Lesson 26 market positioning

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  • 1. Marketing Management Unit 3 Developing Market Strategies & the Offerings Chapter 9 - Market Positioning Lesson 26 - Positioning according to Ries & TroutIntroductionIn the year 1981 in the book called “ The Battle of your mind” Al Ries and Jack Trout described howpositioning is used as a communication tool to reach target customers in a crowded market place. Soin this unit we are going to discuss the concept of positioning as described by him.POSITIONING ACCORDING TO RIES AND TROUTIn our earlier session we have discussed on what is Positioning and thetypes of strategies that can be used in positioning. I hope now you are quiteclear with the positioning aspect now let us discuss positioning by popularpeople in marketing, Al Ries and Jack Trout in 1972. They started theirwork in late 60s. Their book “Positioning the Battle for Your Mind” waspublished in 1980.According to Al Ries and Jack Trout, positioning is a creative and maintain-ing an image for the product or brand in the mind of the target audiencerelative to other brands. According to them this process should be designedin such a way that it occupies a different and valuable place in the mind ofthe target customers. Thus positioning is not what we do to a product but is what we do to the mindof the prospect.You should know that positioning can be done for the products as well as for the corporate organiza-tions as a whole. Like Modi Xerox, they have positioned themselves as the document companyoffering total solutions for efficiency documentation management. If we are discussing about hightech products the apt way of positioning would be on the basis of intangible attributes, rather than onperformance specifications.They have also discussed market positioning. In this case you have to first identify the opportunity,then it should be followed by Segmentation, targeting and finally by competitive strategy. When weare talking about positioning in the mind, it is basically known as rational positioning. But lets notforget that most of us (consumer) are driven by emotions. Like if we say Coffee, for instance, it isabout intimacy, romanced and togetherness. Titan is a gift of appreciation. Lakme and Vareli touch astreak of narcissism in a woman. One thing, which should be clear to you, is brand positioning is notjust occupying a slot in the mind of the consumers. It is also about ruling the heart. Psychologicalpositioning is thus a communication exercise threat follow AIDA: Attention, Interest, Desire andAction model. Psychological positioning grows out of t market positioning.If the marketer wants to succeed in our over competitive and over communication society a com-pany must create a position in the prospect’s mind, a position that takes into consideration not only acompany’s own strength and weaknesses, but those of its clients are well, that is what Ries and Trouthave discussed in their concept of poisoning232 © Copy Right : Rai University 16.101G
  • 2. Marketing ManagementTrout and Ries suggest a six-step question framework for successful positioning:.Ries and Trout have distilled the essence of positioning into the following four principles:1. A company must establish a positioning in the minds of its targeted customers.2. The position should be singular, providing one simple and consistent message.3. The position must set a company apart form its competitors4. A company cannot be all things to all people –it must focus its efforts.The principles, which are discussed above, are applicable to any type of organization that competesfor customers like National postal services compete with private courier companies; public and non-profit hospitals compete with each other and with private health care providers etc. for all the orga-nizations, understanding the concept of positioning is the key to developing an effective competitiveposture. I hope this is clear to you that the concept is certainly not limited to services, but its originswas in packaged goods marketing-but it offers valuable insights by forcing service managers toanalyse their firm’s existing offerings.Just suppose any XYZ Soap Company says that their soap has fragrance, is antiseptic, has moistur-izer will make you fair and is not expensive, you as a customer come across with such a company,them what will be your reaction. How will you position such soap in your mind, with so many otherbrands already there in the market? Don’t you think, it is a difficult task for you to position such acompany in your mind as they are trying to position themselves on to different attributes, which aremostly found in different soaps? The problem is with the company as they are trying to increase the16.101G © Copy Right : Rai University 233
  • 3. Marketing Managementnumber of claims for their brand; which will lead to risk of disbelief and a loss of clear positioning.In general, a company must avoid four major positioning errors:If you are able to solve positioning problems enables the company to solve the marketing mix prob-lem.How do companies select their positioning?Perceptual Mapping: when we define Perceptual mapping we say that it is basically a techniqueto represent what people think about products or services, people or ideas. Technically they are allobjects. It is a spatial representation of the perceptions about the brands on the parts of differentindividuals. If you perceive the brands to be similar then you are getting them closer in the perceptualspace, and if you perceive them to be dissimilar then you are putting them apart. Joint space analysiscombines perceptions about the brands and consumer preferences in a single space. In short, I cansay that it represents both brands and people.I hope you have understood that positioning is not changed every now and then, but in case if there isa market evolution then it may be necessary to change the positioning. As you know that the environ-ment is turbulent so it changes fast and calls for frequent changes in positioning. At times a companycan lose its position due to change in technology, consumer attitudes, competitive activity both in theeconomy and amongst creative executives. That is the reason why a company should be in touchwith the market place, and reposition itself before it suffers in terms of products, image and revenue.Though sometimes positioning is based on the same product benefit service, performance or quality,the product must be changed while delivering these bundles of benefits.Positioning itself depends upon the study of the market and competition. In this case first you seg-ment the market and then you target it and you are also taking into consideration competitive efforts.Positioning a product to specific segments is the next logical step. Thus positioning involves sacrifice– we have to sacrifice a few segments of the market. We cannot afford to give ‘all things to allpeople.’When we are discussing about positioning, we have to decide as to who all are our competitors. Thenthere is a need to develop a core strategy that runs as a common thread through all pieces ofplanning. Core strategy basically tells us why customers buy our product and how we shall competewith others. Viewed in this fashion, core strategy borders on Unique Selling Proposition (USP) de-vised by Ted Bates. Different segments need different core strategies. Core strategy is broader thanUSP because it considers both external and internal factors.234 © Copy Right : Rai University 16.101G
  • 4. Marketing ManagementThe above shows the most common core strategies used if we talk about mature industries, both thecore strategies are in vogue, and they add to their performance. Both these positions may not bepracticable but when a firm starts on one, it ends up on the other. Product quality contributes a greatdeal to profitability of the firm. But it’s the most profitable combination we can say is the one with apremium position.Conventionally, when marketing was discussed it was in terms of marketing mix – the four ‘P’s ofproduct, price, place and promotion. Though it was quiet satisfactory, but it fails to recognize theplanning and decision – making activities of marketing separately. When we are discussing aboutplanning activity, we consider the offer, which consists of product, services, price and the way it isrepresented to the customer through a communication message. Most of the organization createsvalue through this offer.When we are discussing about the total marketing budget it is spent on advertising, sales promotion,sales management and distribution acts basically to enhance the value created by the offer, andaccordingly they delivers the same value to the customer. These are infact marketing support activi-ties. By this they are trying to market the offer in an attractive manner to their marketing intermedi-aries and customer.One things which all of you should understand, that the offer should be made appealing by theproduct manager where he /she should take into consideration the product opportunities, productdesign, product price and product positioning.All of us know that a product has attributes and features. But these must be related to perceivedbenefits preferences and selection. If I say a camera the Important attributes would be day-to-dayuse are ease of operation, picture clarity, automatic forwarding and rewinding, and date time insert.For a moped for teenagers the important attributes are reasonable price, a sleek style, easy start,easy pick up, fuel economy, and maintenance services.Apart from these attributes, customers’ aspirations and perceptions and the availability of competingoffers present infinite alternatives of value creation. The challenge is to identify what value wouldappeal to the customer convincingly.In positioning it is necessary to tune according to the target audience. I hope all of you know AmExcredit card they have positioned themselves on the basis of exclusivity as their positioning strategyfor their customers. But it positions itself as a business expander that will add volumes to a retailer’sbusiness. One thing, which should be clear to you as a marketer, is related to whom you want toserve. Customer segments can be based on core competence, strategies and revenue potential. Wemust be fairly intimate with the behavioural dynamics of the target audience and their need pattern.When we say pricing it is based not only upon costs but is related to the product quality, service andmessage. Price is used as a tool to change perceptions about the product. A premium – pricedMercedes Benz manufactured in India costs Rs. 32,00,000 and conveys a sense of superior value tothe customers.16.101G © Copy Right : Rai University 235
  • 5. Marketing ManagementCommunication helps the marketer to builds up image of the product. Image build up is influencedmore by the effectiveness of the communication than by the communication budget.Now lets come to the final discussion on Products or services, which are ‘mapped’ together on a‘positioning map’. This allows them to be compared and contrasted in relation to each other. Thisis the main strength of this tool. Marketers decide upon a competitive position, which enables them todistinguish their own products from the offerings of their competition (hence the term ‘positioningstrategy’). Take a look at the basic positioning map template below.The marketer would draw out the map and decide upon a label for each axis. They could be price(variable one) and quality (variable two), or Comfort (variable one) and price (variable two). Theindividual products are then mapped out next to each other Any gaps could be regarded as possibleareas for new products.The term ‘positioning’ refers to the consumer’s perception of a product or service in relation to itscompetitors. You need to ask yourself, what is the position of the product in the mind of theconsumer?Product: Ferrari, BMW, Proton, Mercury Cougar, Hyundai, and Daewoo.Positioning Map for CarsThe seven products are plotted upon the positioning map. It can be concluded that products tend tobunch in the high price/low economy (fast) sector and also in the low price/high economy sector.There is an opportunity in the low price/ low economy (fast) sector. Maybe Hyundai or Daewoocould consider introducing a low cost sport saloon. However, remember that it is all down to theperception of the individual.Once a positioning strategy is determined, it must be communicated effectively to the audiences.ArticlePositioning a Tourism Destination To Gain a Competitive EdgeBY: Harsha E. Chacko Ph.D., (Professor in the School of Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Adminis-tration, University of New Orleans, New Orleans (USA); Email: echr@uno.edu)Position is a form of market communication that plays a vital role in enhancing the attractiveness ofa tourism destination. This article describes the different parts of the positioning process and appliesit to the case of positioning a U.S. destination to Japanese visitors.The World Travel and Tourism Council claimed that tourism was the world’s largest industry in l991(World Travel and Tourism Council, 1991). The past few years have shown a steady increase in thevolume of international travel, and along with this growth in travel, the number of tourism destinationchoices has also increased as many policy-makers have recognized the value of tourism to theeconomies of their regions. To some extent, this increased travel can also be attributed to an increasein advertising, as tourism marketers try to enlarge their share of the global tourism pie by promotingtheir destinations to specific target markets. For example in 1987, Canada and Australia decided toincrease advertising in Japan and this resulted in an increase in Japanese visitors of 55% and 33%respectively (Bailey, 1992).One of the most effective tools in tourism marketing is positioning. The objective of positioning is tocreate a distinctive place in the minds of potential customers. A position that evokes images of adestination in the customers mind; images that differentiate the destination from the competition andalso as a place that can satisfy their needs and wants. Positioning is a communications strategy that236 © Copy Right : Rai University 16.101G
  • 6. Marketing Managementis the natural follow-through of market segmentation and target marketing. Since market segmen-tation is based on the notion that different tourism destinations appeal to different types of tourists,target market segments must be selected before tourism marketers can begin to entice these poten-tial customers. An effective positioning strategy provides a competitive edge to a destination that istrying to convey its attractiveness to the target market.The purpose of this paper is to discuss the vital role played by positioning in tourism marketing and topresent various approaches to positioning a tourism destination. Positioning is more than just imagecreation. This important form of market communication helps to distinguish tourism destinationsfrom similar destinations so that customers can choose the one that is the most attractive. Thus, truepositioning differentiates a destination from its competitors on attributes that are meaningful to cus-tomers and gives it a competitive edge. However, this is a complex process that requires carefulanalysis of the attributes of destinations and the needs of the target markets. Selection of a position-ing strategy that creates a distinctive place in customers’ minds is essential in preventing the follow-ing pitfalls (Lovelock, 1991).1. The destination is forced into a position of competing directly with a stronger competitor. For example, a destination that is further from the source of its visitors may be relegated to a second- ary or tertiary level of competition with destinations that are closer to the market.2. The destination’s position is so unclear that its target market does not recognize the message that is being sent to them. This often happens when a destination tries to be all things to all people.3. The destination has no identity or has a negative image in customers’ minds and does not create customer demand.Effective PositioningAccording to the basic principles of marketing, products and services are created to solve customer“problems” (i.e., to satisfy needs and wants) and provide benefits. Thus, to be effective, positioningmust promise the benefit the customer will receive, create the expectation, and it offer a solution tothe customer’s problem. If at all possible, the solution should be different from and better than thecompetition’s solution set, especially if the competitors are already offering a similar solution.Positioning should be a single-minded concept, an umbrella from which everything eke in the organi-zation flows. Properly targeted, single-minded positioning affects everything a destination does orstands for, not only advertising, but also all of its promotions. Positioning also affects policies andprocedures, employee attitudes, customer relations, complaint handling, and the myriad of otherdetails that combine to make the tourism experience. Tourism services compete on more than justimage, differentiation, and benefits offered. There must be a consistency among the various offer-ings and it is the positioning statement that guides this consistency. Likewise, although positioningcan be applied for an entire country, a given area, or a specific city, tourism officials should developa consistent message if the country plans to use one market to generate business for another. Thereare two tests of effective positioning. First, the position must be believable in the tourist’s mind.Second, the destination must deliver that promise on a consistent basis.Positioning IntangiblesOne of the biggest challenges faced by tourism marketers is that the product is largely intangible.Some would argue otherwise, because what is more important than the hotel room, the meal, thebeach, the ocean, and the mountains? These are all tangible aspects of the tourism destination.However, these tangibles are what is being “sold”, but not what is being “marketed”. If we wereselling beaches or mountains, what difference would it make where the tourist went, assuming acomparable level of quality?‘What we are marketing, of course, are intangibles. The tangibles are essential and necessary but as16.101G © Copy Right : Rai University 237
  • 7. Marketing Managementsoon as they reach a certain level of acceptance, they become secondary. Because they are sodifficult to differentiate, to be competitive, the intangibles have to be marketed. Even as tangibles,mountains and beaches have a measure of intangibility because they are experienced rather thanpossessed.If tourism products are mostly intangible, they have to be marketed with tangible evidence. This iswhat is referred to as “tangibilizing the intangible.” However, this is a complicated process. Byemphasizing the concrete elements one may fail to differentiate oneself from the competition, andsince the intangible elements are abstract, by emphasizing the abstract one compounds the intangibil-ity. Thus, tourism destination positioning should focus on enhancing and differentiating abstract reali-ties by manipulating the tangible clues.Unfortunately, being aware of this need does not ease the problem. It is still difficult to find meaning-ful tangible evidence that supports intangible constructs. What must be done, is to create a “position”in the tourist’s mind. That is why positioning relies heavily on target marketing. The mentalconstructs held by the target market must be known, as well as the tangible evidence that sustainsthem. Positioning, then, is a relative term. It is not simply how the destination is perceived, but howthe perceived image performs in relation to competing images. It is the customer’s mental perceptionwhich may, or may not, differ from the actual physical characteristics. It is most important when, theproduct is an intangible and there is little difference among the competition regarding thephysical characteristics.POSITIONING PROCESSThe positioning process consists of the various steps needed to develop an effective positioningstrategy (Figure 1). This process must be continuous to keep up with changes in the environmentincluding the changing needs of the customer and the competitors tactics. Developing a positioningstrategy for a destination in the United States to attract visitors from Japan will be used as a test caseto illustrate the steps in the positioning process.Market PositioningMarket positioning is the first step and is defined as the process of identifying and selecting marketsor segments that represent business potential, to determine the criteria for competitive success(DiMingo, 1988). This must be based on a thorough knowledge of the needs, wants, and perceptionsof the target market, along with the benefits offered by the destination. To do this, a few crucialquestions must be answered. These are:1. What is important to the target market?2. How does the target market perceive the destination?3. How does the target market perceive the competition?4. What attributes should a destination use to differentiate itself to make the best use of its limited resources?The reality of the matter is that if the target market doesn’t perceive the image, the image does notexist. If the target market does not believe that what the destination has to offer is a benefit, it isn’ta benefit. If the target market doesn’t believe that the benefit can be delivered, promises are mean-ingless. If the benefit isn’t important to the target market, it isn’t important. If the benefit is notperceived as being different from that of the competition, then differentiation has not succeeded. Inshort, images, benefits, and differentiation are solely the perception of the tourist, not the perceptionsof tourism officials or the tourism marketer.According to the former United States Travel and Tourism Administration, 3.2 million Japaneseinbound travelers, who present a solid market for tourism destinations in the United States, generated238 © Copy Right : Rai University 16.101G
  • 8. Marketing Management$ 10.1 billion in tourism revenue for the U.S. in 1990. (United States Travel and Tourism Administra-tion, 1991). The following shows the top ten ranked activities identified by Japanese visitors (Bailey,1992):1. Sightseeing in cities2. Shopping3. Dining out4. Guided tours5. Visiting landmarks6. Taking pictures7. Beach activities8. Visiting theme parks9. Swimming10. Visiting galleries.The three highest ranked activities (Sightseeing in Cities, Shopping, and Dining out in Restaurants)seem to provide an advantage to reasonably large cities where these are readily available. In addi-tion, according to Bailey (1992), Japanese persons who are planning to travel to the U.S., initially, donot have a specific destination to visit. Instead, they search for a trip that has several attributessimilar to those listed below (Bailey, 1992):1. Some place where other people went2. Reasonable price.3. As many places as possible to cover.4. Minimum contact with local community.5. Perfect Japanese-like service.6. Good food.7. Absolutely free.Combining these attributes with the top 10 activities listed above, one can an indication of the needsof Japanese visitors. During the trip they like to go to places that have been previously visited byJapanese visitors and where they have opportunities for sightseeing, shopping, and dining. They arevery concerned about personal safety, not interested in associating with the local community, and liketo receive Japanese-style services.Market positioning research also requires an evaluation of the image that customers have of a tour-ism destination. This can be used to identify the vital elements, which comprise the benefits. Thebeauty of a destination, the architecture of a palace, and the historic artifacts in a museum areexamples of attributes that may produce a benefit, or may be a tangible representation of an intan-gible benefit, but are not themselves the benefit. The benefit itself is what the attributes do for thevisitor, for instance, a sensation of grandeur, an aura of prestige, or the gaining of knowledge. Thecredibility of these benefits may diminish rapidly if expectations are not fulfilled. Architecture is soonforgotten if the tour bus breaks down on the return trip. The impression of grandeur loses credibilityif visitors feel that their personal safety is threatened. It is the fulfillment of expectations or theinability to, that creates the perception of deliverability for the tourist. Benefits, like positioning, existin the mind of the customer and are determined only by asking the customer. Only after thisinformation is obtained, can a destination match its strengths to the visitors’ needs and the benefitssought. This knowledge will also provide a basis for the development of a credible differentiationstrategy.Research regarding Japanese travelers depicted in Figure 2 show how they perceive the UnitedStates as compared to other destinations. Images of the U.S. on seven factors important to Japanesetourists are rated relative to other destinations. The U.S. fares very poorly on Personal Safety and16.101G © Copy Right : Rai University 239
  • 9. Marketing Managementthis weakness that can be exploited by competing destinations such as Canada and Australia. On theother hand, the U.S. does best in the areas of: Opportunities to Increase Knowledge, OutstandingScenery, and Shopping. Based on this information, various differentiation strategies for the U.S. canbe explored. Destination marketers can then proceed to the next step in the positioning process,namely psychological positioning.Psychological PositioningThis step utilizes communications to convey a destination’s identity and image to the target market. Itconverts customer needs into images and positions a destination in the visitors minds.Psychological positioning is a strategy employed to create a unique product image with the objec-tive of creating interest and attracting visitors. Since it exists solely in the mind of the visitor, it canoccur automatically without any effort on the part of the marketer and any kind of positioning mayresult. Two very dissimilar destinations may be perceived as the same; two similar destinations maybe perceived as different. What the marketer hopes to do is to control the positioning, not just let ithappen. Moreover, failure to select a position in the marketplace, to achieve, and to hold that positionmay lead to various consequences, all undesirable, as pointed out earlier. There are two kinds ofpsychological positioning in marketing: objective positioning and subjective positioning. Each has itsappropriate place and usage.Objective PositioningObjective positioning is concerned, almost entirely, with the objective attributes of the physical prod-uct. It means creating an image about the destination that reflects its physical characteristics andfunctional features. It is usually concerned with what actually is, what exists. For example, Coloradois mountainous and the French Quarter is in New Orleans. However, objective positioning need notalways be concrete. It may be more abstract than these examples. The French Quarter is in NewOrleans which is also “the birthplace of jazz.”Objective positioning can be very important and is often used in the tourism industry. If a destina-tion has some unique feature, that feature may be used to objectively position the destination, tocreate an image, and to differentiate it from the competition. If objective positioning is to be used toposition the U.S. among Japanese visitors or tour operators any of the unique scenic landmarks, suchas the Grand Canyon or Niagara Falls, could be used to show the size and magnitude of theseattractions. However, this needs to be linked with other attributes and expectations of the Japanesevisitor including “seeing as many places as possible,”; and especially, “where others have been be-fore.”Less successful objective positioning occurs when the feature is not unique. This is why many des-tination promotions with pictures of beaches fail to create a distinct image or successfully differenti-ate the product. Other unsuccessful approaches may include a picture of two people looking at amountain that looks like any other mountain or lying on a beach that looks like any other beach. Oneof the first rules of effective positioning is uniqueness.Subjective PositioningSubjective positioning is concerned with subjective attributes of the destination. Subjective position-ing is the image, not of the physical aspects of the destination, but other attributes perceived by thetourist, (i.e., they do not necessarily belong to the destination but to the tourist’s mental perception).These perceptions and the resulting images may not necessarily reflect the true state of thedestination’s physical characteristics. They may simply exist in the tourist’s mind and not all tourists’imaging agree with a particular perception or image. Using the previous example of the GrandCanyon or Niagara Falls, subjective positioning would emphasize the awe-inspiring feelings experi-enced at these natural attractions rather than their physical attributes. Thus, a visit to the Grand240 © Copy Right : Rai University 16.101G
  • 10. Marketing ManagementCanyon becomes a far greater experience than viewing the physical land formation. What the mar-keter hopes is that the people in the target market will agree on a favorable image whether or not theimage is true. This is the test of effective subjective positioning.Positioning ApproachesThis is the final step in the positioning process, and there are several different approaches to position-ing any tourism destination (Aaker and Shamsby, 1982). ‘While psychological positioning createsan image, this positioning approach completes the picture, using visual and words, to reinforce whatthe destination does best and what benefits are offered. Tourism marketers may decide to select themost appropriate of the following approaches, depending on the information gathered during marketand psychological positioning.Positioning by attribute, feature, or customer benefit. For this strategy, emphasis is placed on thebenefits of the particular features or attributes of the destination. For example, Thailand promotesthe friendliness of its people with the statement “The world meets in the land of smiles.”Positioning by Price ValueInternational destinations are not usually positioned on the basis of price because lower prices maybe perceived as connoting lower quality. However, value offered to visitors canbe effectively utilized as exemplified by Malaysia which claims “Malaysia gives more natural value.”With this positioning statement Malaysia is appealing not only to the sense of value (more for themoney) but also to its natural attractions.Positioning with respect to use or applicationHere a destination is positioned based on the reasons for visiting it. Bermuda positions itself to theAmerican meetings market with “Sometimes you have to leave the country to get any work done”which promises productive meetings in a relaxed environment. Cancun, Mexico is positioned as“The meeting place for sun worshipers.”Positioning according to the users or class of usersIn this case, positioning features the people who should visit the destination. Hong Kong appeals tothe incentive travel market with the statement ‘When they’ve reached the top, send them to thepeak,” referring to Victoria Peak, a major tourist site in Hong Kong: Fisher Island, a luxury residen-tial development in Florida, positions itself as the place “where people who run things can stoprunning.”Positioning with respect to a product classThis technique is often used to associate a destination with experiences that are extraordinary and/or unique. For example, the Principality of Monaco is positioned as “The fairy tale that does not endat midnight,” or holding a convention in Thailand is “Smooth as silk where the sky’s the limit, or “Ifyour looking for an ideal meeting place, here’s one that’s close to heaven” for Israel.Positioning vis-à-vis the competitionThis approach is used when it is necessary to meet the competition head-on; to bring out differencesbetween destinations. This approach is not used frequently in international tourism destination mar-keting since it may involve negative statements about another country or region. However, it isregularly employed in product and services marketing. For example, Visa credit cards compete withAmerican Express by showing examples of places from around the world that do not accept Ameri-can Express and only Visa cards are accepted. Ritz-Carlton Hotels is a little more subtle when theysay, ‘After a day of competition, you deserve a hotel that has none.”Any of these approaches could be used to position the U.S. the minds of Japanese visitors. For16.101G © Copy Right : Rai University 241
  • 11. Marketing Managementexample, since Japanese visitors want to go where other Japanese tourists have already been, posi-tioning according to users or a class of users may be appropriate. By developing a creative cam-paign, an operator can market the fact that many Japanese visitors have been to the Grand Canyon,and were impressed by its awe-inspiring presence. This may include testimonials from previousvisitors or tour operators who can make a direct appeal to the target market. However, since thefeeling of awe is an intangible construct, positioning statements must show a tangible example toillustrate this feeling.Positioning is the ultimate weapon in niche marketing. Stripped of all its trappings, positioning analysisanswers the following questions:1. What position does a destination own now? (In the mind of the target market.)2. ‘What position does the destination want to own? (Look for positions or holes in the market place.)3. ‘Who must the destination out position? (Manipulate what’s already in the mind.)4. How can it be done? (Select the best approach that will work for the target market.)Positioning is a valuable weapon for tourism marketers. To position successfully requires recogniz-ing the marketplace, the competition, and tourists’ perceptions. Positioning analysis on a targetmarket basis provides the tools to identify opportunities for creating the desired image that differen-tiates a destination from its competitors and for serving the target market better than anyone else.242 © Copy Right : Rai University 16.101G