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Brand positioning is an attempt to create and maintain a unique representation of the brand in customers mind a representation that is expected to stimulate choice of that brand Rossiter 2005 p42 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 consumers mind Nevertheless developing a successful positioning strategy is not easy Positioning products in a complex market can be one of a companys most difficult decisions Gwin 2003 p30 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 brands positioning Rossiter 2005 p32 The three-level procedure for positioning presented by Rossiter and Bellman 2005 p42 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 p44 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 the brand Category Need C is another positioning decision and it aims to answer the question What is the brand It is essential that
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