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How to position a brand


By Maxwell Ranasinghe.
What is positioning
 “ Disembodied mental image ,
specifically, a location in consumers
 “Positioning is doing something to the
collective mind of the consumer”
 There is a comparative perspective in
positioning as positioning implies the
existence of something else.
 The positioning is the act of creating a
perception or image or status in
buyers mind.
Positioning is used to make a specific
brand appear to be different and better
than all competing brands

 Key points to note are
1. It is a strategic activity( not tactical)
2. It is aimed at developing a
sustainable competitive advantage
3. It is concerned with Managing
Brand image and reputation are the
end results
Strategic not Tactical
 Positioning is not a short term tactical
 Change the consumers perception and
reach a unique position.
 Lasting image that is not dependant on
the product features or other elements
that can be copied.(by competitors)
 Positioning should negate the situation
of your competitors catching up and
overtaking you.
Sustainable competitive
 Aims at long term competitive advantage
 Should offer a proposition of high benefit
or significance
 Real brand strength that reflects a
competitive advantage has to be
 The personality and other intangible
values to be projected.
 Brand has to be capable of consistently
performing at least as the competing
Managing Perceptions

 Consumers do not know who
produces goods and services
 They may not know all the
features of a product or service
But they know in their minds
why they like the product. They
think in terms of the benefits. It
could be tangible or intangible.
But it is real to consumers.
Create favorable perceptions
 Once the perceptions are created it is
difficult to shift
 It applies to both good and bad
 It is very difficult to convince a
consumer to try again a product that
she or he had bad experience.
 If the product lives up to its promise, it
has a great chance of achieving a
brand image if not it will lack credibility.
Positioning is an ongoing
activity to sustain the image
 Once a favourable image is created
it should be sustained.
 It should be continually reinforced.
 A long term communications strategy
is required.
 Consumers are bombarded with
thousands of messages everyday.
 The Challenge is to keep the brand
at the forefront of their mind.
Strategies for brand
Features Benefits Problem
And Solving
Competition Corporate Target user
and image
Cause Aspiration Value or
emotion pricing
Features and Attributes

 This is a very clear strategy
 People constantly look for features
 Producing unique features and
attributes is rather difficult
 Many features and attributes could
be copied by others in at least in
long term
 Continuous Innovations are
 Closely connected to the features and
 This strategy stresses the benefits of
possessing it
 Benefits not be vague. It should be clear,
attainable and useful.
 Ceylinco Insurance “On the spot claims
payment” is convenient for customers
not having to go to police and lodge
claims and undergo a lengthy procedure
Problem Solving
 Brands that solves problems for consumers
are appreciated.
 This strategy requires a full understanding
of consumer problems, well trained staff
with social and communication skills
 Ceylinco “On the spot claim payment”
solves the problem of lengthy claim
 E-channeling- solves the patients going to
the hospital twice, once to make an
appointment and then to consult the doctor.

 Positioning against the competition
 To be handled with care from legal
and advertising standards
 Coke and Pepsi
 Munchee and Maliban
 Claiming a position in the market
such No1 – 2nd - Challenger
Corporate reputation and
Existing brand and reputation to be
used as a positioning
e.g.; from the pioneers of cellular
with the approval of Dental
When two competitors merge-
They were tough competitors but now
a strong alliance…….
Target user
 Target user positioning says that
they clearly address the specific
requirement of their target
 High alcohol beer for hard liquor
drinkers who wants to show they
are moderate drinkers or to beer
drinkers who needs the “kick”
 Instant food for people who do
not have time for cooking.
 Special shoes by Nike for

 Cause related marketing.
Associate the company with a
worthwhile cause such as social,
environmental cause.
 E.g.; prevent accidents = CTC
protect wildlife = ODEL
 It gives additional impetus to the
brand as it is conscious of social
and environmental aspects.

 Positioning brands on
ambitions, cravings,desires,
dreams, goals hopes, longings
and wishes
 E.g.;-Lotteries in Sri Lanka
 Luxury cars, Holidays,
designer dresses, fashion
 How and when consumers use
products can help marketers position
their products
 Beer- relax and unwind after a days
 Coffee- -do-
 Express sophistication by consuming
a special brand at special times.
Champagne at celebrations

 Value for money concept
 Value for money expresses a
combination of price and quality
 E.g.: Air con intercity bus
 Denim clothes
 Positioning based on personality can
be one of the powerful strategies
 Creating personality to the product or
service make it unique where
competitors cannot match
 You got to project personality
characteristics that the target market
wants in the product
 E.g.; Mercedes Benz – Rolex
watches, Hilton Hotel
 Emotion is a very powerful positioning
 Sex,
nationality and many other techniques
are used in appealing to the
emotional drive of the consumer.
 Sisil fridge, Maliban Cream Cracker,
Elephant Soda, Orange barley, MD
Jam, DSI shoes
Combination of positioning
 Most of the products do not solely
depend on one strategy.
 They use a combination of
 Such as value for money, emotion
 Aspirations and personality
 Corporate reputation and cause.
How many positions can a
brand have?
 Brand should have only one central
 A position presents the identity and
personality of the brand to the outside
 Multiple positioning in the same market
segment seem odd and disorderly
 Discuss in relation to “Nestomalt” of
 E.g.; Nestomalt’s central
positioning is nutritious drink- but
it is presented various segments
in different forms such as –
energy giving drink for active
people- dietary supplement for
elderly- growth supplement for
youngsters- relaxation drink for
people with work pressure.

Make the brand live through
 Positioning is strategic and it is not short
 Unless re-positioning the positioning will
not change
 The sole aim of the positioning is to
persuade customer that this brand is
different and better than other brands
 It tries to occupy a special position in the
minds of the customer.
 Everything relates to the consumer to the
brand has to be consistent. No
Positioning and segmentation
 If the product is globally focused on one
market segment a standard positioning
could be adopted such as Nike, Rolex and
 If the product has different segments then
different positioning may be required. Eg.
 Positioning may be perceived differently from
market to market – e.g.. Beer may be an average
drink one country but may be regarded as a
prestige drink in another country.
Positioning in action

1. Identify the Target Audience (ITA)
Segment the market and select the target
market well
Address the needs of the market
Marketing communications matters a lot in
this process
Discuss in detail with add agencies
Internal staff should also know the
objectives and the exact position that the
product is going to be positioned
2. Identify Point of Parity
- Know the similar product
features and benefits other
products in the market
- Keep an eye on the
competition and their
3. Portray Point of Difference
( POD)
- Mention a USP
- Indicate the benefits that
consumers get in comparison to
others products
-State the brand name and
inform the market that “it is
better than others”
4. Provide Reasons to Believe
( RTB)
Leverage on your reputation
and brand name
Talk about the guarantees
Talk about testimonies
Independent reports
 Conceptual Mapping
 Mobile phone service providers



 Representative Brand
 Denominating Colour-Product Attribute-Rating

 Dialog GSM Light Blue Colour Line
 Brand Image 5
 Coverage 5
 Price 5
 Value Added Services (VAS) 5

 Mobitel GSM Green Color Line
 Brand Image 4
 Coverage 4
 Price 3
 Value Added Services (VAS) 3

 Airtel Red Colour Line
 Brand Image 3
 Coverage 3
 Price 3
 Value Added Services (VAS)4
 Etisalat Dark Blue Colour Line
Brand Image 3
 Coverage 4
 Price 2
 Value Added Services (VAS) 3

 Hutch Orange Colour Line
Brand Image 3
 Coverage 3
 Price 1
 Value Added Services (VAS) 3

 This Rating should be based on research
 Lickert scale questions (from 1-5) can be used
to do the research
So you know how to do it. Then go and do it
in the market. Good Luck. University of
So you know how to do

Then go and do it in the market
Thank you
Good luck…….. Maxwell