MARKETING INTELLIGENCE & PLANNING 12,4
The theory and practice of marketing positioning strategy.
A Definition of Positioning Strategy
In the words of Doyle (1983):
Positioning strategy refers to the choice of target market segment which describes the customers a business will seek to serve and the choice of differential advantage which defines how it will compete with rivals in the segment.
The Anatomy of Marketing Positioning Strategy
Marketing Intelligence & Planning, Vol. 12 No. 4, 1994, pp. 10-14 © MCB University Press Limited, 0263-4503
This definition shows that a positioning strategy only applies at the level of a particular product and/or service operating within a particular market, and that it should not be confused with the broader concept of “corporate” strategy, or with the more specific concepts of strategy as it relates to each individual element of the marketing mix, such as a “promotional” or “pricing” strategy. The above definition also shows that a positioning strategy may be broken down into three interrelated subcomponents: (1) customer targets; (2) competitor targets; and (3) competitive advantage. In addition this process of positioning strategy formulation demands the ability to build-up a picture of the marketplace and think creatively about the interrelationships between these three sub-components. The idea is to go for a segment of the market where, by virtue of the company’s distinctive strengths, it is able to satisfy customer needs better than (or at least as well as) its competitors. This necessitates a thorough understanding of the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats profile (SWOTS) facing the firm – something which can only be achieved by a dedicated internal (company), competitor, and customer/ market analysis. Once a positioning plan has been finalized it is translated into action by assembling an appropriate marketing mix. The popular four P’s definition of the marketing mix... [continues]
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