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MARKETING: POSITIONING. Ent 12. When C.P. Allen fans cheer for their Cheetahs, they are taking a position —a stance, perception, attitude or point of view. We show our support by wearing Cheetah jerseys, uniforms, school colours, etc.

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When C.P. Allen fans cheer for their Cheetahs, they are taking a position—a stance, perception, attitude or point of view.
  • We show our support by wearing Cheetah jerseys, uniforms, school colours, etc.
  • Once fans position themselves as supporting a team, they are usually not fans of other teams playing the same sport.
positioning allows us
Positioning allows us . . .
  • To create an image—the outward representation of the person we want to be
  • To be motivated to develop the skills and qualities that are necessary to maintain our position
  • Examples: web designer studies art; athletes practice and attend camps
Marketers . . .
  • Make choices about how to position their product or service in order to create an image of the brand they want the consumer to accept.
  • These choices mean the brand will appeal to some people and not to others.
what is positioning
What is positioning?
  • The attempt by a business to obtain a share of mind—to achieve top-of-the-mind awareness among target customers.
  • Positioning has come to mean the process by which marketers try to create an image or identity in the minds of their target market for its product, brand, or organization.
  • Jones Soda projects an image of the hip, young, urban, soft-drink company.
  • Mark’s Work Wearhouse positions itself as a retailer of solid, durable, reasonably priced casual clothing. A consumer who wants to buy long-lasting casual pants will think of Mark’s first. If the customer is looking for high fashion, he/she may think of other stores first.
Positioning is a businesses’ competitive strategy.
    • What's the one thing you do best?
    • What's unique about your product or service?
    • Identify your strongest strength and use it to position your product.

See example

The product Nyquil was conceived as a superior daytime cough suppressant. Unfortunately, it made people drowsy. Determined to recover product development costs, the side affect of drowsiness was then transformed into a powerful positioning strategy. Nyquil became "the night time, coughing, sniffling, sneezing so you can rest" medicine. Nyquil created and owned the nighttime cold remedy market.
types of positioning
Types of Positioning
  • Benefit
  • Target
  • Price
  • Distribution
  • Service
1 benefit positioning
1. Benefit Positioning
  • Consumers expect every product they purchase to benefit them in some way
  • Products may offer features that other products do not:
    • A clock radio may use ocean sounds as an alarm rather than a buzzer
    • A coffeemaker may grind the beans as well as brew the coffee
    • A DVD player may also play video games
    • A cell phone may also take pictures
benefit positioning
Benefit Positioning


  • Competitors often add benefits to their own products which takes away from the original brand
      • Example: Labatt’s developed the metal twist-off bottle cap and took a position as the only company that offered such a benefit. The millions of dollars spent on developing this unique position were lost as soon as the competition developed its own metal twist-off bottle caps a few months later.
2 target positioning
2. Target Positioning


    • In what major product category do the following brands compete: DC, Adio, Osiris, Emerica, Duffs, Globe, Genetic, Ipath, 81, and Gallaz?


    • These are (were) the 10 best-selling brands of skateboard shoes, but many people may not be able to identify them.
  • Marketers of skateboard shoes don’t care whether people who don’t skateboard can identify their brand. They only care if people who do skateboard are familiar with their product.
target positioning
Target Positioning
  • To gain an effective target-market position, all of a brand’s marketing must be focused on a specific consumer segment.
  • A target position should cause the people in the target market to think that they own the brand.
target positioning1
Target Positioning


  • Target markets are unpredictable: what is popular today may be unpopular within weeks or become popular with a different consumer market
  • If outsiders start buying the product, the insiders, who were the original target, may stop buying it
3 price positioning
3. Price Positioning


Offer the most expensive product OR

Offer the least expensive product

price positioning
Price Positioning
  • Luxury goods offer status more than quality. Consumers want the product to be expensive.
    • Examples of luxury price positioning:
      • caviar, diamond watches, expensive ties, luxury cars
  • Many consumers are willing to pay high prices for high quality—if using price positioning with a promise of quality, a business must be sure to provide it.
price positioning1
Price Positioning
  • Price positioning can be used by a business to discourage customers it doesn’t want
    • Examples: requiring appointments to shop in exclusive fashion stores, charging very high rates in hotels to attract only wealthy clients
price positioning2
Price Positioning
  • Products also compete to establish the low-end position
    • Example: IKEA has positioned itself as a company that can sell its high-quality furniture for the lowest prices because the consumer assembles the furniture at home.
  • Low-price reputations must carry an adequate quality reputation as well—no one wants to buy junk!
price positioning3
Price Positioning
  • The middle pricing range is too competitive to use for positioning
  • Even if marketers could establish a brand’s identify using reasonable pricing positioning, the position would be difficult to maintain—competitors would always try to argue that their products were much more reasonably priced.
4 distribution positioning
4. Distribution Positioning
  • Some marketers use a unique sales technique and become known for their method of distribution.
    • Example: Avon Products Inc. has millions of local distributors who use catalogues to take orders from friends, co-workers, and neighbours. Avon has positioned itself as the world’s leading direct-sales cosmetic company for 100 years.
distribution positioning
Distribution Positioning
  • Companies can also position their product by placing it in a channel not used by competitors
    • Examples:
      • Jones Soda sells in clothing stores
      • was the first major bookseller to position itself as an Internet distributor and has maintained its unique distribution position
5 service positioning
5. Service Positioning
  • Providing a service not offered by competitors
    • Examples:
      • the first convenience store to remain open 24 hours-a-day year-round
      • providing tea, cookies, soft music, scented candles in a retail clothing store
      • an electronics company’s return policy, guarantee, after-sales service and installation support creates a feeling of trust and confidence
service positioning
Service Positioning
  • Drawbacks to service positioning: Once a service has been offered and the company’s position has been established, the service must be maintained. To decrease or remove the service will cause the brand’s position to change.
related terms
Related terms
  • Re-positioning involves changing the identity of a product, relative to the identity of competing products, in the minds of the target market.
  • De-positioning involves attempting to change the identity of competing products
exercise 1
  • Make a list of 2-3 things that interest you (sport, activity, hobby). Now write down 3-5 brands of products associated with each. (Try to stump the class.)Example:
  • What do these brands have in common?
    • Tachikara, Mizuma and Asics
exercise 2
  • List the first brand name that comes into your mind when you think of the following categories:
    • Cereal
    • Watches
    • Athletic shoes
    • Soft drinks
    • Hamburgers
    • Chocolate bars
    • Juice
    • Bottled water
    • Sunglasses

Explain why you think you named these brands first.

exercise 3
  • Write down each of the 5 types of positioning and beside each identify a business or brand that uses that type of positioning (not already mentioned).