Positioning your store in the online market

Positioning your store in the online market • Yoast

Michiel Heijmans

Michiel is a partner at Yoast and our COO. Internet veteran. His main goal with most of his articles is to kick-start your site optimization. So much to do!

Successful positioning adds value to your store and gives you a head start on the competition. Positioning is the art of standing out, distinguishing your business from others in the mind of your audience. You can stand out with high product quality, great service, low prices, or dedicated care for the environment. But it’s important to communicate this position to your target group, as they eventually decide how they view your store. In this post, I’ll help you position your store in the online market.

The fifth P in marketing

If you’re in marketing, you’re probably familiar with the name Philip Kotler. And if that name doesn’t ring a bell, you’ve might have heard of the four P’s: product, price, place, and promotion. When I studied Marketing decades ago, these were the core of every marketing strategy. Since then, many have added their own extra P’s like people and purpose. Philip Kotler also mentions another P: positioning.

Definition of positioning

Kotler defines positioning (your store or company) as:

“the act of designing the company’s offering and image to occupy a distinctive place in the mind of the target market. The end result of positioning is the successful creation of a customer-focused value proposition, a cogent reason why the target market should buy the product.”
(Philip Kotler: Marketing Management, 2003)

This is closely related to finding your niche market. In my post about finding your shop’s niche, I explained how a product and target audience can be considered shop shapers. You can build an entire store just based on the right product and the right market. Since positioning is about finding your spot in the mind of the target market, it’s clear that emotions play a part as well.

Questions to ask yourself

If you want to position your online store, it might help to ask yourself some questions:

  • What is your ideal customer? (not in terms of budget, but in terms of values)
  • What are my personal values and how do these relate to my products or company?
  • What do I consider my company’s core competencies and how can I make these visible?
  • What brands do I like and how would people associate our company with these brands?
  • What are the current trends in my market and what can our products contribute to that?

I realize that it’s not that simple to answer these questions. It’s quite heavy stuff and requires a lot of your time. Especially since it’s almost all related to emotions. But thinking about these topics will help you find your store’s position.

Determine your store’s position

There is a simple way to determine and work towards your store’s position. First define the following

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This article was written by Michiel Heijmans and originally published on SEO blog • Yoast.

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