Selection of Target Market and Positioning6th February 2020
Target market represents a group of individuals who have similar needs, perceptions and interests. They show inclination towards similar brands and respond equally to market fluctuations.
Individuals who think on the same lines and have similar preferences form the target audience. Target market includes individuals who have almost similar expectations from the organizations or marketers.
Obese individuals all across the globe look forward to cutting down their calorie intake. Marketers understood their need and came up with Kellogg’s K Special which promises to reduce weight in just two weeks. The target market for Kellogg’s K Special diet would include obese individuals.
Individuals who sweat more would be more interested in buying perfumes and deodorants with a strong and lasting fragrance.
Target Market Selection
It is essential for the organizations or marketers to identify the set of people whom they want to target?. Marketers must understand the needs and expectations of the individuals to create its target market.
The target audience must have similar needs, interests and expectations.
Similar products and brands should entice the individuals comprising the target market.
Same taglines and advertisements attract the attention of the target audience and prompt them to buy.
To select a target market, it is essential for the organizations to study the following factors:
- Understand the lifestyle of the consumers
- Age group of the individuals
- Income of the consumers
- Spending capacity of the consumers
- Education and Profession of the people
- Mentality and thought process of the consumers
- Social Status
- Kind of environment individuals are exposed to
Selection of Target Market and Positioning
Once the process of segmentation of the market has been achieved, the next step follows, that is, selection of suitable segment or segments which the firm can serve most effectively. Thus, target marketing is the act of evaluating, selecting and focusing on those market segments that the company intends to offer its marketing programme and serve it most effectively. Market segmentation is the prelude to targeting. Through segmentation, a firm divides the market into many segments. But all these segments need not form its target market. Target market signifies only those segments that it wants to adopt as its market. A selection is thus involved in it.
In choosing the target market a firm basically carries out an evaluation of the various segments and selects those segments that are most appropriate to it. The evaluation of the different segments has to be actually based on these criteria and only on the basis of such an evaluation target segments be selected.
The firm must assess the sales and profit potential of each segment to know whether the segment is relevant to the firm, whether it is sizable, accessible, attractive and profitable. It must examine alternative possibilities, that is, whether the whole market has to be chosen for tapping, or only a few segments have to be chosen, and if so, which one.
It may look for segments that are relating less satisfied by the current offers in the market from competing brands. It must look at each segment as a distinct marketing opportunity. It must also evaluate its resources and choose the segments that match its resources.
Selection of Target Markets
The selection of target markets helps the marketer to correctly identify the markets and the group of target customers for whom the products or services are produced. In these days, market targeting is used for all types of markets including developing and emerging markets.
It helps in sub-dividing the market into many segments, and then deciding to offer a suitable marketing offer to some selected segments. Market targeting is the act of evaluating and comparing the identified groups and then selecting one or more of them as the prospects with the highest potential.
- Establish criteria to measure market attractiveness and business strength position.
- Evaluate market attractiveness and business strength factors to ascertain their relative importance.
- Assess the current position of each market potential segment on each factor.
- Project the future position of each market segment based on expected environmental, customer and competitive trends.
- Evaluate segment profitability.
- Evaluate implications of possible future changes with respect to strategies and requirement of resources.
Why do buyers or consumers prefer one product to another? In today’s over-communicated society and highly competitive markets, consumers have numerous options in almost all product categories. For instance, buyers can buy a PC from IBM, Sony, Apple, Zenith and others including low-cost; assemblers. Every day, an average consumer is exposed to numerous marketing related messages and the marketer must successfully create a distinct and persuasive product or service image in the mind of the buyer of consumers.
Once the organization has decided which customer groups within which market segments to target, it has to determine how to present or position to product to this target audience. Segmentation, targeting and positioning (STP) constitute the fundamental pillar of any marketing function. Product positioning is the final stage in STP continuum.
The marketing manager needs to decide which segment to enter and how to target that segment with a product offer through selection of market segment and target marketing strategy. The challenge is to decide what position the company wants its products to occupy in the selected segment or segments.
A product’s position is the definition that a consumer gives to the product on important attributes. It is the position in the perceptual space of the consumer’s mind that the product takes in relation to competitor’s products, which is often verbalized by customers on certain attributes.
Positioning is an act of developing the company’s offerings and image to occupy a distinct place in the minds of the target market. Positioning is a consumer driven strategy in which the objective is to occupy a unique place in the customer’s mind and maximize its potential benefit for the firm.
Positioning is the act of designing the company’s offering and image to occupy a distinctive place in the target market’s mind. The end result of positioning is the successful creation of a market- focused value proposition, a cogent reason why the target market should buy the product.
Each company must decide how many differences to promote to its target customer. The position of a product is the sum of those attributes normally ascribed to it by the consumers-its standing, its quality, the type of people who use it, its strengths, its weaknesses, any other unusual or memorable characteristics it may possess, its price and the value it represents.
Many marketers advocate promoting only one central benefit what Rosser Reeves has referred to as Unique Selling Proposition (USP) Number one positioning’s include “best quality”, “Best service”, “lowest price”, “best value”, “safest”, “more advanced technology” etc.
Positioning is a platform for the brand. It facilitates the brand to get through to the target consumer. Positioning is the act of fixing the locus of the product offer in the minds of the target consumers. In positioning, the firm decides how and around what parameters, the product offer has to be placed before the target consumers. The significance of product positioning can be easily understood from David Ogilvy’s words: “The results of your campaign depends less on how we write your advertising than on how your product is positioned.”
Positioning of a product or service is nothing but creating an image in the consumers’ mind. Consumers generally tend to use images while making a purchase; they buy brand images rather than actual products. There are many brands that have a powerful influence on the consumer’s mind. Just think of Pepsi or Coca Cola in the soft drink market, Maruti or Santro in the passenger car market, BPL or Onida in the television market and so on.
Brand names add to the offering and create a “meta product”, an emotional loyalty with consumers. Consumers associate brand names with life-styles, social positions, professional roles and these associations combine to form an image or position. The terms “position” or “positioning” are frequently used to mean ‘image’. To build up a brand image or corporate image a marketer generally used advertising as a tool.
Product Position Vs Brand Position
Brand positioning is a major decision in marketing. It is believed to be the source from which all other decisions marketing mix should flow. The entire combination of marketing mix elements attempts to communicate the brand’s “position” to consumers.
Product position and brand position are different in scope. According to Smith and Lusch, product position refers to the objective attributes in relation to other products, and brand position refers to subjective attributes in relation to competing brands and this perceived image of the brand does not belong to the product but is the property of consumers’ perceptions of a brand. However, the terms “product positioning” and brand positioning usually mean the same thing.
A product cannot exist unless it finds a place in consumer’s perception of the world of products around him. Any product or brand is noticed only when it occupies a particular point or space in the individual consumer’s mind relative to other brands in the same product category.
The perception of product is subjective and is governed by the individual’s needs, values, beliefs, experience and environment. The position is the way the product or the brand is defined by consumers on important attributes. Positioning is the perception of a brand or product it brings about in the mind of a target consumer and reflects the essence of that brand or product in terms of its functional and non-functional benefits as judged by the consumer.
Maggi Brand of noodles has been successfully positioned as the “two minute” noodle in the minds of target consumers and has created a distinctive brand image. HLL’s Lux soap is hypothetically positioned as the “beauty soap” of female film stars and Dettol is the antiseptic for minor nicks and cuts, while possessing a plethora of uses, from preventing nappy rash to doubling as effective after shave lotion.
BMW car is positioned as the “ultimate driving machine”, and Volva is positioned on safety and durability. As markets become more crowded and competitive with similar types of products, consumers rely more on the product’s image than on its actual characteristics in making their buying decisions.
Product positioning brings us to the idea of functional value whereas brand positioning talks about something above and beyond functional value for which the customer is willing to pay more and when asked to recall, he may recall the brand more and given a chance to replay, he will associate the brand with so many elements which are beyond the functionality of the product.
Therefore a product position refers to a brand’s objective or functional attributes in relation to other brands in the category. It is a characteristic of the physical product and its functional attributes. Simply speaking, it stands for what it can do in the market.
Brand position on the other hand is an outcome of the perception of the target segment customers. It is brand’s subjective or perceived attributes in relation to competing brands in the market. Let us take an example of Vicks Action 500. If you look at its product position, it’s an anti-cold treatment, which has certain composition that reduces the congestion and helps during cold and cough.