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Food 101 - Small Business Marketing. 5 Step Product Positioning.

Developing a Position Statement for your food business can be easy.


Product Positioning Statements - Done in 5 Steps

Developing a food business marketing plan should not be a daunting process. Positioning statements communicate clearly and succinctly to all of your packaging, marketing and web site professional. Consider the Positioning Statement as a short blueprint for them to follow. You are paying good money to your marketing experts so be very clear in what you want and how you want to communicate to your customer. Don't fly blind in your marketing plan.

Let's use a real brand, Colorado Mountain Coffee to illustrate how you would build a positioning statement.

Step 1

Look at their web site and tell me what is Colorado Mountain Coffee's target audience? It is NOT just anyone who drinks coffee because their coffee is very expensive, you need to go to their site to buy it and then wait for it to arrive.

Coffee is a product partly driven by impulse. Do you think about planning your trip to Dunkin Donuts or Starbucks by getting on the web at 9:45 at night? Nope. But that is the customer behavior required for their brand. Hence the target customer here has other needs and desires not fulfilled by the major brands.

Step 2

This one is easy. We know that the brand is Colorado Mountain Coffee, so what is it [Frame of Reference]? Well it is coffee but we really need to add a bit more here so the customer can immediately know that it is coffee but with a bit more. So maybe it is an artisanal coffee, gourmet coffee, authentic Colorado Coffee? Hey, how about creating a designation for Colorado coffees that are grown above a certain altitude?

Step 3 (difficult)

The Benefit must focus on an intangible aspect that the consumer can not make an easy comparison to your competition. A benefit for most people for coffee in the morning is to wake up! So in their case this is not a benefit to tout since Dunkin Donuts r $1.50 will do the same.

The benefit has to be something that McCafe, Dunkin, Starbucks, Folgers, etc can not credibly deliver. Folgers claims it is "the best part of waking up"… don't think so! In the case of this product they feel that coffee grown in a high altitude is their differentiators. So let's assume this provides superior taste not available elsewhere. Then… what can you say about a benefit this superior taste? Maybe it gives you the feeling of waking up in the Rocky Mountains or reminds you of a great skiing experience? You have to really think had here about what "clicks" with your target customer.

Step 4

Features are the tangible parts of your product.

So, some features of Colorado Mountain Coffee might be enticing mountain aroma, bold/aromatic flavor, packaged in sustainable packaging, smooth flavor, made in small artisanal roasters. This should not be a laundry list so keep it to the most important.

Strep 5

When all is said and done, everyone needs a reason to buy. This is the incentive for the customer to hit the Buy Now button. This could be an introductory offer for first time buyers, free shipping, the flavor is a seasonal offering and goes away after a few months.

Your Homework

I have laid out a 5 step plan for changing the direction of a branded food. Take some time, quite time, to go through each step. Be prepared to go back and forth a dozen times or more. It is worth the effort since you will have something that gives you direction.

Don't spend a dime on web sites, email marketing or advertising until you create your food brand position statement.

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