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Product Positioning vs Market Positioning: What’s the Difference?

Product Positioning vs. Market Positioning

Have you ever asked yourself, What the biggest difference is between product positioning vs market positioning? In its simplest form, it’s the target audience and the scope of what you’re positioning.

The ideal positioning structure makes your value easy to articulate regardless of whether you’re starting from the top down or bottom up.

Product Positioning

Product positioning is pretty straight forward. You’re positioning the value of a product primarily to its target users. But the value story doesn’t end there. Be sure to finish it by communicating the strategic value to the customer organization that results from making those users measurably better at their job.

Market Positioning

Market positioning on the other hand usually encompasses your entire portfolio. It communicates how your collective offerings make the customer organization better at its business via operational improvements that are on the A-list of one or more department heads.

The problem most have with their market positioning is they aim straight for the top…revenue/profitability/market share type benefits. In most cases, it’s too big of a leap from what your solutions actually do, and it can come across as hyperbole or marketing fluff.

Here’s the target to aim for with you market positioning. Identify the top priorities or initiatives of your target customers that directly impact revenue/profitability/market share, etc. Aim your market positioning at those initiatives. You’ll be far more credible.

Example: Product Positioning vs Market Positioning

For example, many organizations want to formalize their process for strategic account planning because they realize the revenue potential that’s untapped in their existing customer base. If you have a solution that strengthens an organization’s strategic account planning discipline, position the value of “helping account managers build stronger relationships with executives and uncovering more opportunities to deliver strategic value to the customer.”

The leap to “helping customers grow revenue” is much shorter from this jumping point.

Instead of saying our “strategic account planning” solution helps organizations grow revenue, you’d be more credible to say our “strategic account planning” solution helps account managers build stronger relationships with executives and uncover more opportunities to deliver strategic value…that ultimately grows revenue and wallet share in your strategic accounts.

Click here if you want to experience the easiest way to learn product management, product marketing, pre-sales demos and customer success with our unique hands-on learning format. Be sure to check out our Product Management Framework that simplifies everything by making customer outcomes the starting point for building, marketing, selling and delivering strategic value.

by John Mansour on August 27, 2021.