Marketing Positioning

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What a strange word, “positioning.” Its origins are shrouded in the fog of history. The popular marketing writers, Jack Trout and Al Ries, started talking about position or positioning in 1972 or thereabouts, and took credit later for having invented positioning. However, I believe that positioning was an emerging concept and a term, in at least limited use, within the marketing and advertising community at the time that Trout and Ries first wrote about it. Certainly, the basic concepts of positioning were not new in 1972. The term “positioning” was described by Trout and Ries as the basic position in the consumer’s mind occupied by a brand. They saw positioning as an antidote to the “over-communicated” society, in which consumers were…show more content…
At the beginning, it’s critical to talk to consumers representing a broad spectrum of the potential market. It is in these early stages that you must resist the temptation to focus too quickly on a narrow segment of consumers. Keep the market definitions very broad in the early stages of the research so you do not accidentally preordain the outcome before it begins. For example, if you interviewed people who only use rotary lawnmowers, you probably would find they only want to buy rotary mowers. But if you interviewed everyone with a lawn, you probably would identify many different needs, problems and motives that may form the basis for a positioning strategy.

Qualitative methods (focus groups, depth interviews and ethnography) are essential in the early stages. What do consumers know, and what do they not know? What language, associations, images, and metaphors do consumers use in talking about the category? What brands are they familiar with, and how much do they know about the different brands? What are their perceptions of each of these brands? What motivates them to consume the product or use the service? What are the key determinates of brand preference? How is the market segmented or subdivided? What products or services would be substituted if the subject brand were unavailable? What are the major channels of distribution, and how does the channel relate to perceptions and usage of the brands? Who are heavy
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