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Copyright 2006
Cornell University.
All rights reserved.


Market Positioning

Products that involve the customer in design can be positioned as e-businesses.

Another strategy that defines a company and its products is market positioning. There often are several markets or industries that may need your product, but they may need to be addressed differently.

For example, baseball caps have been an enduring fashion over the past several decades. Individuals possess and wear a variety of hats with printed or embroidered logos of sports teams, clothing companies, or corporations. Interestingly, these hats are targeted for several markets or industries.

Clothing companies that sell baseball hats often offer the hats as an accessory part of an apparel line. Nike is one example.

Other companies target corporation or business sales exclusively. This is referred to as the corporate sales or promotional industry. Apparel producers selling to this industry make basic styles. They offer personalized names and logos or work with a distribution business that does the personalized embroidery or screen printing.

The distribution firms usually acquire products across many categories, such as apparel, hats, bags, pens, coffee cups, and stationery. Some have their own manufacturing facilities for embroidery and screen printing, while others do some of the manufacturing of products as well.

Other potential markets in which to position apparel products are active sport, outdoor products, and special-occasion costumes. The choice between on-line and retail store distribution can also be an important to success.

Design entrepreneurs need to seriously consider market position for their products. A product could succeed in one market segment and fail miserably in another. Or, selling in several markets can maximize sales with a small product line. In positioning your product, consider:

  • who your competitors are
  • norms for buying, selling, and marketing your type of product
  • the value your product or service provides to the buyer
  • product testing in several industry supply chains
  • gaps in the market that you can fill
  • attending industry-specific trade shows.


1. Evaluate two industries in which your product idea could be positioned successfully.






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