Thereis no specific meaning of positioning w accepted by many marketingexperts (Brinckerhoff, 2010). As defined by David Ogilvy, positioningis the concept behind the idea of what a product does and thetargeted market (Wang, & Pizam, 2011). Another definition of wasprovided by Jack Trout in 1969 in his article, ‘IndustrialMarketing.’ He defines positioning as a tool used by customers toorganize new information in a logical manner. This definition stemsfrom the fact that undesirable advertising more often than not leavesa client overwhelmed (Dou, Lim, Su, Zhou, & Cui, 2010). In thearticle, ‘Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind,’ Ries and Trouthave expanded the definition of positioning (Doyle, 2011). They claimthat positioning is an act of having organized systems used foridentifying an opening in a customer’s way of thinking (Akaka, &Alden, 2010). In essence, it talks about finding out a need of apotential client and delivering the right things at the right time(Gamble, Gilmore, McCartan-Quinn, & Durkan, 2011). One of themost common definitions is that positioning is the perceptioncustomer has on a particular brand.
Thesource of the idea of positioning is still controversial. The idea ofpositioning can be traced back to the 1920s when the concept ofmarket segmentation was used to conduct an advertising campaign(Samiee, 2011). The concept did not get published until the 1950s. Inthe early years of the 20th century, marketing experts employed thecompetitor based techniques when developing not only marketsegmentation but also product positioning (Parameswaran, & Jacob,2011). It was at a time when the concept was not put intoconsideration as a marketing literature. The key players whopioneered the development of the idea of brand and productpositioning in the 1960s are Jack Trout and Al Ries (De Mooij, 2013).In their early marketing literature, both Jack Trout and Al Ries haveexplained that the concept entailing positioning got widely employedby businesses which operated in 1930 to 40s. Marketing experts havealso mentioned that another key figure behind the pioneering of theidea of positioning is David Ogilvy. In his writing, the pioneerwrote that deciding on the position of a product is one of the mostimportant decisions in business (Fifield, 2012). As a result, everyperson, be it in the management or executive position shouldcontribute to the decision on brand positioning. The importance ofthe decision is part of the long-term investment of business. Recordshave shown that Ogilvy might have employed the idea of brandpositioning during some of the campaigns he conducted during the 50sand 60s (Gammoh, Koh, & Okoroafo, 2011). These drives happenedwell before the marketing literature was written by Jack Trout and AlRies were published. One of the infamous campaigns associated toOgilvy is the 1957 Dove campaign. The campaign sought to position adetergent bar soap for mainly men to wash their hands. However, thecampaign chose to position itself as a toilet bar and utilized bywomen who possess dry skin.
Developinga Positioning Statement
Theprocess of determining the position a business should take is one ofthe most important decisions that the executives have to make(Harrison-Walker, 2011). It is the STP approach that guides thedecision on the positioning. The STP approach stands forsegmentation, targeting and positioning. All these are decisionlevels which affect decision making (Chowdhury, 2013). When onethinks of segmentation, one will come to understand that it is aprocess of dividing a business market into subgroups (segments).Targeting, on the other hand, describes the target market and lastly,the positioning refers to the strategy a company will employ to maketheir particular brand occupy a specific position.
Examplesof Positioning in Marketing
Valuepositioning is one the common techniques a business can use to selectan excellent position. It is a strategy utilized by a majority of thesmall businesses. The method relies mainly on the lowering of pricebeyond the industry averages (Balcezak, & D`aquila, 2014). It isa technique which appeals to those clients who pay close attention tothe pricing of the product. In other words, it focuses on the pricesensitive customers. This technique gets directed towards thosepeople considered having middle to low income (GUAN, & LI, 2015).It is the most efficient positioning strategy during periods ofrecession and when there is slow economic growth.
Qualitypositioning is an example of a positioning which focuses on thequality of the product. Small and growing businesses aim at providingthe products that are of high quality (Kazmi, 2007). Companies thatexhibit this nature are those that have high levels of technology.Some small organizations may strive to become a leading organizationin utilizing a particular technology. Therefore, it is essential thatthey try to make quality one of their core competency (Praeg, &Spath, 2011). Many businesses which employ this form of positioningsee themselves as leaders in quality (Gursoy, Chen, & Kim, 2005).Many of the companies adopting this positioning place their productsabove the average product in a particular industry (Verma, 2006). Thereason for this heightened price is to try and recover the cost spenton research and production.
Itis a technique of positioning where a company employs variousdemographics including gender and age for marketing their products(Martins, Yusuf, & Swanson, 2012). One example concerns the factthat a company can manufacture vitamins with their target marketbeing above 50 years of age (Academy of Marketing Science, In Hawes,& In Thanopoulos, 2015). One will come to find that the marketingstrategy they are likely to employ advertising messages which centerupon the nutrients which will appeal to the older folks (Mort, &Drennan, 2005). It is similar to those companies which target womenusing not only their beverages but also cigarettes.
Itis a positioning strategy which employs competitive positioningstrategy (Martyshenko, 2011). It is a technique which seeks toreposition the position of a particular product in the mind of acustomer as a result of competition (Lucas, & Kirillova, 2011). Acompany can employ comparative advertising in an attempt todemonstrate the superiority of their brand (Porter, 2011). This formof positioning has been used extensively by software companies(Martos-Partal, & González-Benito, 2011). A software company’scustomer service may market their products using aggressiveadvertising in an attempt to counter a claim made by a competitorconcerning the superiority of their customer service.
Tosum up, the paper has provided information on the positioning,history, and examples of positioning employed by various businesses.Despite the fact that positioning has no particular definition, manypeople have come to accept the definition which says that it is theperception a customer develops on each specific product they use(Fuchs, & Diamantopoulos, 2010). In other words, positioninghelps distinguish their products from their competitors. Thepositioning a product should take dependent on the features of aparticular product. The paper leaves room for more information to beprovided on the issue of positioning.
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