Positioning Strategies in Business Markets

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Positioning Strategies in Business Markets

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Positioning strategies in business markets
Stavros P. Kalafatis Markos H. Tsogas Charles Blankson
Professor of Business Marketing, Kingston Business School, Kingston-upon-Thames, Surrey, UK Senior Lecturer, Kingston Business School, Kingston-upon-Thames, Surrey, UK Assistant Professor, Grand Valley State University, Allendale, Michigan, USA Keywords Business-to-business marketing, Product quality, Positioning Abstract Tests the relevance of positioning within the domain of business marketing through the application of a new typology of positioning strategies. The proposed typology is tested
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The concept of positioning Positioning appears to have evolved from market segmentation, targeting and market structure changes during the 1960s and the early 1970s (Sekhar, 1989). In the last few years, however, writers on the subject have credited Ries and Trout for popularising the term. In their work, Ries and Trout (1986) concluded that,
Positioning starts with the product. A piece of merchandise, a service, a company, an institution, or even a person . . .

They go on to argue that positioning is not what is done to the product/ service, but rather what is done to the mind of the prospect, ``. . . positioning shifts the emphasis of marketing from the product to the battle for your mind. ' ' The emphasis of their debate (supported almost exclusively by their consultancy and personal experiences) centered around the communications/ advertising elements of positioning. This theme has been adopted by Kotler (2000) who provides the following definition,
Positioning is the act of designing the company 's offering and image to occupy a distinct place in the target market 's mind.

Although the definitions of Ries and Trout, and Kotler are among the most widely quoted, a single, universally accepted definition has yet to emerge. At the same time, several terms such as positioning (Kotler, 2000), position (Smith and Lusch, 1976),
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