Factors that affect market positioning include a change in product perception, brand loyalty, and strategic plan alterations. Market positioning is a strategy that involves influencing potential customers to think of the product in a certain way. If perceptions about the products do not match what was intended, such as customers believing that the products are low quality, then the business's market position may fall. Brand loyalty also plays a role, since a business with high brand loyalty will have a stronger position than one without. The overall strategic plan of the business also affects its positioning since modifications can result in a change of product attributes, quality, target market and product class.
Product perception is a strong factor that affects market positioning. If the product is not distinguishable from its competitors, then it will have a weak position. Consumers should be able to identify the product's unique characteristics and place a value on it. Standing apart from competitors and offering a unique product with enticing characteristics can directly influence product perception, resulting in better positioning. If the product is perceived as being cheap and low quality, then the market position will most likely fall.
Brand loyalty also is connected to the product's position in the market — if one increases, the other will increase as well. When consumers are loyal to a brand, they are less likely to switch to another, even if faced with a faulty product. For instance, if a consumer always purchases software from a particular company, he or she is more likely to believe that a release that doesn't provide all the usual features or that is full of bugs is a one-time fluke, and will continue to purchase products from that company. If consumers are continuously disappointed with a particular brand or the brand has done something to disrupt its following, however, then it can quickly lose its market position.
Strategic plans are an internal factor that affects market positioning when decision-makers are not satisfied with the current position or want to change product offerings, features, or quality. The plan outlines the future direction of the company, which may be different from what current consumers expect. For instance, if consumer perception of the company's products is that they are cheaply made, then the company may change to a more aggressive policy of creating high-quality products at higher prices. When doing this, it may then be able to effectively change its market position.