Process of the positioning:
Step 1: competitor's identification: this step requires broad thinking. Competitors may not be just those, whose products and or brands fall into our products class or with which we compete directly. The marketer must consider all likely competitors, as well as the effects of the use and the situations on the consumers.
Step 2: determining how competitions are perceived and evaluated: once we define the competitions, we must determine how they are perceived by the consumers. Which attributes are important to the consumers in evaluating a product and or brand? As we might expect, for the many products, a wide variety of the attributes or product benefit may be considered most if not all of which are important. Much of the marketing firm's research is directed at making such determinations. Consumers are asked to take part in focus groups and or complete surveys indicating which attributes are considered important in the selection of a purchase decisions. For example, attributes considered important in the selection of a bank may include convenience, teller, friendless, financial security and a host of other factors. This process establishes the basis for the determination of the competitive position.
Step 3: determining the competitor's position: having determined the relevant attributes and their relative importance to the consumers, we must determine how each competitor (include our own entry) is positioned with respect to the each attribute. This will also shoe how the competitions are positioned relative to each other. Consumer research is required to make this assessment.
Step 4: analyzing customer's preferences: segmentation distinguishes among groups of consumers, including life styles, purchase motivations, demographic differences, and so on. Each of these segments may have different purchase motivations and different attribute importance ratings. One way to determine these differences is to consider the ideal brand or product, defined as the object the consumer would prefer over all others, including objects that can be imagined but do not exist, identifying product can help the marketer identify different ideals among segments or identify segments with the similar or the same ideal points.
Step 5: making the positioning decision: after going through the first four steps, the final positioning decision is to be made. Such a decision is not always clear and well defined. However, conducting research may provide only limited input, in that case the marketing manager must take some subjective judgement. These judgements raise a number of questions
a. Is the segmentation strategy appropriate?
b. Are there sufficient resources available to communicate?
c. How strong is the competition?
d. Is the current positioning strategy working?
Step 6: monitoring the position: one a position has been established, it is necessary to monitor how well this position is being maintained in the market place. Tracking studies measure the image of the product of firm over time. Changes in the consumer's perception can be determined with any slippage immediately noted and reacted to. At the same time, the impact of competitions can be determined.