Identifying and Establishing Brand Positioning

To identify brand positioning, the brand manager needs to study the market segment of venture. To establish a strong brand positioning, you need to get clear answers to the following questions −

●      Brand for what benefit?

●      For example, The Body Shop uses natural ingredients in its products and is environment-friendly. Tropicana packs real fruit juices in tetra packs, etc.

●      Brand for whom?

●      It is the target audience of the brand grouped as gender, age, economic bracket, etc. For example, while Nike is top clothing brand for all income group, Gucci and Fossil remain high income handbags brands.

●      Brand for what reason?

●      These are the facts that support claimed benefits.

●      Brand against whom?

●      This defines the way to attack competitors’ market share.

There is a standard formula to achieve brand positioning −

For … (target market of potential buyers or consumers)
Brand X is … (definition of frame of reference and category)
Which gives the most … (promise or consumer benefit)
Because of … (reason to believe)


●      The target market is the psychological and social profile of the consumers a brand aims to influence.

●      Frame of reference is the nature of competition.

●      Promise or consumer benefit is the feature that creates preference and drives decision after making choice. For example, Cadbury promises its Silk chocolate bars to be the smoothest ones among other Cadbury chocolate bars.

●      The reason to believe is reinforcement of promise or consumer benefit. For example, Tropicana Products, the producer and marketer (a division of PepsiCo), promises to be delivering 100% pure fruit juices in its Pure Premium juices range.

Let us take an example of brand positioning conducted by Shoppers Stop, the retail chain in India that sells retail clothing, handbags, jewelry, perfumes, toys, home furnishing, and accessories. It has business of 20 billion dollars. It was founded in 1991 with first store at Mumbai and expanded rapidly across the country soon. The consumers perceived it as mass market brand and it started losing its shine in the retail competition in 2008.

The brand managers and company management together carried out a store audit at all outlets, studied customer experiences, updated brand identity, and came up with new tagline, “Start something new”. It then repositioned the brand as premium, accessibleluxury sector. This position of bridge-to-luxury appealed young, middle-class consumers in India, who had their own money to spend at a young age. The new repositioning also added the credibility of Shoppers Stop to preset itself as a potential partner for international brands who were looking to enter the Indian market.

Brand Posting
Brand Posting 1

The impact was, its share price grew 450% from 52-week low, sales rose more than 10%, and as newly acquired strength of positioning the brand, it started co-branding with international brands such as Chanel, Dior, Armani, Esprit, Tommy Hilfiger, Mothercare, Mustang, Austin Reed, and so on.

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