Selecting an Overall Positioning Strategy
The full positioning of a brand is called the brand’s value proposition—the full mix of benefits on which a brand is differentiated and positioned. It is the answer to the customer’s question “Why should I buy your brand?” Volvo’s value proposition hinges on safety but also includes reliability, roominess, and styling, all for a price that is higher than average but seems fair for this mix of benefits. The figure shows possible value propositions on which a company might position its products. In the figure, the five green cells represent winning value propositions— differentiation and positioning that gives the company competitive advantage. The red cells, however, represent losing value propositions. The center yellow cell represents at best a marginal proposition. In the following sections, we discuss the five winning value propositions on which companies can position their products: more for more, more for the same, the same for less, less for much less, and more for less.
More for More. “More-for-more” positioning involves providing the most upscale product or service and charging a higher price to cover the higher costs. Four Seasons hotels, Rolex watches, Mercedes automobiles, SubZero appliances—each claims superior quality, craftsmanship, durability, performance, or style and charges a price to match. Not only is the market offering high in quality, but it also gives prestige to the buyer. It symbolizes status and a loftier lifestyle. Often, the price difference exceeds the actual increment in quality. Sellers offering “only the best” can be found in every product and service category, from hotels, restaurants, food, and fashion to cars and household appliances. Consumers are sometimes surprised, even delighted, when a new competitor enters a category with an unusually high-priced brand. Starbucks coffee entered as a very expensive brand in a commodity category. When Apple premiered its iPhone, it offered...
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