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Published by Jyotsna

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Published by: Jyotsna on Jan 08, 2009
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Module IIIBrand Positioning Faculty: J.Rai
Brand Positioning: Differentiate or Die
“Act of designing the company’s offer or image so that it occupies a distinct and valued place inthe target customer’s minds.”
As the name implies positioning means finding the proper “location” in minds of groupof consumers or market segment.
As a result the consumers can think about a product or service in the “right” or desiredway to maximize potential benefit to the firm.
So the marketers need to know1.Who the target consumer is?2.Who the main competitors are?3.How the brand is similar to these competitors?4.How the brand is different from them?
Understanding positioning better…….
“To succeed, the first step is to position or ‘situate’ the brand in the target consumers’ mind insuch a way, that in his/her perception of brand, it is distinctive and offers a persuasive customer value that its competitors. This is called “
competitive advantage”.
Consumer’s Perpetual Space- core idea of positioning is
The idea that the each brand(if at all noticed) occupies point or space in the individualconsumer’s mind, a point which is determined by that consumer’s perception of the brandin question and in its relation to other brands.
Its important to remember that “Only a Few ‘Vacancies’” are there in the consumersmindset.
In 1982 Food Specialties Ltd. (Nestle) launched Maggie Noodles.
Maggie was positioned as a tasty, instant snack, made at home and initially aimed atchildren. With a target market of home segment.
This positioning decision automatically determined the competition would include allsnack products in general. Ranging from ready to eat snacks. Though all were boughtitems.
But such snacks were positioned distant from Maggie, they were no direct competition.
Direct competition were with home made snacks
Traditional pasta products were considered as competitors, but they would require preparation time and good amount of garnishing.
Maggie noodles were launched in 1983 and became an overnight success
Maggie noodles, found a vacant, strong position and ‘sat on it’ as “the good to eat , fats tocook” anytime snack.
Module IIIBrand Positioning Faculty: J.Rai
7 UP had a steady volume as a mixer with hard drinks.
But coca cola wanted to present it as soft drink.
So it was position in consumers mind asoAs a soft drinoDifferentiate from colas ( Pepsi, coke).oIntriguing ( whats an un cola?)
This new ‘Un cola’ position worked for 7-UP and it became 3 largest selling soft drink inUSA.
Pitfalls of Brand Positioning-
Competitive brand positioning is hard work. Many brands falter sooner than they should; somedon’t even make it out of the gate. Here are five pitfalls to watch out for:
Awareness without positioning is waste-
Companies sometimes try to build brandawareness before establishing a clear brand position. You have to know who you are before you convince anyone of it. Many dotcom companies know this pitfall well. Anumber of them spent heavily on advertising without first being clear about what theywere selling.
Product attributes are of vital importance-
Companies often promote attributes thatconsumers don’t care about. The best e.g. for years companies sold analgesics claimedtheir brands were long lasting than others. Eventually they noticed consumers wantedquick pain relief more than sustained pain relief.
Companies sometimes spend too much on POD than can be easily copied.
Positioningneeds to keep competitors out
not draw them in.
Think and respond-
Certain companies become so intent on responding to competitionthat they walk away from their established positions. General Mills used the insight thatthe consumers viewed honey as nutritious than sugar to successfully introduce the Honey Nut Cheerios product- line –extension. A key competitor, Post decided to respond byrepositioning its Sugar Crisp brand, changing name to Golden Crisp and dropping Sugar  bear character as spokesman. But the repositioned brand didn’t attract enough newcustomers, and its market share almost diminished.
Repositioning is not always possible – 
repositioning is not always easy. Although Pepsi-Cola’s fresh youth appeal has been a key branding difference in its battle against Coke.the brand has strayed from this force several times in past 2 decades. Perhaps adding to someof its market share woes. Every attempt to reposition a brand has been followed by retreatto the former successful positioning.
Brand positioning is a tough task. Once you have found one that works, you may needto find the modern way to convey the position, but think hard before you alter it.
Module IIIBrand Positioning Faculty: J.Rai
Positioning is made up of what?
There are four basic components of positioning concept:1.Product Class or the structure of the market in which our brand will compete.2.Consumer segmentation.3.Consumer perception i.e Perpetual mapping4.The benefits offered by the brand.
It can be defined as the set of products and brandswhich perceived as substitutes to satisfy specific consumer needs.
In India, low cost detergent powders would undoubtedly be grouped with higher- priced in the category of ‘washing powders’. There is little doubt, however thatthese low-cost powders such as ‘Hippolin’ ‘Nirma’ ‘Wheel’ have also been positioned by consumers against the traditional(oil based) laundry soaps and barsand have been perceived by them as substitutes for such laundry soaps.
The product class of chocolates, Cadbury’s Nestle, Amul is clearly positionedagainst one another. If we consider the ‘product class’ of festival season gifts,consumers may position a decorative box of chocolates against branded halwaand even perhaps, a pocket FM player 
positioning theory marks its departure by placingemphasis on the target consumer’s perception of brands in relation to other brands. But itsmain focus like all marketing theory and practices is on the target consumer’scharacteristics, needs, and expectations. Since we are inevitably faced with complex andheterogeneous market, this means a multitude of consumer segments.
The basic need for bathing soaps is what? Self cleaning and a sense of freshnessafter bath. The marketers have various brands of soap with nearly similar function to perform. Lux, Cinthol, Rexona, Lifebouy, Dove, Santoor etc. these allare segmented according to consumers preference and choice also according tothe cost factor. We can well imagine the amount of jostling among these brandsto gain a loyal segment of users who would be attracted to a particular brand, for its functional benefit and emotional values and give it a position in their minds,as well as a place in their shopping list.
perpetual mapping technique identifies the underlyingdimensions that differentiate consumer perceptions of product and the positions of existing products on the dimension.
Consumer’s perception of a brand in relation tocompetitor’s, leads to perpetual mapping.
It’s a graphical representation. Two techniques areused
Factor Analysis
Multidimensional Scaling
Perpetual Map showing the benefits offered by different washing products. RobinLiquid is trying to distinguish itself 

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