In todays increasingly competitive world, you cannot ignore the competition. The strategy of Positioning by competition therefore keeps the competition as a benchmark and devises its strategy accordingly. Some simple examples will include – If your competition is premium class, you start a penetration pricing strategy thereby taking hold of the remaining market share. If your competition boasts market share, you go niche. Thus depending on your competition you vary your marketing mix which ultimately affects your positioning.
The Positioning by competitor strategy may be influenced by the market, the features of other products in the market, their pricing, distribution as well as any other factor which is the strength of the competitor. If you are fighting against a competitor on the same factors of positioning, you better be prepared for a long and hard fight. However, if you want to get to the top, you need to attack the weaknesses first and thereby permanently take away some of the market share of the competitor.
Thus you will need a couple of strategies up your sleeve to attack your competitors. You can either attack them through “features” and position your product as feature rich (Example – what smartphones are trying to do against Iphone)
You can try to have a better distribution then that of a competitor. The best example for this is the FMCG sector where everyone is trying to poach each others distributors because of the number of customers a distributor can bring to their organization.
Finally, you can increase your operational expertise thereby giving a better customer experience and satisfaction as compared to your competitor and then rely on the power of ‘word of mouth’ to spread your name.
There may be even further strategies for positioning against competitors. While deciding the strategy it is important that flexibility in the strategic plan be maintained such that any fast move made by the competition can be counter acted on.