Brand Positioning Concept Defined.
Brand positioning refers to “target consumer’s” reason to buy your brand in preference to others. It is ensures that all brand activity has a common aim; is guided, directed and delivered by the brand’s benefits/reasons to buy; and it focusses at all points of contact with the consumer.
Brand positioning must make sure that:
- Is it unique/distinctive vs. competitors ?
- Is it significant and encouraging to the niche market ?
- Is it appropriate to all major geographic markets and businesses ?
- Is the proposition validated with unique, appropriate and original products ?
- Is it sustainable – can it be delivered constantly across all points of contact with the consumer ?
- Is it helpful for organization to achieve its financial goals ?
- Is it able to support and boost up the organization ?
In order to create a distinctive place in the market, a niche market has to be carefully chosen and a differential advantage must be created in their mind. Brand positioning is a medium through which an organization can portray it’s customers what it wants to achieve for them and what it wants to mean to them. Brand positioning forms customer’s views and opinions.
Brand Positioning can be defined as an activity of creating a brand offer in such a manner that it occupies a distinctive place and value in the target customer’s mind. For instance-Kotak Mahindra positions itself in the customer’s mind as one entity- “Kotak ”- which can provide customized and one-stop solution for all their financial services needs. It has an unaided top of mind recall. It intends to stay with the proposition of “Think Investments, Think Kotak”. The positioning you choose for your brand will be influenced by the competitive stance you want to adopt.
Brand Positioning involves identifying and determining points of similarity and difference to ascertain the right brand identity and to create a proper brand image. Brand Positioning is the key of marketing strategy. A strong brand positioning directs marketing strategy by explaining the brand details, the uniqueness of brand and it’s similarity with the competitive brands, as well as the reasons for buying and using that specific brand. Positioning is the base for developing and increasing the required knowledge and perceptions of the customers. It is the single feature that sets your service apart from your competitors. For instance- Kingfisher stands for youth and excitement. It represents brand in full flight.
There are various positioning errors, such as-
- Under positioning- This is a scenario in which the customer’s have a blurred and unclear idea of the brand.
- Over positioning- This is a scenario in which the customers have too limited a awareness of the brand.
- Confused positioning- This is a scenario in which the customers have a confused opinion of the brand.
- Double Positioning- This is a scenario in which customers do not accept the claims of a brand.
Brand Positioning Strategies.
A product can be positioned based on 2 main platforms: The Consumer and The Competitor. When the positioning is on the basis of CONSUMER, the campaigns and messages are always targeted to the consumer himself (the user of the product)
Peter England always campaigns their product concentrating on the consumer, the user of its product.
Louis Philip also concentrates on this kind of campaigns.
The other kind of positioning is on basis of COMPETITION. These campaigns are targeted towards competing with other players in the market.
Dettol television commercials always concentrate on advertisements, which show that this product would give you more protection, then the others.
A number of positioning strategies might be employed in developing a promotional program. The 7 such strategies are discussed below:
POSITIONING BY PRODUCT ATTRIBUTES AND BENEFITS
Associating a product with an attribute, a product feature or a consumer feature. Sometimes a product can be positioned in terms of two or more attributes simultaneously. The price/ quality attribute dimension is commonly used for positioning the products.
A common approach is setting the brand apart from competitors on the basis of the specific characteristics or benefits offered. Sometimes a product may be positioned on more than one product benefit. Marketers attempt to identify salient attributes (those that are important to consumers and are the basis for making a purchase decision)
- Consider the example of Ariel that offers a specific benefit of cleaning even the dirtiest of clothes because of the micro cleaning system in the product.
- Colgate offers benefits of preventing cavity and fresh breath.
- Promise, Balsara’s toothpaste, could break Colgate’s stronghold by being the first to claim that it contained clove, which differentiated it from the leader.
- Nirma offered the benefit of low price over Hindustan Lever’s Surf to become a success.
- Maruti Suzuki offers benefits of maximum fuel efficiency and safety over its competitors. This strategy helped it to get 60% of the Indian automobile market.
POSITIONING BY PRICE/ QUALITY
Marketers often use price/ quality characteristics to position their brands. One way they do it is with ads that reflect the image of a high-quality brand where cost, while not irrelevant, is considered secondary to the quality benefits derived from using the brand. Premium brands positioned at the high end of the market use this approach to positioning.
Another way to use price/ quality characteristics for positioning is to focus on the quality or value offered by the brand at a very competitive price. Although price is an important consideration, the product quality must be comparable to, or even better than, competing brands for the positioning strategy to be effective.
Parle Bisleri – “Bada Bisleri, same price” ad campaign.
POSITIONING BY USE OR APPLICATION
Another way is to communicate a specific image or position for a brand is to associate it with a specific use or application.
Surf Excel is positioned as stain remover ‘ Surf Excel hena!’
Also, Clinic All Clear – “Dare to wear Black”.
POSITIONING BY PRODUCT CLASS
Often the competition for a particular product comes from outside the product class. For example, airlines know that while they compete with other airlines, trains and buses are also viable alternatives. Manufacturers of music CDs must compete with the cassettes industry. The product is positioned against others that, while not exactly the same, provide the same class of benefits.
POSITIONING BY PRODUCT USER
Positioning a product by associating it with a particular user or group of users is yet another approach.
Motography Motorola Mobile Ad.n this ad the persona of the user of the product is been positioned.
POSITIONING BY COMPETITOR
Competitors may be as important to positioning strategy as a firm’s own product or services. In today’s market, an effective positioning strategy for a product or brand may focus on specific competitors. This approach is similar to positioning by product class, although in this case the competition is within the same product category.
Onida was positioned against the giants in the television industry through this strategy, ONIDA colour TV was launched with the message that all others were clones and only Onida was the leader. “neighbour’s Envy, Owners Pride”.
POSITIONING BY CULTURAL SYMBOLS
An additional positioning strategy where in the cultural symbols are used to differentiate the brands. Examples would be Humara Bajaj, Tata Tea, Ronald McDonald. Each of these symbols has successfully differentiated the product it represents from competitors.
A Video Of Brand Positioning.