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Over the past 5 years the importance of the “High Growth Business” and how this relatively small group of businesses disproportionally impa...

Friday, 27 November 2009

Taking Your Business to the Gym-How to be successful: Give your customers what they want -Positioning

Giving your customer what they want requires business owners to understand to which type of customer they are selling; this is called positioning. Positioning is one of the least understood tenets of marketing and is critically important in getting your business on the right footing to make the best of any given market conditions. It is surprisingly simple to understand the positioning of your business; at the very basic level you need to decide if you are going to be a value provider like say Asda, a broad middle market supplier like Tesco, or a premium provider like Waitrose. Now they all sell the same wide range of products but there is no mistaking in peoples' minds their positioning in the market.

Why is positioning important? Customers like to be confident that they are going to buy products or services from suppliers who have similar aspirations to them, so if you're interested in quality and service you'll be prepared to pay more for an equivalent product than someone who's mostly interested in price. More importantly someone who prefers Waitrose will be just as unhappy shopping in Asda as a person who prefers shopping in Asda would be shopping in Waitrose. This is a simple but really important concept especially as most business owners consider that pricing is the dominant reason for purchase decisions, when in reality it is not.

Let me give you a really extreme example to drive home this point. A kennel and cattery in a fairly poor area North East of England was struggling to make money and initially hired a manager to help with finances. However this new manager persuaded the owners to tap into the fact that pet owners love their pets more than anything. Consequently they went from positioning themselves as a non descript Kennel to a very up market "Pet Hotel". Obviously that meant they had to offer better services, but by tailoring their offering to each customer by having a menu of services they went from a struggling Kennel charging about £6:50 per night to a very successful "Pet Hotel" able to charge a base price of £40 per day in high season.

The moral of this story is to truly understand what you customers want, then you'll have tapped into a successful business.

Exigent Consulting specialises in providing Business Turnaround, Sales, Marketing and Mentoring to the Small and Medium Business.We help Business Owners improve the profit performance of their business


  1. Love the undeniable wisdom of this post!

    Yet, it is wsdom often ingnored.

    I tell clients nearly any of us could design a birthday party that would never be forgotten by the guest of honor, but we'd need to know whose birthday it was.

    Why do we design products/services without first asking who is the customer and what do we know about him?

    Keep creating...a brand worth raving about,

  2. Hi Mike,

    Thanks for the vote of confidence.

    I so often see people wasting time and effort on products and/or services with no real idea of who they're going to sell to; or why.