With an increasing portfolio of LED lighting solutions, a prudent positioning of products becomes an even more important success factor. Of course there are various categories of positioning, such as by product attribute, by user, by product class, versus competition or by quality or value.
Positioning by application:
I will concentrate on a further alternative, the product positioning by application. In the professional lighting world such applications can be for example office, retail, industry or others. It is meaningful to break up these application clusters into subapplications as requirements on lighting differ substantially. In an office building there are for example open-plan offices, the reception or corridors. With this approach, the product is positioned in terms of how it is used in the market, indicating that the product is the best solution for that particular task/use. These terms describe the advantages of the product based on the requirements of the application or subapplication.
To the market players, like OEM or lighting designers/architects this approach demonstrates an understanding for the use of the product. The messaging is focused and convincing for customers and other decision makers. It requires product management to use the language of the market/user and not just using engineering terms. This approach signals will help the user to select the right product. To the company this approach will support portfolio management by sorting products in a meaningful and solution oriented manner. It enables decisions to fill gaps in the portfolio or to not address certain applications. It reduces the risk of product cannibalization. A product has a right to exist if it can be targeted towards a sufficiently large application.
Current approach by large LED module makers
Analyzing the webpages of large LED module makers
from Europe, Asia and the US the different application approaches become visible. I have selected companies
that have application as key header on their webpage.
Companies that offer also luminaires describe the lighting requirements in the application. Some talk also about subapplications.
Companies without luminaire range mostly talk about functionality of their products.
In linking their products to applications, company webpages range from linking to the product range in general, referring to brochures to actually linking applications to specific and suitable products.
Organizational prerequisites in the company
LED module makers that do not offer luminaires face a challenge in understanding the lighting requirements for applications and subapplications. That is the typical knowledge of luminaire makers or lighting planners. In order to follow this positioning approach consistently it is essential to build up application competence inside the company and closely collaborate with the OEM throughout the design-in process.
For the argumentation about products on the webpage, a neutral project manager should take the lead, moderating in between product managers to make sure that a consistent language and fair evaluation of product benefits is used.
As summary, I believe that product positioning by application is suitable for LED modules. It is a differentiator with external and internal advantages. The implementation requires illumination competence and prudent management.