Marketing Communication (Brand positioning).

Essay by onglt1 August 2005

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"Brand positioning is an attempt to create and maintain a unique representation of the brand in customer's mind, a representation that is expected to stimulate choice of that brand" (Rossiter, 2005, p.42). Positioning, in fact, refers to how customers think about different brands in a market. Through brand positioning a company attempts to build a sustainable competitive advantage on product attributes in the consumer's mind. Nevertheless, developing a successful positioning strategy is not easy. Positioning products in a complex market can be one of a company's most difficult decisions (Gwin, 2003, p.30). Brand positioning is the first stage of marcoms planning. "Before the manager can make a reasonable decision about where the brand should be headed via its marcoms, the manager first has to decide - to change, if necessary, or to shore up and reconfirm - the brand's positioning" (Rossiter, 2005, p.32).

The three-level procedure for positioning, presented by Rossiter and Bellman (2005, p.42),

contains T-C-B positioning model, I-D-U benefit analysis and a-b-e benefit claim model. The T-C-B positioning model requires managerial decisions on three factors - Target Customer (T) for the brand, Category Need (C) into which the brand should be positioned and Key Benefit (B) which will be offered by the brand. In order to correctly determine the category need, benefits sought and the purchase decision process, managers have to rely on a customer research. The most useful types of research are individual depth interviews and Marcoms Situation Audit (Rossiter, 2005, p.44). The Target Customer decision answers the question "Who is the brand for?", and it has to be defined for different types of customer, known as stakeholders. However, the most important is the decision on End-Customer target for brand positioning, and it should be defined as broadly as possible, including all current and potential users of...