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Steps to shaping the right positioning strategy

A positioning strategy molds an image for a product or service. A company undergoing major transformation used this discipline to redefine its go-to-market messaging.Positioning outlines what a business should do to market its product or service to customers. It begins with creating an image for the product based on the intended audience and taking it to them through promotion, price, personal sales interaction, inbound marketing or all four.

It should be based on research that identifies the prospect’s wants, needs and interests. With a good idea of these elements, a marketing team can prepare a positioning statement to reach as much of the target market as possible.

If done well, a positioning strategy elevates the marketing effort and helps a prospect move along the three-step buyer’s journey from awareness to buying decision. Read our blogpost about this topic here.

The Connect Group experience

Here’s how one business prepared a good foundation to develop a successful positioning strategy.

The Connect Group was founded in 1987 as a Belgium-based cable producer for the electronics industry. But in time, it gradually branched out into electronics design, production logistics and after-sales service. It was no longer solely a cable producer. 

It then started to be informally viewed within the electronics industry as an innovative EU-based technology center covering many electronics realms apart from its initial origin as a basic electronic manufacturing service (EMS).

Value of formal customer listening

Connect Group’s executives realized this transformation was occurring and sought to formalize a change in its marketplace positioning. It first needed a new image.

But before advancing to that stage, its marketing agency recommended documenting exactly what customers thought of the company. Was the ‘off-the-cuff’ assessment of Connect Group’s new position truly accurate?

This involved conducting personal customer listening sessions involving pre-selected Connect Group purchasers. This was not simply chat time; rather, a formal research effort with prepared topics and discussion points specifically aimed at each.

The marketing agency hosted each session to ensure impartiality as customers were more likely to speak openly to a neutral party. The feedback resulted in fresh insights to better define Connect Group’s evolving image and positioning.

Customers deliver image insight

Among a key listening session revelation was that customers viewed technology as ever-evolving; not static. Rarely are electronic platforms, solutions or devices long-lived. This insight guided development of the company’s renewed image: Technology is a Service (TiaS).

The image and positioning expanded Connect Group’s thinking from its basic product competency (EMS) to longer-term services like product life cycle consultation, defining new markets for its customers, and revealing a product’s total cost of ownership (TCO) among others.

One key outcome was creation of an internal TiaS task force within all Connect Group manufacturing sites to review customer production orders and identify possible expansion into the above-mentioned realms.

Click the button below to read the reference story that details how this company successfully determined and redefined its go-to-market positioning strategy.

 

Download Case Study

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