Positioning the process of designing an image and value so that consumers with the target segment understand what the company or brand stands for in relation to its competitors. It also refers to the place an offering occupies in consumers minds on important attributes related to competitive offerings.
Positioning is not actually something that is done to product; rather it is something that is done to minds of consumers by marketers. It relates to now consumers perceive the product in terms of competing offerings
This is used as a communication tool to reach target customers in a crowded market place the concept is still the positioning of the product service in the mind of the customers. The approach is needed because the customers are bombaroled with a continuous stream of advertising. This is also because it is quite difficult to change a customer’s impression once it is formed.
Customers rank brands in their minds, if a brand is not number one, then to be successful, somehow must relate itself to the number one brand.
The easiest way of getting into someone’s mind is to be first practically is easy to remember who is first and much more difficult to remember who is second when there is a clear market leader in the mind of the customer, it can be nearly impossible to displace the leader, especially in the short term unless a firm relate itself to the market leader so that it can increase the market share. Note its mistake to challenge the market leader head on and try to displace it. This is so because the leader can do what ever to get read of you out of market using its competitive advantage and its resources
The main approaches of product or service positioning are head to head and ‘’differentiation’’ positioning approach
Head to head positioning involves competing direct with competitors on similar product attributes, for example, Mobile telecommunications service providers (TNM and AIRTETL) here in Malawi, and one can use this approach to another.
Differentiation positioning involves seeking a less competitive smaller inch in which to allocate a brand. The issue is not economy but prestige premium and high prices are charged. Quality is the concern and not loss
In more case product positioning perceptual maps are used. A key positioning a product effectively is the perceptions of customers.
Evaluations of the important attributes for a product class rating of an ideal brands attributes and judgments of existing brands with the important attributes is the data that companies obtain from customers, from these kind of data perceptual map is developed Below is an example of positioning for travel agencies.
Source: foster (1997)
The above diagram suggest that the segments of customers labeled ‘specialist’ ‘price buster’ and so on require differing degree of control over travel/ tour buying process and with the degree of specialized or standardized ‘package’ the agency provides. There are more several matrixes that are designed and used in positioning. In this case below is now the example of retail store.
Breadth of product line
The above retail positioning map shows possible positions. An organization can be successful in any box but unique strategies are required with each quadrant.
In this case, Shoprite has high value added and a broad product line. Merchandise in the column often has a high margin of profit and of high quality.
Game has low added and a broad line. Retailers in this quadrant focus on price with low level and on image of being a place for good buys.
Chitawira has high value added and narrow line. Retailers of this type typically sell a very restricted range of products that are of high status quality. Customers are also provided with...
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