HOW TO POSITION YOUR PRODUCT FOR AN INTERNATIONAL MARKET
Marketing is based on addressing customer requirements with goods or services, and positioning is how marketers instil the assumption in consumers that they will be satisfied. Marketers seek to establish a consistent brand position in the minds of consumers via marketing and strategic decision-making. Product positioning entails generating a perception in the minds of consumers about the nature of a brand and its products.
In international marketing, positioning is critical since it helps a brand stand out amidst domestic and foreign competition. The positioning process establishes a unique position for the product. Many businesses are realising the importance of having a cohesive global positioning plan in today’s global market climate. Following the identification of the product to be positioned and the value that can be added, the brand must implement a strategy for adapting the product to new geographical markets: it must determine the features that consumers and distributors in that market niche demand in order to successfully communicate the product. Here is how to position your product for an international market:
● The product and its value
The first and foremost aspect to be determined is what the product itself is and what value it entails. Added value is what distinguishes a goods from its competitors. It does not always have to be at a high cost to be profitable. When evaluating how to create value, creativity and consumer preference must be taken into consideration. Adding value to a product helps it stand out from the competition. Product attributes, which are the differentiating factors, can be used in positioning a product. For example, ‘reduced fat’, ‘no added sugar’, etc. in terms of food items. This is the key selling point of the product and therefore must be emphasized. Labeling, design, wrapping, and packaging, as well as cultural and language characteristics, can all be customised accordingly.
The price is the next factor to consider. Price has an impact on sales, since cheaper brands sell more, but make less profit per product, market share in terms of similar items, and profitability. This is crucial since once a price has been set it is difficult to change it. When determining the price of a product for a global market, many aspects must be considered, including production costs, market entry costs, marketing costs, target labour costs, taxes, buyers’ purchasing power, the image you want to project about the product, certifications, and the cost of positioning the product in the market. When brands offer products at the extremes of the price range, a price-quality relationship method can be employed for positioning. The emphasis shifts to quality at the high end and price will be highlighted in the low range. The country in which an item is manufactured can also influence price-quality perceptions.
The next factor to be considered is how and where the product will be distributed. For this, the brand’s distribution network, the distributor’s ability to track orders, and the profit margin that the distributor hopes to achieve when marketing the product, must all be analyzed. Other general aspects to consider include extra costs associated with export procedures, whether the product can be delivered conveniently, and how the brand’s image is managed in general abroad, in addition to these specific elements.
● Analyze Your Competition
It is vital to consider who is already in the market before deciding how your product will fit in. You can detect gaps in the market by knowing your competitors and the current market segmentation. Your competitors can be evaluated by looking at who the current players in your target market are, who they are specifically serving, what percentage of the market they control, how quickly they are developing, their advantages and disadvantages, what distinguishes them, what methods they use to market their goods, etc.
Competitors can also be used to position your product in the international market by comparing the brand’s product with the others. Direct comparisons with a competitor, for advertising, may be limited due to legal and/or cultural restrictions; nonetheless, competitor positioning may still be highlighted in other ways. Companies operating in numerous countries frequently face a complicated and varied set of competitors in each market. Other multinational brands or locally manufactured ones pose a threat. Consumers may also take into account the country in which the product was created. Therefore, all these aspects can help in positioning your product.
● Positioning Statement
You will have to define what your brand and products are all about.Your positioning statement shows to your customers what you guarantee them and why they should select you over your competition. This may include what exactly you have to offer, who your product is intended for and who it is not intended for, the issue you are attempting to resolve, the outcomes you will achieve for your clients, your product’s advantages and what distinguishes you from others.
● Use or application
Through use or application positioning, you will be developing and highlighting a memorable set of uses for your product. The use of a particular product may differ in each country. Hence, when you have your target market in mind, you must look into the various ways that your product can be used in that specific market and highlight them.
● Unique Market Position
You can achieve a unique market position in a few ways such as price, by adopting competitive pricing; quality, by offering products of superior quality, making your product simple to use or purchase, providing the friendliest and most efficient customer service available, using a different distribution channel to deliver your product, being the only product on the market that solves a specific problem for your customers, or something unique such as being a brand that gives back to the community.
● Cultural Symbol
Cultural symbol positioning refers to an object or brand obtaining a distinctive importance within a culture or region. Cultural symbols reflect a characteristic of a country or region and might stem from popular culture, religion, or other aspects that distinguish a place. When a product is perceived as a cultural symbol, consumers are more likely to purchase it.
Once you have decided how to position your product in the new market, you can intensify all efforts to reach it. When translating your products, the tone and style must create the correct image in the minds of your audience. The graphics and style you choose should also reflect the type of brand you wish to be.