Why should you learn how to create a positioning map for your business? To compete in today’s competitive business environment, you need practical strategies to distinguish your products or services from others.
Creating a positioning map becomes crucial in this regard. With it, you can readily gauge your products’ perception from the customers’ viewpoint. Moreover, a well-defined positioning map aids in establishing brand awareness, authority, and differentiation from competitors. However, learning to create a positioning map may seem challenging. But fret not! In this article, we’ll guide you through the step-by-step process of creating one.
What Is a Positioning Map?
A positioning map is a graphical illustration of your product’s unique benefits that differentiate it from similar products by competitors within your industry.
It also allows you to uncover opportunities for products that are in demand in the marketplace.
A positioning map looks like this:
Fundamentally, a positioning map is based on the benefits your product offers that are important to your target customers.
What’s the Difference Between a Positioning Map and a Perceptual Map?
A positioning map and a perceptual map might look similar but the two are different.
A positioning map evaluates the actual product features or benefits that are important to customers.
On the other hand, a perceptual map illustrates how customers perceive numerous products in a given industry.
To put it in another way, a perceptual map represents what customers think about your products and services (as well as those of your competitors). A positioning map indicates the reality of your position in the market.
Furthermore, a positioning map and a perceptual map evaluate different parameters and deliver different insights.
Benefits of Using a Positioning Map
There are numerous benefits of using a positioning map including:
- It helps you uncover the core product benefits/features sought by your customers.
- It helps you differentiate your product from the competition so that you can tailor your messaging based on the product benefits important to customers.
- Identifying new opportunities for products or target markets.
- The insights you get by evaluating different parameters and data can help you build a solid outbound prospecting strategy that can help you drive more product sales and make more profits for your business.
How to Create a Positioning Map
Now that you understand all the things you need to know, it’s time to teach you how to create a positioning map step by step.
1. Make a Positioning Map
This is the first step in learning how to create a positioning map. You can draw a positioning map template on a piece of paper or MS Word document
This is the simplest method for newbie marketers.
On your piece of paper or Microsoft Word document, draw a box with four quadrants, separated by a vertical axis and a horizontal axis across the page.
Alternatively, you can leverage a presentation tool to simplify the drawing process.
2. Determine The Two Important Parameters to Evaluate
These are the core features/benefits or uses of your product, brand, or service that are key to your customers that you want to focus on.
If you provide software solutions that help people manage business expenses, determine the core features/benefits of your expense management software that are important to your target customer.
Indicate one of the attributes on one axis and the other attribute on the other axis.
In the case of expense management software, your X axis can be multiple integrations with ERP and accounting platforms with the right side of the axis representing a few integrations with ERP and accounting platforms.
Your Y axis can represent online expense reporting with the top part representing “instant online expense reporting” and the bottom labeled “delayed online expense reporting”.
3. Label Your Competitors in the Positioning Map
The next step is to label your brand and competitors in the quadrant that best indicates their position in the marketplace, based on their customers and yours.
You can make the circles for your competitors that commands the biggest market share.
Next, draw another circle representing where your product or brand stands in the market as well.
The size of the circle representing your product or brand depends on the market share you command vs that of your competitors.
Note that sometimes brands overvalue their product’s benefits and undervalue those of their competitors thus it’s important to be intentional in your evaluation here.
4. Define Your Brand Positioning in the Market
Next, use the positioning map to interpret your brand positioning and determine a positioning gap in the marketplace. In this case, use the two attributes you identified.
The insights you derive from your positioning map can give you a solid idea of your brand in comparison to your competitors based on the two attributes.
Eventually, the main goal for learning how to create a positioning map is to uncover the positioning gap for your brand.
5. Use Different Features for More Insights
Has the positioning map you’ve created provided enough information about potential positioning gaps or opportunities?
If not, repeat the process with different features of your product. You may even replace one of the attributes you used in the positioning map you’ve created.
For better results, determine more meaningful features about your brand or product that customers or prospects are actually looking for.
Remember that understanding how to create a positioning map is a trial-and-error process.
You’ll need to repeat the process with alternative attributes until you find a positioning gap or profitable and rewarding niche you can position your brand in.
This will help you create a positioning map effectively.
6. Craft a Successful Positioning Statement
Now that you have determined where your brand, product, or service stands in your industry, the next step is to craft a unique positioning statement.
A positioning statement is a concise explanation or description of your product or service and how it fulfills your target customer’s needs.
A successful positioning statement can consist of two or three sentences describing your brand’s unique product to your customers.
Here is an example of a positioning statement by Payhip:
Here are important questions to answer when you create a positioning map statement:
- Who do you serve?
- What value does your product offer to your target audience?
- What’s the category of your product or service?
- What’s the most unique feature of your product or service?
- What’s the proof that your product or service is better than your competitors’?
How do you write a positioning statement?
That’s the next question you could ask as you create a positioning map.
Here are simple steps outlined by Zendesk to help you create a positioning map.
Alternatively, you can use one of the positioning statement templates provided by HubSpot:
7. Come up with a Compelling Brand Tagline
The next item after you create a positioning map statement is your brand tagline or slogan. Your tagline is a short version of your positioning statement.
It appears next to your brand name in advertisements and marketing campaigns. When done right, it can be a powerful marketing tool when networking with suppliers or launching CTV advertising campaigns to highlight your unique selling points.
Ideally, your brand tagline should:
- Be memorable
- Be simple
- Create an emotional connection with your audience
- Differentiate your brand from the competition
- Inform your audience about your brand values or services
8. Evaluate The Effectiveness of Your Positioning Statement
The last step to create a positioning map is to actually test it. Here, you need to determine the effectiveness of your positioning statement to see whether it’s really making any impact on your customers.
There are many ways to determine the effectiveness of your brand positioning statement. For instance, you can ask your potential customers. From there, you can adjust the statement based on the feedback you get.
Here, you can use surveys, polls or conduct in-depth interviews.
Pro tip: Once you have created a successful positioning map, leverage a robust lead generation software. Check out this list of the best ones reviewed by Attrock to generate more leads for your business and increase your sales conversions
Learning how to create a positioning map is a great idea that can help you determine positioning gaps as well as how your customers perceive your products compared to the competition.
Follow this 8-step guide to create a positioning map that can lay the foundation for your marketing initiatives.
Gaurav Sharma is the founder and CEO of Attrock, a results-driven digital marketing company. Grew an agency from 5-figure to 7-figure revenue in just two years | 10X leads | 2.8X conversions | 300K organic monthly traffic. He also contributes to top publications like HuffPost, Adweek, Business 2 Community, TechCrunch, and more.