Monday, April 25, 2011

Adfunda - Positioning condundrum - Part 1

Brand positioning is like Romance....You can influence someone's thoughts and feelings, but you cant make that some one fall in love with you...In brand positioning and in romance your job is to be consistent, dependable and persuasive.... If you do right things long enough, if you have targeted the right audience and if competition hasn't punched on your nose, you should achieve your goal...

A dove is a dove and whatever noise others make it has all the necessary points of parity to be a soap and hence a category membership and such strong points of difference to make all the difference...

Another example I have always got amused is the one of Sunkist which said "An orange is an orange … unless it says Sunkist." The real genius of Sunkist is how they positioned their brand by depositioning all other oranges that don’t have a Sunkist label on them as being something less than a Sunkist orange... Not that Oranges do care in a normal case but such a positioning would have given the OTHER Oranges a feeling of inferiority for sure....

So..... finding out ways by which you can be different from competitors (maintaining the POP elements for category membership BUT ALSO focusing on the POD at the same time) — in ways that your customers want, can connect to and can really appreciate – is positioning. When you position your brand you (supposedly) are demonstrating a significant why-buy-from-me advantage over the other brand options that your customers have…..You can fill a specific need of the buyer which others can fill as well, but then only you can do the way the buyer wants…

But when you produce oranges- how different can yours really be from those being grown behind your home…? How different can be your gold from the vendor’s opposite the road? Do you mean it when you claim that you have added minerals in your canned water ? How different are your branded tyres from others…(that use the same rubber)? Do you really have the bio-cool in your Air conditioners which you so blatantly advertise?.. and even if you have , does the buyer care? What meaningful differentiation can banks and such services (that all look and behave the same) have and then position on it…? 

At the functional level, products and brands can position themselves in lot many a platforms…

• Pricing strategies
• Shipping/delivery services
• Post-sale services
• Product features/benefits
• Pre-sale process
• Promotional tie-ins, sponsorships, community goodwill
• Product quality
• Support services
• Guarantees/warranties
• Packaging
• Cultural symbols etc etc

It is not cake walk .. but then that is the crux of Marketing…. If it was a cake walk, then every student facing campus interview would get through the best of jobs….Every guy would have had a successful romance to tell… Every brand would have remained in the top of the ladder....

Ask the guys at Axe who came up with"Snake Eel Shower scrub with desert minerals+Cactus oil " as ingredient and hence the differentiator in one of their produce, as to how easy was the entire job........

Tail Piece: 'Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit; Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad and spoiling it'.

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