Positioning

When we talk about positioning, we have to be aware of the fact that you position related to something (a competitor, a product etc).

In order to understand “positioning” you have to understand the areas of Marketing.

There are 3 types of areas in marketing

  1. The era of the product: the demand is more important than the product (no competition)
  2. The era of the image (some competition)
  3. The era of the positioning (a lot of competition). The struggle her is to “mean something” for your customers.

The consumer has more possibilities than ever in their selection but less time to select.

What is positioning?

Position a product, a brand, a company, yourself an idea in the minds of the consumer. It’s all about to utilize what already is in the mind of the consumer and “reorder” the connections already existing.

Example: If you can’t stat that you are number, one make clear that you are number 2. AVIS: “As we are no 2 we make more effort”. It’s about looking for the strengths of the others and find the weaknesses of their leadership (a war strategy).

In Marketing, the important thing is the perception (may not always be the reality of the product). You have to focus on the way you are “perceived”. It’s a war about perception of the concept, not about the product. Example iphone 5 versus other smart phones that are better in quality, but the perception is what counts.

How to position

It is done in 2 phases:

  1. Identify what is your brands (the synthesis of the brand)
  2. Identify strategies in communication

How to identify the brand values

1)    Brand identity

  1. Core brand value (essential value/benefits)
  2. Extended value (product + organization +personality+ symbols)

2)    what offers the brand

  1. functional benefits
  2. emotional
  3. projective

3)    The positioning: is the mix between brand identity and what the brand offers

Identify which word is “your word”. That is your core (and in relation to others).

The positioning of the brand is the key benefit expressed in one word and you must make sure that the differentiator is included.

Identify strategies in communication

  1. Work through the “identity map” (placing all the words that you relate to your brand) you need to look at what the strengths and weaknesses are of your competition
  2. Develop the “word/line” to position

It is important to be the first (nobody remembers whom was the second on the moon, the second pilot to cross the Atlantic, the second longest river etc…). The main brand removes in the minds of the consumers all information about the second brand. There is little space for 2nd and 3rd.

The first brand, idea, company that has gained the position in the minds of the consumers, it is hard to change. To get the first position you must be sure to:

  1. Have a perfect concept AND
  2. Have an excellent execution (it is common that the second one executes better takes the no 1 position in the minds of the consumer). I.e. LCI of Nestlé versus Actimel of Danone.

You must position something in a mind you need a mind that does not have an already positioning idea; the hard thing is to enter a mind where there is always a predefined idea.

The slogan

You must be able to take away the brand and just by the rest you should understand what brand you are talking about. E.g. “XX, takes care of your cloths like your mother”. It has to be right on target to your main target word. A word that is differentiating you from your competition. It could be emotional, it could be related to a benefit you get or just a “concept”.

It is very important to set a word that people relates to the brand. Positioning is to create a new category. A category that affect the mental stairs.

About mental stairs

  1. You create your own reference maps.
  2. The mind has learned to order the ideas in mental stairs.

The goal is to get the highest position in that stairs.

There 4 characteristics of a “category”

  1. There is a  need to be satisfied
  2. There must be users
  3. There must be user-situations
  4. The product or service must satisfy these needs

How to create a new category (example of category Safe Cars)

You should have as an objective to take the first position within that category. The interest is to be the leader of “things”. If you are second in a category it’s very often better to create a new category, but of course, to create a new category you must work hard to create it.

What is a category: e.g. “safe cars”. 

You target must be VERY specific. If you just target that kind of people you should target that type of people. If you start to try to focus on other targets, you will not be able to strengthen your brand (with the values you have given it or the positioning you are holding).

First you ask yourself:

  1. what is the use you try to reach
  2. what is the audience that have this need
  3. what is the need you try to cover

Based on this, you develop a product/service that meets that need

How to know if a “category” is working?

The two magic R, is “repetition” and “recommendation”. This is a way to know if your category is working.

Due to this you need to start with a specific target, you can not try to target them all at the same time. When you are strong within one user, you can target others (e.g. Nintendo. First for children, l when it was strong, the Brain training was invented).

The category is “if you want for example refreshing drinking you order Coca-Cola”, if you want an energetic drink you order Red-Bull”. If the benefit you are satisfying is what you are, it is perfect.

Types of positioning

There are different types of positioning. These are some of them

    • The second. If you can’t be number 1, make it clear that you are number 2

 

  • The “without”. Make sure that you do something “without” something
  • By “size”. If everybody goes for big, you go for small. E.g.
  • By “price”.
  • High price (If you say that you are “the most expensive” you give the image of having the best quality)
  • Low price (You position your brand for being the cheapest e.g. DIA)
  • By gender. E.g. Malboro
  • By age. E.g. Cola-Cao = young, Nesquick = the youngster (pepsi for the young)
  • By the authentic, the genuine (“the real thing”)

 

You have to think “to be something to somebody”. You have to take a position. You must focus on one use, one user and one need.

How to reposition a brand

8000 words are what a student has in its mind. 12 000 brands is what a supermarket has in terms of brand. There is no space for these brands. What you need to do, is to “kick out” an existing brand to take that position. You have to find “the true”, “the differentiation” “the why not the others but this one”.

Putting a name to the brand

It should help you to position your brand. Therefore, you must think about the name in relation to what it is that you want to say with your brand. 

One way to create a positioning and brand could be to associate to an already existing known brand or knowledge.

What is your experience of positioning?

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Introduction to the External and Internal Analysis of your Strategic Marketing Plan

Getting started with the Analytical Phase of a Strategic Marketing Plan

In many companies the VP Marketing is the one that should drive the planning of the strategies related to product-market. Who would know better what the market wants, who the audience is and when to launch what? This role is the one that should know what products should be produced by the production department and sold by the sales department, based on his or her in-depth analysis of the market, the audience, the history of the company and the internal environment. In a Strategic Plan, you define which business is the one to focus on and in the Strategic Marketing Plan you focus on what products within that business you should focus on for what market, what segmentation strategies to apply, position on the market. Information vital in order to set the marketing mix – the action plan for implementing the defined strategies.

The analytical phase is composed by two mayor areas, the external and the internal analysis. The idea with applying these two analysis is to have a good base for making the diagnose of the situation: which are the opportunities, what threats should we be aware of, which strengths should we empower and which are the weaknesses this company or offering will meet on the studied market.

Working through the Market Analysis

The aim of the analysis is to know the historical evolution of the company, the marketclients and the providers in order to identify what opportunities and threats this market presence.

Naturally, you start with the External analysis – (includes the market analysis, the analysis of the customer, the providers and the competitors) but work in parallell with the internal analysis because you have to study the external side to understand what your internal strengths and weaknesses are. In next post I go through the external analysis and steps to take within that area.

What experiences would you like to share on the analytical phase of your Strategic Marketing Plan?

Creating a Strategic Marketing Plan from scratch

It is time to refresh some knowledge, pick up the books, study some new stuff and apply what you learn, in reality. I’m talking about the phenomena: study. A high percentage of my time-off-work will be spent on a Master in Marketing for the coming months  and my plan is to reflect the steps I’m will be taking, but applied on my project www.teterum.com to make it more “down-to-earth”.

For every step taken in this process I will add a link to the post here:

Steps to take when setting up a Marketing Plan 

Three different phases will take us through these steps 

PHASE 1

1) Analysis of the External environment (see intro)
2) Analysis of the Internal environment (see intro)
3) Diagnostic of the situation (SWOT etc)

PHASE 2

4) Taking strategic decisions
–          Setting mission, vision, values, corporate culture
–          Corporate strategies
Defining the business
Defining the portfolio of products or services
Defining competitive strategies
Defining strategies for growth
–          Functional strategies

PHASE 3

5) Taking operational decisions
–          Action plans
–          Prioritization of activities
–          Budgeting and financials

The project

The project I have chosen is the one I launched with Ivan Ruiz Sevilla in September. We are still making changes and listening a lot to our customers for the pilot market – Spain –  we decided to go for.

This is the perfect project to work with as it’s a Start-Up project based on a MVP (Minimum Viable Product) strategy with a limited time of test time to detect the market demand.

Have you worked with a Marketing Plan lately that you would like to share? More than happy to share experiences