Do You Stand Out? A Short Guide to Market Positioning

Do You Stand Out? A Short Guide to Market Positioning

“We can’t see the wood for the trees” is a traditional saying that typifies how many organisations in many industries experience everyday life.

It’s a self fulfilling prophecy as you continually try to outperform the opposition with just little tweaks and tuning to your products and services that look, feel and sound much like they do.

It has always been this way and you could argue this is how market sectors and industries have evolved and become defined.

First we have a market leader and the inevitable market challenger. You know the types. Big players; number one and number two in the sector. Most people have heard of them and they tend to lead the way when it comes to share of voice, budgets and turnover.

Then we have the market followers. More often than not described as the meek and the mild who are in a continous state of playing catch-up. Trying to spot them in the midst of the noise is a challenge but that’s fine because they only really get attention when a customer wants to compare prices or terms. The decision has already been made.

But then there are the canny, sometimes fleet-of-foot specialists, the market nichers. Typically smaller in scale but adaptable, innovative and flexible. You might find you can get something a little special from them if you can take the time to find them. This can come at a price because by definition they are probably offering customers something they can’t get elsewhere.

The difference you see is that the ones most in control are the market nichers because if they have something special to offer, something small, discrete and profitable, then they can control their own destiny rather than having to continuously play the game of beating the competition. Their challenge is to stand out and be accessible, to cut through the noise.

So whichever market positioning you have decided to take… is it right for your organisation and strategy? And vitally, do you stand out?