Developing and Communicating a Positioning Strategy

All products can be differentiated to some extent.39 But not all brand differences are meaningful or worthwhile. A difference is worth establishing to the extent that it satisfies the following criteria:

^ Important: The difference delivers a highly valued benefit to a sufficient number of buyers.

^ Distinctive: The difference is delivered in a distinctive way. ^ Superior: The difference is superior to other ways of obtaining the benefit. ^ Preemptive: The difference cannot be copied easily by competitors. ^ Affordable: The buyer can afford to pay for the difference. ^ Profitable: The company will find it profitable to introduce the difference.

Each firm needs to develop a distinctive positioning for its market offering. Positioning is the act of designing the company's offering and image to occupy a distinctive place in the target market's mind. The end result of positioning is the successful creation of a market-focused value proposition, a cogent reason why the target market should buy the product.

The word positioning was popularized by two advertising executives, Al Ries and Jack Trout. They see positioning as a creative exercise done with an existing product:

"Positioning starts with a product. A piece of merchandise, a service, a company, an institution, or even a person. . . . But positioning is not what you do to a product. Positioning is what you do to the mind of the prospect. That is, you position the product in the mind of the prospect."

Ries and Trout argue that well-known products generally hold a distinctive position in customers' minds; Coca-Cola, for example, holds the position of world's largest soft-drink firm. To compete against this kind of position, a rival can (1) strengthen its own current position in the consumer's mind (the way 7-Up advertised itself as the Uncola), (2) grab an unoccupied position (as Snapple did with its tea-based beverages), (3) deposition or reposition the competition, or (4) promote the idea that it is in the club with the "best."40

Emergency Quick Cash

Emergency Quick Cash

At least once in every person’s life comes a time when the need is great and the resources are few. It can be hard enough to make ends meet on a decent wage, but, when the times get tough and the money just is not there to meet the need, a person can easily despair.

Get My Free Ebook

Post a comment