Chapters 13 & 14 – “Building Brand YOU!” – by Omar Abedin

Chapter 13 Positioning (how are you positioned against competition and what’s your strategy to WIN?)

A brand’s competitive positioning is the foundational discipline upon which the brand’s identity is built. It highlights the source of the brand’s advantage – the source of its differentiation.

It is the brand’s unique promise in comparison to competition…

The brand positioning answers the consumer’s four big questions with regards to any brand:

1. What kinds of people use it?

2. What kind of thing is it?

3. What makes it the one for me?

4. Why should I believe that?

A positioning statement looks like this:

To the (Core Target Market),

Brand X is the (Frame of Reference)

That delivers (an Owned Benefit)

Because (Reason to Believe)…

Let’s see if you can guess what brand this positioning statement is for:

“For those who do creative things with computers, Brand _____________ is
The computer brand
That’s their creative partner
Because it is easy to use, and very, very cool.”

If you guessed Apple, you were right. In fact, this positioning could not be true for any other brand. Therein lies its power. Now do you understand the power of a truly differentiated positioning?

Let’s try another one.

“For those planning a vacation the whole family will love,
Brand _____________ is
The theme park
That pleases the child in everyone
Because it is a magical world of characters that they love.”

Could it be any other park than Disney? No, not by a long shot.

So, the next question is – can this be applied to a person? Well, let’s see if you can figure out who this is?

“For those people sick of the right wing conservative media with its clearly defined agenda,
___________________ is
The must-watch political pundit / satirist
Who uses well-researched & scathing humour to expose the foibles & follies of those who would take America down a conservative, right wing path
Because his unique delivery, style, East Coast sensibilities & unerring sense of humour make his show the most-watched in its segment and great fun to boot!

Who could this be? Well, if you guessed Jon Stewart, the erstwhile host of the late night Daily Show on Comedy Central, you would be right? Could it be anyone else?

How about this person?

“For those who enjoy liberal political views and a heavy dose of satire in their political commentary,
___________________ is
The ‘faux conservative’ political pundit
Who plays a self-obsessed, ultra-conservative, right wing, ‘job creator’ on his show
Because he can make his point most effectively while keeping his audience in splits the entire time.

Anyone? It’s Steven Colbert (pronounced Col-berr as you well know :) of course. Who else could it be?

Those who are affiliated with these ‘brands’ would be able to tell you many, many things about them. What do people affiliated with you say? What does your brand’s positioning look like?

There are some rules of positioning that you need to be aware of:

1. If you are going to ‘compete’ in a particular category, you need to deliver on the ‘cost-of-entry’ factors in the category. E.g. if you want to be known as the go-to guy in the Finance team, you better be hot stuff in Finance. If you want to be Dad #1, then you will need to invest the time with, and put out the love to, your family – that leads to being awarded this highest of honours.

2. After you have delivered on the ‘cost-of-entry’, realize that you can’t differentiate yourself on this. This is simply a factor you have to deliver on just to be considered. As an example, if you are not capable of running the hundred metres in 10-11 seconds, don’t even bother trying to compete in the category of “world-class sprinters”…

3. Whoever is considered the leader in your chosen category, owns all the perceptions related to that category. For example, if one of the moms on your block is currently regarded as “Best Mom”, she will automatically be seen as the most caring mom, the one most likely to go the extra mile for her kids. If that’s you – great. If its not, and you want it to be, recognize that you will need to find a different Brand Essence to own.

4. You cannot be all things to all people. Its simply not possible, and the sooner you recognize that, the better off you will be.

5. Anyone trying to take on the mantle of leadership has to position relative to the leader. If you are the leader in your particular category, realize that everyone else is positioning relative to you.

6. You know the old adage “You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression”? Well, it’s absolutely true. The first impression is also the last impression – and it is terribly difficult to change. So put some thought into your positioning – it is a long-term decision, with really long-term ramifications.

7. And last but not least – every way the brand – YOU – touches your consumer must be consistent with the Brand Positioning. Inconsistency is Death.

Remember, the brand positioning answers the four big questions with regards to any brand:

1. What kinds of people use it?

2. What kind of thing is it?

3. What makes it the one for me?

4. Why should I believe that?

Before we start detailing each of these areas together, let’s take a step back and decide what your overall strategy options are. This is straight from the war manuals of Sun Tzu, and others. It is deep. Think it through. After all, it is your future we are talking about. Let’s go on.

Chapter 14 What’s your positioning strategy?

There are six major positioning strategies that are generally available to brands in today’s hyper-competitive world. They can work equally well for Brand YOU.

1. Remain the leader

If you own something unique and sustainable in the hearts & minds of your audience – never let it go. Even if it goes out of fashion, or becomes less popular for some reason… Don’t abandon it, instead build on it. You can shape it, redirect it – but walking away from it is not even possible, even if it were desirable. No, own it – really own it. Make it yours, so that no one can take it away from you. E.g. If you are the go-to person in the sales support team that the entire sales team relies on for timely and accurate data – BE that person. Embrace it. Build on it to branch out into new areas of expertise that you can also bring in to your ‘franchise’.

2. Take the leader head-on

For the record, strategy #2 is rarely recommended, because if you try and take away the leadership mantle from someone by trying to stand for the exact same thing that they stand for – you will end up strengthening their position, and they will not even bother to thank you for it. The only time this works is when you can demonstrate a tangible, ownable benefit that is currently not being offered – and deliver that benefit with a bang that you can own. E.g. If you want to be seen as ‘the power finance guy’ in your outfit, but this capsule currently belongs to someone else, you will need to do something major to take that mantle from them. Go back to school. Get another degree. It will require a major investment, and there are sometimes better and faster ways of achieving similar results. BTW, I’m not for one second recommending that you NOT invest in continuing education – I think it is a must in today’s competitive environment, and is one the few enduring sources of competitive advantage you can own – truly own. But sometimes, there are practical reasons that prevent you from going back to school immediately. Don’t lose heart – there is always another way.

3. Assault the leader’s relative weakness

Every leader, no matter how powerful, how strong, has an Achilles’ heel. A weakness. If you can find that, you can exploit it to create a powerful positioning strategy for yourself that will endure – and really help you to differentiate yourself in the long-term. E.g. If the capsule you are trying to own is ‘Best Dad Ever!’ and it is currently owned by a neighbour who seems to do everything right, invest some time to study the real needs of your ‘consumers’ – your kids. Do they really need you to be buying them stuff? Or would they prefer that you take out an hour in the evening to play outdoors with them? How important is that to you? Can you come home at 5pm to be able to do that? How about making it a point to go out camping with the kids on the weekend – even if it is only in the back yard? Once you find the thing that your neighbour is not doing, despite being seen as Dad #1, and start doing it with heart, consistently, you will find that you will soon become that person and own the capsule that you are looking for.

4. Take a vulnerable target market

Find a consumer group that the current leader is not speaking to, not appealing to, and speak to them in a way that they ‘get’ you, and truly understand the benefit that you bring to the table versus anyone else. E.g. If there is already a ‘go-to’ person for the sales team to turn to, is there another group of under-served ‘customers’ that you can impress with your work, your credentials, and your attitude? Perhaps your own team? Perhaps the operations team? Who knows how many people or groups of people are not currently aware of your abilities, your amazing skills? Find a new group and wow them.

5. Turn the tables

If the capsule you want – or are angling for – is owned by someone else, here’s another strategy that can be quite effective. Find the source of their strength, and turn it into a weakness. E.g. If someone works 24/7, that can be construed as a person incapable of achieving work-life balance. A person who leaves on the dot at 5pm – because they have a life – can be presented as someone unwilling to go the extra mile for your boss (your number one customer at work, remember?)… And so on.

6. Open new territory

Sometimes, despite all your best efforts, your unceasing attempts to differentiate yourself go unanswered and unrewarded. At that point, it is time to change the game. Whether it involves leaving an unappreciative boss, or getting out of a negative relationship, the decision to get out is always a difficult and sometimes painful one. Remember this – there will always be a situation out there that works better for you. Keep looking. Don’t compromise. Life is too short to be unappreciated and unrewarded – and underpaid. Find what you are good at – what your real identity is – and be that person.

Be the brand.
You can do it.

140 thoughts on “Chapters 13 & 14 – “Building Brand YOU!” – by Omar Abedin

  1. Regarding strategy no. 4, the leader is usually appealing to the best market. Example, the already existing go-to person for the sales team will be recognized by the most influential members. Finding a group of under-served customers at that point is not likely to have the same impact. The reason those customers are under-served may be because of the very fact that they do not have as much say in the organization.

  2. There had been quite a few questions lingering in my mind about brand positioning which is quite succinctly been stated in point 3 & 4 chapter 13.

    “and you want it to be, recognize that you will need to find a different Brand Essence to own.”

    “You cannot be all things to all people. Its simply not possible, and the sooner you recognize that, the better off you will be.”

    Just thinking out loud: it is important to stay true to yourself, in your own skin, in your own special way.

  3. I totally agree with the positioning strategy mentioned above but sharing my personal problem that i know who my customers are and what benefits i may give to them but I am unable to give them a reason to believe. I have been working on this one for quite some time but so far not coming up with something effective. In my point of view, reason to believe completes the whole package of positioning.

    For chapter 14, what if you are associated with something which you dont want, e.g. you are associated with your expertise in sales but you want to be in the brands because that is where your zone of authority lies, how can you change this? Also I personally believe that you dont need to go head on with competition or play dirty (as mention in turning the table), we all should know where we are heading to and what is our winning point.

  4. Occupy a position in the minds of your consumers. A position which is unique and differentiated from related prevailing brands in the market. You are solely responsible for getting a distinct position in the competitive market thus, positioning requires prudent investment of your time, money and efforts. Your position will revolve around the market leader. Among all the positioning strategies mentioned above, what i believe the best is exploiting the competitor’s weakness, their weakness is an opportunity for you to strengthen your position.

  5. Well working on your own unique thing is a good way to be remembered by your consumer’s. And it would eventually differentiate you from being a brand rather than a product. But someone like me would also try to expertise in other areas as well. To be good in all aspects is what our society needs at this time. Also working on our competitor’s strength and weakness is a good idea and adapting their weakness as our strength also helps us to cover extra miles and be the unique brand that our competitor’s could not compete.

  6. I personally like the below mentioned two strategies. After reading this I realized that I am already working on the 1st one and will be practicing the 2nd one as well.

    1-Take the leader head-on
    2-Assault the leader’s relative weakness

    After completing my BBA I joined a diploma course in the field of Freight Forwarding and by the end of April 2014 I will be a certified FIATA- Freight Forwarder and till June 2014 I will get done with my MBA. Completion of these two programs will automatically add value to myself. I will be in a better position compared to any other guy in my department.

  7. You need to invest time & effort in order to be recognize in that particular category. Positioning strategies helps us in differentiation our selves from others. In order to compete with our competitors we should be best in our area so that we own it !!

  8. I get the positioning part but wouldn’t it affect the connection or growing one consumer base??? as being a mass product or a premium one set the segment size to which you will cater and if the positioning is high one cant cater to many so the brand is restricting the segment so it can not bring every one on board and if position it for mass then the core consumer may not be focused well so how to create a balance and the positioning strategy I personally think that there are always markets to be explored so opening new territories is the best strategy for positioning

  9. I have practiced one of these strategies and they have worked for me. When I started working, my training started from the field. where I had to meet people and generate sales. To differentiate myself at work, I focused on one segment of customers that the business was not working on. Eventually I became the only specialized individual in that field.
    Even though, I am much younger and inexperienced compared to everyone else in my workplace, I have managed to develop a strength which has made me the go-to person in that area.

  10. While going through the chapters, I was constantly evaluating myself, whether I follow the rules of positioning. So if I want to be the Go-To-Person in my office, I need to be an expert in the core task of Media Planning. Also, in order to own all the perceptions in Media Planning, I need to be considered as the leader in Media Planning. All actions I take at work, should be consistent to my brand positioning.

  11. When i read all the positioning strategies mentioned in the chapters above, i recognized most of the brands because i am familiar with those brands and have a strong perception about them in my mind whether positive or negative. Obviously if the brand is not that strong and doesnot have a usp, it would have been really difficult for me to figure out whose brand positioning statement are we talking about. So i think, every brand needs to have a unique thing about it which could differentiate it from another brand and only then you would know how its positioned in front of their consumers.

  12. These chapters lay emphasis on the importance of not only the positioning statement but also the strategy which follows right after. When applying this to the chosen brand for class assignments I figured that it could most rightly use a combination of two strategies; Establishing leadership and opening new territory. Can the same be done for Brand “YOU”?

    The best way is to choose one single positioning strategy, which highlights where you stand instead of developing a Jack of all trades, master of none reputation amongst your contemporaries.

  13. It is true that you cannot be all things to all people. You need to choose a strategy to position your brand. for example if you are a new brand entering the market you can not directly aim to “Assault the leader’s relative weakness” you need to first make it to there where you can finally take a step ahead and claim to be the leader and better than your competitors. At the moment either you can “Open new territory” or “take the vulnerable market.”

    .

  14. Strategy 5: Turn the tables seems a bit unethical to me. Isn’t it wrong to make someone else look bad in the eyes of your customer, let’s say your boss, just so you appear more dedicated and smarter to him? I think the right way to apply this strategy is to make the customer see and appreciate your good qualities rather than highlighting the weaknesses of your colleagues. Opening new territories requires most of us to overcome one of our biggest fear – change. Yes it’s true that sometimes change become inevitable but I think most of us are afraid of taking that leap of faith because we think what if it’s worse on the other side. That’s certainly one of my biggest fears.

    1. Thanks for sharing an honest concern Sarah. I’m not recommending you do anything unethical, and making your co-worker look bad is not a viable strategy. Instead, if you know those weaknesses, and are able to creatively fill the gap left by those weaknesses, you steer clear of this dilemma, and are recognized for your own strengths.
      To your second point, change is inevitable, and fearing it is natural – and a complete waste of time. You may as well be afraid of the sun rising tomorrow – it doesn’t change the fact that the sun will rise. The question is – what will you do then? Make hay or hide under a rock? The choice is always in our hands…

  15. Brand positioning statement for brand ME? Interesting but very difficult.Would love to BABAGOI (build a bridge and get over it) as recommended by you earlier. I may have different positioning statements for all the different target audiences in my life.
    I also believe that “cog in the wheel” should also be a positioning strategy because many people (and brands) choose to exist that way.

  16. ‘“You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression”? …The first impression is also the last impression – and it is terribly difficult to change.’ Completely agree with how first impressions may shape the continuation of that same image for a while, but what about advertising? What about companies recognising and addressing the issues, and using powerful advertising and innovation to change the perception? That could be likely, though of course not easy.

  17. While all the positioning strategies will help you to out shine in your respective field but I believe alongside one should keep pushing themselves to keep doing better. If someone is good something, they need to keep raising the bar for themselves and keep innovating in their respective areas of expertise to sustain in their companies or lives. This will allow them to be the leader increasing their proficiency in their particular fields.

  18. Brand positioning for an individual can actually be the deciding factor on how its core target audience treat them and at the same time respect them.

    An investment into the position is obviously a core effort that should be made for themselves.

  19. After the brand capsule, one needs to recognize the positioning strategy that the brand needs to adopt. It is not necessary to use only one kind of strategy, a combination at times works as well, however, it is recommended to take on one positioning strategy because it is always better to specialize in one thing rather than taking on the challenge of being good at everything.

  20. I agree brand positioning strategy plays a vital role in defining our brand, as at this point we know with the help of consumer insight and funnel about where we stand and BPS is a step forward is deciding where we see ourselves either the leader, follower etc. Now its up to us to decide where we as a brand are positioning ourselves and what we are aiming for. I think with these goals set it becomes really easy for a person to make better choices.

  21. I think a positioning statement is more like identifying or finding yourself by standing in you own shoes and Competitive Positioning is Finding or recognizing yourself by standing in other peoples shoes which is equally that important. Once this is established – you know your ground. Henceforth it is time for concentrating and establishinhg great focus on your competitors with invest of time and money. Positioning strategy then becomes your goal for survival as it determines your company/brands growth. One must not keep differentiating itself but also to identify the weaknesses of the most powerful brands in play. In other words Dont work Hard, Work Smart. A rule that also applies to Brand Building

  22. Strategy 5, sounds a bit harsh, the use of the word ‘exploit’ only serves to emphasize that. However, it is true that the best possible strategy for an individual is to look for other ways to stand out among the crowd, not necessarily using strategy 5, but looking inwards and within yourself, where your talent lies and what you can do best will help you determine your positioning. It is important to note that we are not all the same, we have different talents and capabilities and by trying to beat the best at something they are the best at only makes you look the second best in comparison.

  23. Whats your strategy will going to be comes later depending on the brand but the important thing before that is knowing where do we stand. ‘Take the leader head-on’ might seem to be very exciting but stepping ahead we should do our homework and know where we stand. I might for some cases as i said depending on the brand, but who wants to wake the giant from a nap?

  24. Brand positioning statement is like the skeleton of the brand. Once you know what your BPS is, I am pretty sure you can work your way out. Knowing your target audience, category of the brand, its benefit and most importantly giving them a reason to believe is all what a consumer wants to satisfy himself that this is MY brand. For us a brand, I believe “Open new territory” or “take the vulnerable market” are two vital and possible ways to position your brand.

  25. I believe strategy number 2 and 3 are relatively same. Mainly because if your taking the leader head on, one will obviously assault its relative weakness.
    Also before implementing such strategies, it is essential to identify the nature of the industry, either its monopoly or perfect competition and most importantly the nature of the product offerings to it core customers.

    1. Actually Usman, that’s not the case. Taking a brand head on means trying to own what they own today in the consumers’ mind… offering exactly the same benefit in fact. This is very hard to do, because when you are communicating this, what people are actually hearing is the name of the brand you are attacking – not your brand. This is called brand transference – where you see an ad for one brand, but recall another. This is one of the reasons that this strategy is not recommended…

  26. Brand positioning is in relation to the competition, i.e. the uniqueness which we may possess. It is about the benefits which competitors are not offering. To be a leader in a category, there has to be a benefit not being offered by any one else and to offer that THING, time and investment are required.

  27. I’m a strong believer in opening new territories with the brand you because there is always something new and interesting that you bring to the table. I’ve often stuck out as a sore thumb between my own friends (some of whom I spend the most time with) but it also enables me to interact with all sorts of people, something that I’ve come to enjoy and feel proud of.

  28. Positioning is very important and depends on four key questions:Target audience, Product category, owned benefit and Reason to belief.And other rules of positioning is very vital to learn and implement.

    Six major positiong strategies:Remain the leader,take the leader head on, assault the leader’s weakness,take a vulnerable target market, turn the table and open new territories.are very well explained.These should be adopted according o the situation to deal with.

    Thankyou

  29. The two chapters talk about brand positioning and positioning strategies. To succeed in the real world it is necessary to evaluate yourself and understand where best to position yourself. Positioning can make or break the whole game so it must be done very carefully. Regarding positioning strategy, it is yet another task that if done incorrectly can destroy your brand completely or give the opponent better position than they already had.

  30. Positioning is the heart and soul of a brand and a sizable amount of time, money and effort should be placed into it for it to effectively reap long term benefits.

    I take the positioning strategies in a thematic/ story way. First Consider you are the leader, you should then try to remain the leader. If not, then take the leader head on (if you are close in terms of market share, otherwise follow the leader). If you can take the leader head on, try to find the leaders weakness and fill the gap to your advantage. If you cant do that, take a vulnerable target market (like Bottom of the Pyramid Strategy or Blue Ocean Strategy). Later, try turn the tables around and lastly, open new territories (this requires alot of investment).

    Each and every positioning strategy must be used seeing the competitive landscape of the market, demand/ Supply factors and Brands internal strengths.

    1. It’s an interesting idea, but the strategies are not meant to ladder in that way, nor is one strategy “better” than another… instead, take time to identify and execute the one strategy that is likely to have the best results in terms of building the brand in the long term…

  31. After reading the point “Turn the tables”, I also took it as unethical. But then I spent some time thinking on it, and realized that it can go either way depending on how you take it.

    E.g. If someone leaves on the dot at 5pm – because they have a life –, you don’t need to badmouth about him or explicitly degrade him in order to turn the tables. You just need to show your own presence prominently after 5 whenever required, and win confidence of your boss; he will himself start perceiving you as a Going-Extra-Mile employee and that colleague as an Early-to-go employee.

  32. Positioning yourself against the competition so that you can gain a good foothold against it is a key art to learn and these chapters described best strategies on evaluating one’s strength and weaknesses and then analysing the competitor in the similar manner.The positioning strategy is so important that it will be the one and only chance to make your brand memorable as a brand in your prospective customers, failure to do so will leave you nothing but a commodity in the eyes of your customers.

  33. The second strategy of taking the leader head on is rarely recommended not only in positioning but overall its not recommended for new market entrants because the leader can get aware of you and can counter your strategy with massive investment and can drive you out of the competition. The new entrant doesn’t have the resources to compete against the leader because he doesn’t have ample resources.

  34. Brand positioning is the foundation on which a brand identity is built. There are different positioning strategies that can be utilized according to the objectives of the brand and by having a clear picture of the existing competition and opportunities in the market. A strategy will not only simplify but also clarify the desired path that the brand wants to take.

  35. Brand positioning is the foundation on which a brand identity is built. There are different positioning strategies that can be utilized according to the objectives of the brand and by having a clear picture of the existing competition and opportunities in the market. A strategy will not only simplify but also clarify the desired path that the brand wants to take.

  36. What Position you hold in the minds of your customers is a very important question for which every brand should clearly know its answer to.Another important aspect is to devise that Positioning Strategy which will create that “Position” in the customers mind. This is a disfficult task as every brand can hold a different position in its customers mind.

  37. Brand positioning is the brand’s unique promise and the foundation on which brand identity is built. It focusses on four things in a brand, the core target market, competitive landscape, powerful benefit and the reason to believe.
    A brand should formulate a particular positioning strategy based on being the leader or following the leader’s strategy but a positioning strategy is critical to establish a distinct and unique brand identity.

  38. if we talk about FMCGs, in order to make huge profits & utilize every opportunity available out there, several Companies have at least one brand positioned in every category. This validates the point mentioned above that one brand can not cater every category of consumers, they have to be consistently different and positioned appropriately.

  39. The positioning strategies mentioned make it really easy to be able to pinpoint a plan of action for your product. The simplicity with which These have been defined by the other really enabled me to retain them easily and channel my train of thought when it comes to positioning strategies accordingly.

  40. Creating a position in consumer’s mind is a very crucial and important part for any brand because the wrong positioning may lead to the wrong perception of the brand that you or your brand don’t want to be! If you want to stand out in face off with your competitors you have to be very good at in whatever your core expertise are!

  41. Chapter 13 talks that the brand’s competitive positioning is what differentiates your brand persona from the rest. A clear distinct top of the mind association makes you stand out in the crowd. The key is competitive edge. The four question basically encapsulates what the positioning is all about, the brand positioning is derived from the consumer’s intrigue, who is the target market, what is it, what is the reason to believe and why should any consumer bother to believe it. The initiation with the basic four questions that the consumer asks, followed by how to plan, initiate and execute the whole brand positioning gives a very systematic way to view and approach things when it comes to positioning your brand and attain a competitive edge to say the least.

    Chapter 14 talks about the what your current positioning strategy is, if your brand is an existing one, followed by improvising on your current positioning strategy. It is all about how you differentiate your brand from the rest. The key learning that i got is that you can not be everything to everyone, one reality that many ignore is that you cannot be a “sushil sunder biwi” who can cook, is beautiful, can clean, take care of your parents, and do all the chores simultaneously. You have to know where you stand and where you want to be, and that can be done by fully understanding the positioning strategy.

  42. In my personal experience, targeting a vulnerable market has been a very useful strategy in the process of brand building. The people who are “underserved” or left out are much more receptive and appreciative of the skills and aptitudes of the people who they perceive to be as leaders. Targeting such people is often a good of way establishing a positive image of oneself which can then transcend to other people. I find this a more encouraging starting point!

  43. When it comes to the first positioning strategy “remain the leader” I believe the idea is much more complex than just holding on to your strengths and uniqueness. What if your competitors are smart enough to look for your weakness, your sources of strength and the markets that you have missed out? in that case remaining the leader is much more that simply building on your current strengths, you also need to have an ongoing process of analyzing your brand, what product you are offering to your customers and are they satisfied with it, what are your weakness and how you can prevent your competitors to identify and capitalize on them, how could you extend your brand to new territories etc.

  44. Positioning is about creating a perception in the minds of consumer which is relevant yet distinctive. It can do wonders to the financial statements of the company if carried out properly.
    So I had this chance of going to Khan’s clinic(located in Defence) once since my brother works there and I was amazed to see the infrastructure there. Everything ranging from surgical equipment to electronics were extraordinary. A normal filling costs around Rs. 1,000 whereas that particular clinic charged 4,000. It was only possible due to the perception that the clinic had managed excellently.
    The first point about staying the leader and not abandoning the unique feature is something that I have realized every now and then. One thing to gauge from this point is that one should stay consistent. People,even your, enemies would love you if you stick to something that you believe in. Quid-e-Azam, one of the greatest leaders of all the time, was respected by his enemies because of his firm ideology so one should never lose his unique attribute even in times of hardships and struggle.

  45. Consistency is key with Brand positioning. Focusing on key areas of strength where you can compete and making sure you persist with them builds true brand. Where brands start highlighting different strengths they cause confused positioning and the audience remain oblivious of where the brand truly stands.

    As for strategy, opening up new territories and competing in new areas in a manner that is called the Blue Ocean Strategy is perhaps the most effective manner for a new entrant. Other strategies are appropriate for more established brands or organizations with better financial roots.

  46. I feel out of all the strategies mentioned above opening new territories is the best idea because thats really a place where you can differentiate yourself. If you open new territories and make a mark on tat particular segment effectively then you can always enjoy that first movers advantage. However, taking the competition head on, as discouraged as that maybe, can be quite effective if its done right. For example what Dove did with Pantene or what Pepsi did with Coke. Lastly, the strategy that follows assaulting the competitions weakness, from what ive observed, has also worked really well fr example the Apple trashing on PC ads. On a personal stand point as well, i feel living in this competitive world, we do mostly witness people trying to assault the weaknesses of their competitors. This can backfire horribly, but in terms of competition between people, this strategy, as ruthless as it maybe, does work. But, i think opening new territories is always more original and better recieved

  47. Your analysis of positioning strategies is food for thought for a marketer, and the linkage you created with building brand YOU is cherry on the cake. Companies choose one among these given positioning strategies while positioning their brands in the market. It takes strong nerves to decide to go for which strategy of positioning. The choice you make depends upon your inclination towards taking risk or avoiding risk. The positioning strategies like Attacking competitor head on or exploiting its weakness requires a lot of courage, as the competitor will respond to it and then starts a circle of dog chasing its tale, in which brands often get distracted from their core offering and start working hard to keep pushing competitor to the edge. This is why seasoned marketer do not recommend going for head on competition with your competitor. Same goes for building brand YOU, one has to decide what strategy he would like to choose.

  48. This a great example of how something as seemingly work-related can be applied to oneself. I’d say that one has to adopt a mix of positioning strategies depending on the wide variety of roles involved in our lives.

  49. Inconsistency is death, true for any brand which wants to remain in the mind of its customers.
    Take time to design your brand but once done it serves as a benchmark for the future.

  50. Defining positioning strategy has been elaborated here quite well, the 6 points mentioned are the crux and a bible for anyone targeting to position their brand or themselves to their target audience. Taking a vulnerable market and opening a new territory are something that are not usually considered by the brands and in the awe of their leaders or different brands, they get inconsistent in their positioning. There’s a metaphor, there can be uncertainties in sports but you don’t get second chances when you are building your brand.

  51. It takes a lot of time to built up that position in your consumers head that you want.
    In my case, i am the if-you-need-help-come-to-me person, because i have always been there for anyone around me, I never say no when someone asks for help. I did not intend for this to be my position initially, but now, I love being that person and that i guess is my positioning.

  52. As a brand manager, you have the solemn duty to occupy a substantial position when it comes to recalling you. And for doing that, you have to position your brand just in the right places. You have to understand, you cannot be everything for anyone, you need to be focused, and you need to understand that where you stand now and where you aspire to be, but the key to do so is focus. After doing so, you can also do the same exercise for your competitors as well and then that will give you a great bird eyes view where your brand stands right now. When you get a full understanding of your competitor’s strengths and weaknesses, then you can position the brand perfectly.

  53. Positioning is by far the most important component of brand management – it plays a key role in portraying a certain image of a brand. If a mistake is made in identifying the brand’s target market or benefits or frame of reference or the reason to believe, it will fail in communicating the desired message to the audience. The brand will then stand for nothing, or for everything. In either case, it will fail. Brand managers of today should take extra care when it comes to positioning their brands to avoid failure.

  54. I agree that a clear positioning statement can help in establishing a brand identity that is distinct, desirable and spot on! When I read about the positioning statement of Apple, I thought it wouldn’t be possible to have this approach for a positioning statement to an actual person but as I read along, that aspect got clear too.
    As for the competitive strategies, I feel opening new territories is a good strategy that increases the horizons rather than competing in the same territories as everybody else.

  55. Out of the four elements of the positioning statement I feel the reason to believe aspect is the most important.In today’s advanced business environment where information sharing is so easy ,a lot of brands in the same category offer almost the same benefits to an almost similar target market. While you can own a certain distinct benefit and identify a unique thread that binds your target market together, it is the RTB which will make your brand strong in the long run. And I believe that the heritage of a brand plays a huge role in putting this vital stamp on its ability to deliver on its promise. Its people, its philosophy, its owner’s vision-all have a big part to play.

    Same goes for your own brand. You might be able to identify your core competency and communicate it to your target market who can benefit most from it, but the true test lies in how far are you able to act upon that competency? How much can you deliver?

  56. While devising a positioning strategy in order to remain as a leader is quite complicate because holding on your strengths and positives are not the only things we need to evaluate. We need to keep in mind our weakness and the opportunities we have missed so far as well and the process of self evaluation should be on going if a leader wants to intact its market position.

  57. Positioning is about creating a perception in the minds of consumer which is relevant yet distinctive. It can do wonders to the financial statements of the company if carried out properly.
    So I had this chance of going to Khan’s clinic(located in Defence) once since my brother works there and I was amazed to see the infrastructure there. Everything ranging from surgical equipment to electronics were extraordinary. A normal filling costs around Rs. 1,000 whereas that particular clinic charged 4,000. It was only possible due to the perception that the clinic had managed excellently.
    The first point about staying the leader and not abandoning the unique feature is something that I have realized every now and then. One thing to gauge from this point is that one should stay consistent. People,even your, enemies would love you if you stick to something that you believe in. Quid-e-Azam, one of the greatest leaders of all the time, was respected by his enemies because of his firm ideology so one should never lose his unique attribute even in times of hardships and struggle.

  58. This totally makes sense. They say that people who try to make everyone happy are the least successful. i guess i know why now. You’ve got to position yourself correctly to a set of individuals who you choose to satisfy. If you want to be a best friend, you gotta take care of those who are much closer to you rather than spending most of the time with new people as this would sway your focus away.

  59. by now, one knows that positioning is what makes one stand out from others. the positioning is like the soul of the brand, it defines that where brand is and where it is going to be. the four thing that are incorporated in brand positioning precisely summarize what the benefits are and what it want to be. the positioning is always focused on the specific target market. moreover, whatever the rand offers must be inline with brand positioning and the brand must consistent in delivering what they say. however the positioning strategy must revolve around the competitor. moreover , the strategy of opening new territory is a bit okay with me because in this dynamic environment, the brand fear of losing their image disables them to try something new and also if they go for some new category or territory they get the advantage of first movers. so the brand must analyze their category and where they stand and after that they must adopt a positioning strategy . however the strategy must revolve around the competitors in the category.

  60. As much as people think that building a brand positioning statement an easy task, I completely contradict it as this is the phase which defines the future of your brand or yourself. If you deviate from it you are going to lose the focus and will be like stabbing a knife through your ribs. Few of the steps mentioned which are supposed to be followed are great in order to be consistent or developing your long term approach in targeting your audience.
    Thus the brand position or brand positioning is how the brand is perceived in the context of competitive alternatives in the mind. We should know where we stand and how we have to get there.

  61. I like the Reason to Believe concept as it underlines the reason for your existence and why you are what you are.

    “It’s part of our brand’s DNA to spread happiness and bring people together, something we’ve been doing for over 127 years”. – Coke ‘s RTB.

  62. Every course book or class that we’ve attended had teachers blabbing upon what positioning is and how important it is. This is what I have always looked for . okay we know what it means but how does one make the ideal positioning statement possible ? Cant thank you enough for making our lives simpler by streamlining each and every detail we need to take in to consideration before making the positioning statement. As it is the heart of the brand funnel itself.

  63. An excellent way to describe positioning strategy. One misunderstanding can make or break your brand so it is imperative that positioning statement should be right on target!. Also all of the positioning strategies have been classified in an easy and comprehensible manner! I would highly recommend to read it.

  64. Great article! If only more people knew about the mechanics of the the positioning statement, the world would be a better place to live. We see such crap on TV all the time, it goes to show that, companies have no clue about the brand, let along know what is a positioning statement, how to make it, and arguably the most important bit, WHY to make it and disseminate it among all stakeholders.

  65. Positioning, “It is the brand’s unique promise in comparison to competition…”, tells the complete story in just one line, the promise that you are making to your target is its positioning which is the crux of the brand itself. As one example that comes to my mind of an ad of Accenture, where Tiger Woods is standing on the tee off visualizing himself driving through the hole i.e. having the bigger vision and still once he comes to make his short he manages to notice the green grass worm that is actually present on his golf ball. The ad in a beautiful manner portrays the whole brand positioning of accenture the strategy consultant. Secondly that types of strategies that can be employed to enter a market are definitely applicable in all the scenarios. Like Apple hitting out at IBM (the big blue) by just running one ad showing the girl throwing a hammer personified as IBM. That is one strategy that is tough to follow but definitely one of the finest example in the worlds history of marketing.

  66. I really like the idea of the “RTB” concept as it defines the crux of your existence. It defines you.

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