Positioning strategy is about where you compete and how you compete. The brand could be a product, service or the organisation. Positioning is normally done for a particular product and only uses two features from the product to analyse its position. It is usually best to rely on positioning approaches when they are part of a broader analysis, which in turn helps to ensure that the whole marketing mix (personal sales, sales promotion, general advertising, public relations and sponsorship) is positioned for competitive advantage.
A positioning strategy has two components. The first is to know who you are targeting and the second is to differentiate the brand. The positioning statement has a creative platform that can project its image, such as Outsurance statement "You always get something out"
Once you have done some market research you may find that you need to reposition the brand because of; 1. the target market is too small, declining or too competitive. 2. the quality and features of the brand has no appeal. 3. product cost are too high.
There are several re-positioning options Introduce New Brand A new brand could be a fighter brand (cheap clone to maintain a foothold in the mass market) such as a new shampoo or it may even be more specialised like a scientific instrument with slightly less features but targets a new segment that only needs the basic instrument. A new brand could be an update of the old one with new features and sold with a new name
Change Existing Brand The company can change the size or packaging to bring costs down to hold its position in the market. The just noticeable difference in a product such as a snack bar from 200 grams to 170 grams may go unnoticed. The packaging is the same - with a new design and slightly smaller pack can save a huge amount in costs.
Alter Beliefs About The Brand Many products have been re-positioned successfully by altering clients beliefs about the brand. They may have a perception about the brand that you are not aware of. To promote the benefits of the brand will change the clients perception such as bottled water - who would have believed how bottled water has changed peoples drinking habits. The biggest threat for Coca-Cola is water. The other great example is Chivas Regal which was repositioned from the mass to premium markets with only changing the packaging and marketing mix. Alter Beliefs About Competitive Brands The marketing can be done very subtle by implied inferences. A cosmetic group selling natural personal care products implied that the beauty and personal care of their rivals were not environmentally friendly and they tested on animals.
Alter Attribute Importance Rates Highlighting certain attributes will enhance your differential advantage. The Volvo main attributes is that it is the safest care in the world. Mazda started promoting cheap items like spoilers, skirts, high rear view brake lights and trimming features to differentiate itself form its competitors and the promotion was very successful. Introduce New or Neglected Attributes Consumer research can highlight benefits that have not been considered such as baking soda - stain remover, citro soda, heartburn, hangover and toothpaste. Find a New Market Segment With the advent of new technologies all the time due to the NASA Space programme new segments will be created. The consumer always needs better, faster and cheaper products or services and the new growth areas are the small business user. The trick is to find a new segment and sometimes it takes risk but the rewards are astronomical.