave a lasting impression
Whatever it is, it must be unique to your company and create a lasting impression in the minds of customers.
Here are some examples: Domino’s Pizza has focused its USP on delivery. This company has committed to delivering a pizza to the customer within a specified period of time, failing which it is offered free of charge. Another example of USP is a cellular phone service that offers the lowest prices by reducing its own profit margins.
In the case of a product, the USP could be the guaranteed reliability; in the case of a service, it could be a support service offered 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Your strategic positioning
The USP has a significant influence on how a company carries out its daily tasks, and its development requires market research and strategic planning.
Once a new company has completed its market research and competitive research, it identifies a market niche or opportunity and develops a profile of the target market it wishes to serve. It then defines a strategy to address this market. The USP is an essential part of this strategy, as it is the company’s “differentiating factor”.
The development of the USP generally uses the four marketing “Ps” – product, place, price and promotion, which are also called marketing mixes (a fifth “P”, i. e. “people”, has been added for modern service companies). A company must choose one of these elements as the main differentiating factor, and can then refine its strategy to focus on one aspect.
Strategic positioning is a vision-based process, which should not be sacrificed to more concrete marketing tasks. It must be the fundamental reason why routine tasks, including market research digdeeper, are performed. It will also become the basis of the company’s business plan.