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In 1969, Jack Trout introduced the world to product positioning. Positioning is a very powerful concept that when used effectively can provide tremendous guidance in product management. Positioning and segmentation allows companies to focus its efforts on the right customers and also provide the organizing force for the marketing mix elements.

Formulation of a positioning strategy requires specification of both the target market and the criteria upon which a product or service offering can be differentiated from the competition. To determine the most appropriate way to describe and differentiate customers, the firm must first go through the process of segmentation. There are essentially two types of segmentation:
  1. Segmentation based on benefits sought by customers
  2. Segmentation based on observable characteristics of customers
Determining segmentation should be based on a thorough understanding of the customer, the competitive environment, the company itself, and the conditions of the market in which the company operates. Once segmentation of the market has been accomplished, selecting the target markets is the next step in the process. Target market selection should consider:
  • The firm’s comparative strengths and weaknesses
  • The fit of the segment within the firm's goals
  • The resources required to successfully market the product to the target segment
  • Identification of collaborators needed to market the product
  • The expected financial returns from the segment
The positioning strategy will then be formulated through the specification of the target market and the basis upon which a product or service offering can be differentiated from the competition.

By a thorough evaluation of each target market’s attractiveness, and determination of which segments to serve and how that will maximize the profit for the firm, your company will have a strong foundation for competitive success.

Additional consulting services:
Product design and development
Life cycle management
    Positioning a product in a prospective customer’s mind is the most important strategy in business.
– Al Ries & Jack Trout

A good positioning statement answers
three questions:

  • 1. Who are the customers?
  • 2. What is the set of needs that the product fulfills?
  • 3. Why is the product the best option to satisfy those needs?

Key segmentation and
positioning deliverables

  • · Market evaluation and analysis
  • · Market threats and responses and opportunities
  • · Market segmentation analysis
  • · Target market selection

  • · Industry market background
  • · Industry relationship web
  • · Company relationship web

  • · Key feature comparisons
  • · Competitive evaluation
  • · Positioning strategy and tactics
    Success stories
Beta test / pilot program
Design and implementation a large-scale beta test for a new consumer electronics product

Feature addition
Research and testing to determine interest in new feature and price point sensitivity

Business model
Create a detailed business model for guiding the launch plans of a new mobile service


Marketing has been called civilized warfare. To win in the marketplace you must have more than a great product.

You need a total commitment to the product marketing process. You have to believe, you have to create, you have to sacrifice, and you have to win. Great marketing is a crusade.

Read more ABOUT SWC's approach to solving product management challenges.