Mba Brand Positioning and Strategy
Mba Brand Positioning and Strategy- Brand positioning refers to ‘target consumer’s’ reason to buy a particular brand in preference to others. It 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.
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 organisation 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 customised 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 we choose for our brand will be influenced by the competitive stance we 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 our service apart from our competitors. For instance, Kingfisher stands for youth and excitement. It represents brand in full flight.
There are various positioning errors, such as:
1. Under Positioning: This is a scenario in which the customer’s have a blurred and unclear idea of the brand.
2. Over Positioning: This is a scenario in which the customers have too limited an awareness of the brand.
3. Confused Positioning: This is a scenario in which the customers have a confused opinion of the brand.
4. Double Positioning: This is a scenario in which customers do not accept the claims of a brand.
Brand Positioning Strategy
The strategies for brand positioning are as follows:
1. Positioning by Product Attributes and Benefits: It is to associate 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).
2. 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 for positioning the product.
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.
3. Positioning by Use or Application: Another way is to communicate a specific image or position for a brand to associate it with a specific use or application. Surf Excel is positioned as stain remover ‘Surf Excel haina!’ Also, Clinic All Clear – ‘Dare to wear black’.
4. 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 CD’s must compete with the cassette industry. The the same, provide the same class of benefits.
5. Positioning by Product User– product is positioned against others that, while not exactly 5. 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, in this ad the persona of the user of the product has been positioned.
6. 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 the competition is within the same product category in this case. 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, owner’s pride.
7. Positioning by Cultural Symbols: This is an additional positioning strategy wherein the cultural symbols are used to differentiate the brands. Examples are Humara Bajaj, Tata Tea and Ronald McDonald. Each of these symbols has successfully differentiated the product it represents from competitors.
Benefits of Brand Positioning
Brand positioning has the following benefits:
1. Better Decision-making: Positioning is an essential framework for helping to decide what to do and what not to do.
2. Efficiency and Effectiveness: Positioning focuses our limited resources on a clearly defined goal, enabling investments to build upon each other instead of being deployed.
3. Control: Positioning gives us control over our own brand image because it defines the space that we can own like no one else.
Brand positioning provides a strategic approach to establishing a sustainable competitive advantage that strengthens and positions a business better.
4. Sets Apart from Competition: Brand positioning enables practice into which no competitor will dare venture.
5. Target Market: By laying claim to a particular feature or benefit through positioning, one is forced to focus on services accordingly. This will cause us to be perceived as an expert in those services which increase our value to prospects.