Questions

1. How does Gastrol's positioning differ across the globe?

2. How can Castrol's involvement in motor sports help it in markets where few people will ever have a chance to see the sport live, never mind participate in it?

3. Why do you think Burmah Oil concentrates on engine oils rather than the huge market for motor fuel?

4. What strengths has Castrol cultivated in order to allow it to compete?

5. What personalities could be used to help strengthen people's perception of Castrol?

6. Do people buy the expensive Castrol brands for emotional reasons or because of their unique performance characteristics?

core strategy It has Pwoparts: the identification of a group of customers jar -whom the firm has a differential advantage; and then positioning itself iii that market.

Introduction

Core strategy is at the hub of marketing strategy. It is where the strengths of a company meet market opportunities. It has two parts: first, the identification of a group of customers for whom the firm has a differential advantage; and second, positioning itself in the customer's mind. Castrol did that. While the big oil companies saw the lubricant market as mature, Castrol identified target markets and built strengths in them. Its motor racing experience, knowledge of highperformance oils and brand name were competitive advantages in the motor enthusiast market. In the United States, its support of Grand Prix and Indy car racing helped position Castrol Syntec as a high-performance product. In developing countries, its early investments in distribution gave Castrol a differential advantage in the emergent markets. There, too, Castrol's association with Grand Prix racing gives the products an exotic international appeal. This chapter first examines how firms can differentiate themselves and then the positioning alternatives.

competitive advantage -4ii advantage over competitors gained by offering consumers greater value, either through lower prices or by providing more benefits that justify higher prices.

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