Page 4: Product positioning
Even though a market may have been divided into segments, within each segment buyers will not have identical needs. Product positioning takes into account the thoughts and perceptions of customers to place a product relative to other products and brands. The position is, therefore, how the product is perceived in the minds of customers. References to it as a new Midget were to be avoided and, in terms of current competitive offerings, it should be compared against the Mazda MX-5 and to a lesser extent the Toyota MR2. Targeted customers will then create an image based upon the brand and its values which helps them to think about it in relation to other products.
The MGF was positioned as a modern designed sports car providing the owner with a balance between performance and affordability. Safety, security, crash worthiness, performance, handling and cost of ownership would all serve as key features in the product positioning process. The key feature of price positioning was affordability. The MGF was not just positioned in order to be targeted at the Sports Car segment of the market. It was also targeted at Hot Hatch, Cabriolet and Coupe markets.
Given the limited size of the current sports car market, it was immediately apparent that business would have to be captured from different market segments. Research looked significantly at how to draw sales in the Coupe, Hot Hatch, Cabriolet and Sports segments. Main driver profiles such as marital status, children in the household and multi-car households became a focus for attention. The findings indicated that a well executed sports car would conquest business from other market segments and identified the following as the key target audience:
- stylish people
- 25-45 years of age
- demographic profiles ABC1
- single or childless couples
- 70% male/30% female
- more than one car in household
- car will be used as main means of transport.
Although it was expected that enthusiasts would show interest in the MGF, this was regarded as a smaller market in terms of sales potential.