October 20th, 2010
Just as segmentation involves the decision to aim at a certain group of customers but not others, our next concept-positioning-involves a decision to stress only certain aspects of our brand, and not others.
The key idea in positioning strategy is that the consumer must have a clear idea of what your brand stands for in the product category, and that a brand cannot be sharply and distinctly positioned if it tries to be everything to everyone. Such positioning is achieved mostly through a brand's marketing communications, although its distribution, pricing, packaging, and actual product features also can play major roles.
It is often said that positioning is not what you do to the product, but what you do to the consumer's mind, through various communications. Many products in the over-the-counter drug market, for instance, have identical formulas but are promoted for different- symptoms, by using different names, packaging, product forms, and advertising?
Determining the positioning strategy:
1. Identifying competitors.
2. Accessing consumer’s perception of competitors.
3. Determining competitor’s positions
4. Analysing the consumer's preference
5. Making the positioning decision.
a) Is the segmentation strategy appropriate?
b) Are there sufficient resources available to communicate the position effectively?
c) How strong is the competition?
d) Is the current positioning strategy working?
6. Monitoring the positioning: done by agencies most of the time. They keep the success and keep monitoring time to time.
Perceptual Mapping for Positioning
Another interesting area worth understanding is Perceptual Mapping for Positioning. Perceptual Space Map (PSM) shows the perceived relative positions of products along different dimensions.
To do this, the attributes or dimensions of a product are identified by qualitative research like depth interviews. The consumers are then asked to rank each brand along each of the dimensions identified. Statistical techniques are used to reduce a very large number of dimensions to a few significant dimensions.
To illustrate, price and the degree of automation have been identified as the significant dimensions of the washing machines' market.