What is positioning?
Positioning – the act designing an offer so that it
occupies a distinct and valued place in the minds
of the target customers
Battle is in consumers’ minds. There is a ladder
inside every consumer’s head for every product
and service. The key was to develop strategies
according to where on the ladder the particular
brand was placed by the consumer.
(Ries & Trout)
Positioning: the importance
Market segmentation and target marketing are
prerequisites to successful positioning.
From the research data and the marketing
strategy, it is necessary to formulate a positioning
statement that is in tune with the promotional
The positioning concept is a very important
This importance of establishing a distinct image of
a brand in people's minds has developed mainly
because of increasingly competitive market
Provides benefits for customers
Gets favorable perception of investors
Belongingness and social
Provide sensory stimulation
Provide cofnitive stimulation
Positioning - segmentation
What is your current position?
What does the "space" look like — what are the most
important dimensions in the category?
What are the other products in that space and where are
What are the gaps, unfilled positions or "holes" in the
What position do you want to have?
Finding an unmet consumer need — or at least one that’s not met now
Identifying a product strength that is both unique and important
Determining how to correct a product weakness and thereby enhance a
Changing consumer usage patterns to include different or additional
uses for the product
Identifying market segments, which represent the best targets for a
New positioning: how?
Creating a new positioning can come from two sources:
Physical product difference
Communications — finding a memorable and
meaningful way to describe the product (e.g., calling
7-Up the "Uncola").
As Ries and Trout point out, "Positioning is not what you
do to a product; positioning is what you do to the mind of
Functional and expressive
stress the features
This may take the
form of a promotional
device, such as a
lower price or extra
Expressive form of
the emotional or
Repositioning - changing a brand's status in comparison to
that of the competing brands. Repositioning is effected usually
through changing the marketing mix in response to changes
in the market place, or due to a failure to reach the brand's
Repositioning is necessary when the preferences of the
For example, a premium brand of shampoo sold at a relatively
high price with advertising that emphasizes its superior
performance may need to be repositioned as consumers
become more price sensitive.
Positioning: successful examples
Virgin Airways positions itself as part of a bigger picture. They were early
adopters of in-flight Internet access and individual movie screens.
They now have plans to introduce space travel! Their founder’s
philanthropy is legendary. Out-of-the-box thinking has positioned the
company as a leading edge, responsible world corporation, rather than
just a British corporation – a position important, especially to young
Positioning: successful examples
Michelin has positioned itself as upscale but affordable. A brand should be
more than the product it sells and Michelin is a good example of this.
Michelin Tires are used by racecar drivers, but Michelin achieved its
position primarily by becoming the comprehensive authority on all things
auto travel through its maps and guides, which are the best you can get.
These qualities are extended in the consumers’ minds to Michelin’s tires.
General Electric is a good example of a company repositioning itself. GE
is an international brand. By focusing the public’s attention on the wind
and water turbines they produce, they are aligning themselves with
sustainable energy production.
The company likes to talk about what GE is doing in other areas of energy
production that cause even less environmental impact. In this way, the
company hopes to reposition itself as a good guy.
Old Spice had an outdated image that made young consumers shopping for
deodorant skip right over to the sexy Axe or the sporty Right Guard. As a result,
the Old Spice brand management team set out to give the brand a fresher, more
edgy voice, while honoring its traditional reputation for wordly experience and
The “Smell Like a Man, Man” campaign shows a confident young man praise the
product’s qualities in an edgy and slightly humorous way. The result of this brand
innovation effort was that Old Spice not only became part of young men’s
grooming consideration set, but the brand became the market leader in the
men’s deodorants and antiperspirants category.