The underlying structure behind marketing is three tools: segmentation, targeting, and positioning.
As I discussed in my previous market segmentation article, proper market segmentation can allow you to decrease acquisition, retention, and product development costs if you are able to sort out customers who are more attractive in number, growth, or stability.
Segmentation involves identifying good variables to effectively segment your market. This will help you develop profiles that fit your resulting segments. Good segmentation variables will address two things: (1) it will separate group of customers who differ in their inherent profit potential and (2) the organization can identify the customers in which the organization has a competitive advantage in serving them.
Targeting involves evaluating the attractiveness of each segment, usually through competitor analysis and customer analysis. The strategy in most businesses lies in selecting the target segment. In selecting a target segment, there are three criteria to think about: (1) customer attractiveness, (2) competitive attractiveness, and (3) portfolio and resource issues (You may encounter resource problems if you target multiple segments).
Positioning is when you identify possible positioning concepts for each target segment, usually through a short statement. Once a statement is identified, you can develop and signal the chosen positioning concept to the market.
To write a positioning statement keep a few points in mind: (1) it is directed towards the target audience, (2) provide the product with a frame of reference, and (3) provide a point of difference.
This is a common positioning statement template used in consumer products:
“For customers who are (target summary), our product or service is the (statement of frame of reference) that (statement of point of different) because (reason to believe).”
For example: “For car buyers interested in real luxury, Infiniti is the luxury car with superior reliability because it is from a Japanese car maker.”