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Industry • Best Practice

Create a Competitive Positioning Matrix for Your Salon in 3 Easy Steps

When starting a new business, it’s important to distinguish yourself from your competitors. This step is especially true in the salon and spa industries, where beauty-conscious customers have plenty of options. What makes your biz unique, different, and better than all the rest? To answer those questions, you must first understand what your competitors are offering.

One tool marketers use to analyze and answer the questions above quickly is a competitive positioning matrix. If you’ve never created one before, “competitive positioning matrix” might sound like some complicated math equation, but it doesn’t have to be a headache. Here’s everything you need to know about creating your own competitive positioning matrix, step by step.

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What is a Competitive Positioning Matrix?

A competitive positioning matrix is a marketing tool used to compare multiple brands or companies in the same industry, typically fighting for the same customer base. Often taking the form of a spreadsheet — though it could also be a chart or graph — these tools identify strengths, weakness, positioning, unique features and services, and anything else that might give you a competitive advantage over other businesses.

Here’s some of the information typically included in a competitive positioning matrix:  

  • Names and locations: Who are your competitors, and where are they located? More on this down below.

  • Public messaging: What kind of message appears in each company’s marketing assets? Is there a commonly used tagline? How are you and your competitors presenting to target audiences?

  • Value proposition: What do you do, and why is it worth it?

  • Differentiators: Identify things that make each business unique. Common examples include services, pricing, customer service, or a plethora of other options that vary by industry.

Step 1: Create Your Positioning Strategy

First things first: it’s time to tell the world what you’re all about. Figure out your unique value proposition and identify what makes your salon stand out. What are your company values? What problems can you solve effectively? Positioning is just a matter of communicating what sets your salon apart from the competition.

According to qlutch, “Your positioning strategy considers all aspects of your market: size, characteristics, demographics and psychographics, how you deliver value, and how you stack up against the competition.” Think about what you want to be known for, and track all of that information in your preferred format. A business description, substantiating points, types of services you offer — it all goes in the spreadsheet. If you’re starting out, having this positioning strategy in place will come in handy as you deploy your early marketing campaigns, too.

Step 2: Identify Your Competitors

Once your positioning is in place, it’s time to figure out who your competitors are. If a marketing pro at McDonald’s were whipping up a competitive positioning matrix, they would probably include other fast-food chains like Burger King, Wendy’s, and Shake Shack. Your competitors might be local salons, national chains, or likely some combination of the two, depending on your geographical location.

Of course, just identifying competitors by name isn’t enough. Next, you must collect the same kind of positioning information you just created for your own business — only this time, with a focus on competitors. Do your research: study these businesses’ marketing, scope out their websites for lists of services, and read customer reviews if they’re available. Once you have all of this information, you’ll better understand the current marketplace as we move on to the next step.

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Step 3: Compare & Contrast

By now, not only do you have a firm grasp on your positioning, you’ve identified your nearest competitors and their value propositions. Now it’s time to review this information with a critical eye to see where your salon stands out — and find opportunities to improve. Going back to our fast food analogy, McD’s dollar menu and all-day breakfast would probably warrant direct comparisons to Burger King’s value menu and Sonic’s early morning offerings.

In other words, how do you stack up against other salons in the area when it comes to pricing, services, and other key metrics? Answer these questions honestly as you complete your matrix, and you’ll find yourself with a comprehensive tool that serves as a backbone for future marketing efforts.

Creating a competitive positioning matrix may feel intimidating, especially when comparing your salon to established businesses. Ultimately, though, this incredibly useful exercise will help set you up for success.

If you’re looking for another competitive advantage, Boulevard’s comprehensive business management platform can help take your salon to the next level. Designed specifically for premium salons and spas, Boulevard simplifies and connects all of your complex workflows, including scheduling, personalized customer details, and performance analysis.

Ready to learn more? Get in touch with the experts at Boulevard and set up a free demo!

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