The right positioning strategy at the right time can help a brand build a powerful image in the mind of consumer(s). From time to time, the current positioning strategy fails to resonate.
This could be due to new market entrants, changed customer preferences, structural change within the target market (such as ageing, segment creep) or simply that customers have forgotten about a brand and its position. When this happens, the company may need to consider a number of options:
* Strengthen current positioning: reinforce the concepts of features that led to customers adopting a favourable view in the first instance
* Establish a new position: look for suitable niches where customers are underserviced and occupy that space
* Reposition (or de-position): change the way customers think about the product or brand, usually through comparative advertising
Repositioning involves a deliberate attempt to alter the way that consumers view a product or brand.
Repositioning can be a high risk strategy, but sometimes there are few alternatives.
Fishbein and Rosenberg's attitude models indicate that it is possible for a business to influence and change the positioning of the brand by manipulating various factors that will affect a consumer's attitude.
Research on persons' attitudes suggests that a brand's position in a prospective consumer's mind is likely to be determined by the "combined total of a number of product characteristics such as the price, quality, durability, reliability, colour, and flavour". T
he consumer places important weights on each of these product characteristics and it can be possible by using things such as promotional efforts to realign the weights of price, quality, durability, reliability, colour and flavour of which can then help adjust the position of a brand in the mind of the prospective consumer.
Companies engaging in repositioning can choose to downplay some points of difference and emphasise others.
Repositioning a Startup
In volatile markets, it can be necessary – even urgent – to reposition an entire company, rather than just a product line or brand.
When Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley suddenly shifted from investment to commercial banks, for example, the expectations of investors, employees, clients and regulators all needed to shift, and each company needed to influence how these perceptions changed. Doing so involves repositioning the entire firm.
This is especially true of small and medium-sized firms, many of which often lack strong brands for individual product lines. In a prolonged recession, business approaches that were effective during healthy economies often become ineffective and it becomes necessary to change a firm's positioning.
Upscale restaurants, for example, which previously flourished on expense account dinners and corporate events, may for the first time need to stress value as a sale tool.
Repositioning a company involves more than a marketing challenge. It involves making hard decisions about how a market is shifting and how a firm's competitors will react. Often these decisions must be made without the benefit of sufficient information, simply because the definition of "volatility" is that change becomes difficult or impossible to predict.
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