The marketing landscape is rapidly changing, objectivity is needed. Mounting competition from emerging markets, market fragmentation, the explosion of the media landscape, the growing importance of word-of-mouth and the rise of consumer control are all making marketing increasingly complex and the value of strong brands ever more explicit.
- Competition is increasing, as more products jockey for position in crowded markets. Look at any aisle next time you do your weekly shop.
- Consumers are now “market experts” within minutes, thanks to the internet on smartphones and ipads
- Differences in product quality within categories are no longer so stark, therefore consumers evaluate wider issues such as the pedigree of the company, i.e. ethical and environmental considerations – “What is it’s green policy? Is it an ethical employer?” The company has become as important as the product itself.
- Media consumption is now so divergent. Whilst a prime time TV ad may have reached the target audience (and many more) by default in the ’80s, now multi-platforms and multi-content mean messages must be bang on content and medium to succeed.
Therefore companies must establish:
- What associations must a brand evoke in the target audience?
- How can the brand be differentiated from it’s competitors?
Positioning ensures a brand stands out; attracting the attention of consumers and evoking associations that entice the consumer to buy that product. Products can easily be copied, but unique and relevant positioning make a product’s market place a lot harder to steal.
Positioning is a framework, providing very clear lines on which a product should be promoted. The clearer these lines are defined the greater the success of the differentiation.