Marketing Mantra: Strategic positioning for Physiotherapy business

Sometime back, I had a conversation with one of my colleagues from physiotherapy and he had mentioned the lack of strategic awareness among physiotherapists while starting out their practice and in some cases even after years of experience. This prompted me to think through and come out with a framework which will guide the physiotherapists towards a more focussed approach towards business strategy. 

Positioning, in management parlance, would mean the relativity of a product or service with respect to its competitors and business environment.  The positioning of a product determines the clients it would serve and also the value it would provide to the prospective clients. To give an analogy, I would like to compare the difference between an apple phone and a regular budget Smartphone. Both the products are similar at a functional level. But when we dig deeper, we realize that the owners of the products are markedly different socio-economically.

This is not a coincidence but a carefully crafted strategy that ensures that the products are targeted only towards specific prospects. An apple phone is essentially a product marketed for the top socio-economic quartile. The brand is positioned in such a way that ownership of an I-Phone signals a strong liking for high quality design and innovation. Conversely, the budget phone is designed to cater to the large masses; hence it may just compete on the basis of price without much differentiation in features.

This leads me to the fundamental bifurcations of strategic thought in business. On a very broad level, any business competes on two major aspects, one is price, second is feature or offerings. In other words, the two cornerstones of any business success are either cost leadership (In order to offer the lowest price, one need to control costs aggressively) or differentiation (Based on features /offerings, in order to stand out in the market). You could promote your products /services at the lowest price or offer the best possible features to remain competitive.  And positioning of your product plays an important role in determining its strategic moat, direction and pricing strategy.

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