Competitive positioning is the foundation for your entire business. It defines how you’ll distinguish your offerings and create value for the marketplace.

Competitive positioning strategy is often the first exercise entrepreneurs undertake before deciding to create a new business. It defines the market need the company will fulfill, and it outlines how the company will protect and grow its position. It’s the base for a company’s entire go-to-market strategy, and it helps define brand, marketing communications and marketing and sales strategies.

Competitive Positioning Value

While many companies achieve success without a formal strategy, they’ll experience sustained long-term growth only with a well-defined competitive strategy (or with sheer luck). Without clear differentiation, it takes more time and money to acquire customers. And it becomes more difficult to keep those customers and to keep margins from declining.

Many business owners and founders have a loose strategy in their head, but it can be difficult to execute without a well-defined foundation for marketing, sales, pricing and distribution decisions. A good strategy helps:

  • Channel business investments into the areas with the highest returns
  • Carve out and protect “turf” in the marketplace
  • Increase margins over the long-term
  • Build a loyal customer base

Competitive Positioning Tools in Growth specialist

  • Market Profiling. Document the size of your markets or potential markets; list major competitors, their stage of growth and their positions; and break down your market segments. Evaluate the true problems, wants and needs of the market.
  • Competitive Analysis. Define the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats in the competitive marketplace. Rate your company and direct competitors. Determine the true competitive nature of the marketplace.
  • Create a Positioning Strategy. Define your value proposition and identify areas where you’re strong and your competition is vulnerable. Stake your position, and create a plan to protect and expand that position.
  • Find a New Market. Research and evaluate to determine what other markets could benefit from your products and services.

Your may need to address your competitive positioning if:

  • Market share isn’t growing at 20% per year
  • Sales are flat or decreasing
  • All company leaders don’t have a clear understanding of the company’s competitive strategy
  • Margins are shrinking
  • Ownership is considering a company sale in the next 3-5 years