Chapter 6 – Strategic Positioning
Planning for Brand Positioning:
- There must be a coherent idea of the market/ product space to be targeted; - There has to be integration of all brand messages
- The value proposition should be comparable if not better that the main competitors - The positioning doesn’t have to remain fixed. It has to be flexible and organic, responding to the environment and changes in customer needs.
Brand positioning answers 3 fundamental questions:
- Who should we target for brand use
- What goal does the brand allow the target market to achieve? - Why should they choose our brand over brands that achieve the same goal?
← Segmentation identifies a product category; positioning highlights attributes and benefits of a specific offering.
The 3 coordinates in plotting brand positioning:
Example of Brand Positioning: The case of Smirnoff Vodka: When Smirnoff entered the American market it was competing with anther brand that was cheaper. Instead of matching a lower price, they actually raised the price to reinforce their position as a quality brand and invested the extra revenue in promoting this main point of difference. This strengthened Smirnoff’s position and they are now the best-selling vodka brand in the world.
Strategy and Tactics
Lautman (1993) suggested the basics of positioning as:
- Attributes: like store location or 100% pure orange
- Benefits: which may be actual or perceived
- Claims: which refer to the claims made by marketing communications like ‘Probably the best lager in the world’
Positioning statement: What a brand is, what values are associated with it, and what it means to the target audience. It’s a focusing device to put the overall marketing strategy into a clear vision, which is the brand’s promise to deliver.
Perceptual maps: They describe mental pictures of how a certain category is made up. (Every consumer will have a perceptual map as a frame of reference in which new and existing brands occupy a space with different meanings.
Similarity and Typicality
Similarity describes brand-to-brand comparisons (i.e. how similar two brands are). If we look at Dell, Toshiba, Samsung and Apple, for example, they have similarities in the “laptop” category. Competing brands must conform to this tactic specification and be similar to competitors.
Typicality is the degree in which a brand is characteristic of its product category. Some brands are seen as more typical than others. (i.e.: Kellogg’s and Gillette have the heritage, image and equity in their specific categories).
← Similarity is about how alike 2 brands are, whereas typicality relates to the strength of the link between the individual brand and product category.
Absolute and Relative Positioning
Absolute Position creates a category association for the specific brand by ensuring that this brand shares enough of the characteristics and associations with other brands in the targeted category. – It may not be enough just to be associated with a categpry as a brand’s identity can be lost in amongst other competitors. Thus, a Relative Position gives the brand a unique and special label in the category. Brands must aim to become an exemplar for the category they are in. ← Keller refers to absolute and relative positioning as “points of parity” and “points of differences”
Ways to change category perceptions:
- New products
- New attributes
- New or innovative approaches to communications
- New distribution channels
Positioning in different Contexts
1- Retailing: Positioning has to be achieved through selection and loyalty to that store.
2- Business to Business: The core of B2B positioning is understanding what targeted market segments and firms regard as superior value and how this is communicated to prospect organisations in the target sector. 3...
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