Market Positioning: The 4 Market Positions and How to Use Them

The 4 Positioners

Imagine playing a game of battleship, and you're trying to find your target customer. Of course, there's a lot of guesswork involved at the start, but positioning helps find our target market. By segmenting the market, we can position exactly where the target market is. The 4 Positioners are:

Geographic – Customer,  Location, Region

Demographic - Gender, Age, Religion, Education, Income, Occupation

Psychographic (How your customers live) - Motivations, Lifestyle, Interests

Behavioural – Needs, Occasion used, Frequency of usage, Knowledge, Attitude towards product

How to use the Positioners to Find and Help your Target Customer

By simply using the positioners to find what drives your target customer as a person, it may be possible to shape your brand around best appealing to that customer. Everyone's a person, and that means we all live somewhere, go about our daily lives, and try to establish our identity. If a business can position itself to communicate that it aligns with even just one of these positioners, a lot of customers can be turned towards your product. Some businesses may only align with one positioners, but the best align with all of them.

For example, a takeaway fish and chip shop can align with the geographic positioner, by appealing to the people that live in the area. A vegan fish and chip shop might bring in a lot of business in Sydney’s hip inner west suburb of Newtown, but it probably wouldn’t work in a country town (but you never know). An education product might try to align to school students by using colourful characters on the box, while appealing to parents by stating what the benefits are (which is the use of two demographic positioners).

Psychographic and Behavioural positioners are a little bit harder to use, and a bit harder to execute because they deal with abstract concepts like trust. A brand may build trust by using a “seal of approval” like the Heart Foundation Tick, which helps customers to trust the product a bit more than a rival product. The heart foundation tick is a prime example of a behavioural positioner, which is used to condense healthy food recommendations into a single image.

The most notorious psychographic positioner is the shape of perfume and cologne bottles. As perfume buying is rarely motivated by smell alone, the buyer often looks to the bottle for motivation and inspiration. Thus, perfume bottles take on lavish shapes such as a curvaceous woman, a cat or a gold bar, whereas men’s cologne is often shaped like a rippling abdomen, a fist, or even a grenade.

Summary

If you want to position your brand to a particular customer, using a positioner might work really well. By recognising your target customer based on these positioners, you may best meet their needs in you business.

Written by David Jackson, Founder and CEO of FundX