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SESSION 13: POSITION ING STRATEGY

OPENING THOUGHT

Kansai Nerolac Paints, one of India’s leading paint companies, has redefined the Indian interior paint segment with the introduction of a first-of-its-kind high definition (HD) paint technology. Nerolac Impressions is the first range of premium interior emulsions in India that comes with a ‘high definition’ colour technology.

that comes with a ‘high definition’ colour technology. To showcase the new product and its value

To showcase the new product and its value proposition, Kansai Nerolac has unveiled a campaign comprising a breakthrough TVC and digital campaign, conceptualised by Publicis India. Nerolac reinvents its positioning through a new creative punchline: “Jab Nerolac Impressions ka HD Paint lagega, toh ghar ke saath aapka bhi Impression badhega!”

Enhanced with micro-embedded brightness boosters (MEBB's), Nerolac Impressions’ range of interior emulsions now offers a sharper look and superior finish. This technology makes the colour of your walls look far brighter, richer and cleaner than any other standard emulsion. Nerolac reinforces the concept of HD coalescing it with Paints which makes colours come alive on your wall.

High Definition has become synonymous with our lifestyle today. Based on this insight, Nerolac aims to extend this technology to homes as well through HD Paints. Having launched several innovative products under the Impressions brand in the past the company hopes to provide customers with a larger than life experience and take our offerings to the next level.

The company wanted to change the conversation that the category leader was having, and they had a product that could do that. So for Nerolac Impressions HD paint they shifted the conversation from emotions and the effect of the colour on relationships to the impact a great paint can have on the perceived value of your home and you. A great way to do it was a side-by-side perception demo.

The entire campaign is based on the insight of ‘how one's home is an extension of one's lifestyle and personality’. To reinforce this message, the TVC features brand ambassador Shah Rukh Khan, highlighting the difference between Nerolac Impressions HD Paint and standard definition paint. It uses the humour element to subtly showcase how individuals living in HD homes vis-a-vis standard definition homes are perceived. These HD paints replicate the colour quality difference one would observe between a standard definition TV and a high definition TV.

The film is also dubbed in Hindi and other regional languages and is currently being aired across all national channels. (Bureau B. M., 2014)

Q1: Explain VDP for Nerolac HD paints

aired across all national channels. (Bureau B. M., 2014) Q1: Explain VDP for Nerolac HD paints
aired across all national channels. (Bureau B. M., 2014) Q1: Explain VDP for Nerolac HD paints

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WHAT IS POSITIONING?

As defined by Philip Kotler, Positioning is the act of designing a company's offering and image to occupy a distinctive place in the minds of the target market. (Kotler, 2017)

A good positioning not just give the company that competitive advantage but also help company in realizing the customer focused value proposition. These are the target market customer attributes carefully studied and incorporated in the company’s marketing efforts.

A useful measure of effectiveness of organization’s positioning is Brand substitution test. If a brand were replaced by a competitive brand, the marketing activity should not work as well in the marketplace. For example, Pepsi India has always associated itself with sports and youth and hence Pepsi’s campaign cannot be shown as Coke’s.

A good positioning should be forward-looking but obtainable in the current scenario. A value proposition is a reason why the target market should buy a product or service. Positioning requires that marketers define and communicate similarities and differences between their brand and its competitors

and differences between their brand and its competitors Mahindra & Mahindra's SUV, TUV300, was targeted to

Mahindra & Mahindra's SUV, TUV300, was targeted to the segment of consumers interested in lifestyle products (target market). The positioning of the vehicle was emphasised on ruggedness, luxury and comfort. They roped in the actor of movie 'Bahubali' as brand ambassador to clearly condition the desired attributes in the minds of consumers.

POSITIONING STRATEGI ES

Decision regarding positioning takes the careful investigation following:

1. Determining competitive frame of reference

2. Identifying potential POP and POD

3. Positioning Map

4. Brand Mantras

and analysis of the

STEP I - DETERMINING COMPETITIVE FRAME OF REFERENCE

Competitive Frame of Reference defines which other brands competes with which should be thus focus of their analysis. It is the setting around the product. It defines the competitors and target consumers. Usually, the strategy aims at identifying one or two competitors and presents their position better than them. For example, Tide always

one or two competitors and presents their position better than them. For example, Tide always Principles
one or two competitors and presents their position better than them. For example, Tide always Principles

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positioned with Rin, Ariel with Surf. It also decides on targeting a certain type of consumer in the identified market segment.

The gloves are off, and it was a bare-knuckle fight between consumer product majors Hindustan Unilever and Procter & Gamble. HUL has landed the first punch on Cincinnati-headquartered P&G on air, in front of millions of viewers on primetime television. In the first move of its kind by HUL, the March 2010 on-air communication of homecare brand Rin had openly taken on rival P&G’s Tide, without the typical airbrushing or pixilation to hide the rival brand name on TV. The Rin washing powder commercial, claimed to be a better quality product in comparison to Tide. The visual clearly showed a variant of Tide, Tide Naturals, shown against Rin with the audio saying ‘Tide se kahin behatar safedi de Rin’ (Rin gives better whiteness than Tide).

Within a day of its going on air, the campaign had landed up in court. A source at HUL said its However, the HUL spokesperson said, “This advertisement reinforces the promise to Rin consumers that Rin delivers superior whiteness. This claim is based on laboratory tests done through globally accepted protocols in independent third- party laboratories.”

Earlier, skirmishes between the two companies were always restricted to disguised comparative advertising or matching each other’s price cuts in the market. Pepsi and Coca-Cola, fierce rivals in the aerated beverage category, have ruled ad wars in India. Recently Amul-Nutralite (butter), Big TV-Airtel (DTH), Jet Airways-Kingfisher (airline) and Cadbury Dairy Milk-Nestle Munch (chocolate) had taken pot-shots at each other.

Munch (chocolate) had taken pot-shots at each other. However, their campaigns have been tongue-in-cheek,

However, their campaigns have been tongue-in-cheek, effective campaigns, without directly hitting the competitor. For example, when Jet Airways had a billboard saying ‘We’ve changed’, Kingfisher took the chance to say ‘‘We made them change’. Last year, Horlicks took on Complan with an offensive campaign, but it was limited to quantifiable comparison of ingredients and prices. The self-regulatory code of the Advertising Standards Council of India, of which both HUL and P&G are members, states that comparison between competing products is allowed, provided there is no likelihood of the consumer being misled about the brands being compared. With ‘whiteness’ being the quality compared in Rin’s advertisement, HUL seems to treading a thin line.

Rin’s advertisement, HUL seems to treading a thin line. Globally, around 25 years ago, IT giant

Globally, around 25 years ago, IT giant Apple initiated an assault campaign, hammering away at PCs using Microsoft. These ads, which became legendary, showed actor Justin Long, as the smart Mac user, getting the better of comedian John Hodgman, as the confused PC guy. (Bureau E. , 2010)

Mac user, getting the better of comedian John Hodgman, as the confused PC guy. (Bureau E.
Mac user, getting the better of comedian John Hodgman, as the confused PC guy. (Bureau E.

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IDENTIFYING CATEGORY

Identifying competitors also refers to identification of category. The category membership includes all potential and current competitors as well as substitutes. For example, Coke can have number of competitors depending upon the category membership:

of competitors depending upon the category membership: The range of a company’s a ctual and potential

The range of a company’s actual and potential competitors may not be obvious, and broad competitive frames can result in advantageous comparisons. An industry is a group of firms offering a product or class of products that are close substitutes for one another, classified based on:

Number of sellers

Degree of product differentiation

Presence or absence of entry, mobility and exit barriers

Cost structure

Degree of vertical integration

Degree of globalization When Coca-Cola determines the bottled-water competitors for its Dasani brand by identifying the products or sets of products with which a brand competes and which function as close substitutes.

Q2: With the help of an example, explain why a company's competition may not be from companies in the same category.

ANALYSING COMPETITION

A company is required to map the buyer’s steps in obtaining and using a product to profile direct and indirect competitors:

Analyse competitors real and perceived strengths and weaknesses

Ascertain strategies and objectives of primary competitors

Determine what drives the competitor’s behaviour

Define the competitive frame of reference to guide positioning

The competitors can be analysed on the parameters of awareness, product quality, availability, technical assistance provided and the employees. Different companies have different combinations of these factors. A company that is very good in quality and have a good name in market may not distribute extensively.

that is very good in quality and have a good name in market may not distribute
that is very good in quality and have a good name in market may not distribute

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For the companies entering into new markets, the first task is to identify and associate a category which is very new. For example, products like ipod or ipad.

Q3: Gambhir’s is a chain of coffee shops. List possible competitors first from an industry point of view and then from the market point of view.

STEP II IDENTIFY POTENTIAL POD AND POP

POINT OF DIFFERENCE

These are attributes that are strongly associated with the brand in the minds of consumers. POD is also known as USP or unique selling propositions. A firm may have one or number of such point of differences. The differences can be based on functional benefits, emotional benefits and psychological benefits. Hettich kitchen fittings focus on kitchen design that are more space saving and functional. Hero motors differentiate on mileage of its two-wheeler.

Creating strong, favourable, and unique associations is a real challenge, but an essential one for competitive brand positioning. The differentiation strategy should be focused on customer advantage. Ideal firm develops differentiation in such a way that enhances the overall ability to perform in one or more ways. Also the differentiation should be leverageable and can use as a springboard to new advantages. Strong brands often have multiple points-of-difference.

Three criteria determine whether a brand association can truly function as a point-of- difference: desirability, deliverability, and differentiability.

DESIRABLE TO THE CONSUMER personally relevant and there must be a compelling reason to believe and an understandable rationale for why the brand can deliver the desired benefit

DELIVERABLE BY THE COMPANY The Company must have the internal resources and commitment to feasibly and profitably create and maintain the brand association in the minds of consumers. The product design and marketing offering must support the desired association. The ideal brand association is preemptive, defensible, and difficult to attack.

DIFFERENTIATING FROM COMPETITORS Consumers must see the brand association as distinctive and superior to relevant. The extent to that a company can differentiate and position itself as providing superior customer value, it gains competitive advantage. The differentiation can be created in products and services, distribution strategies, people and overall image.

can be created in products and services, distribution strategies, people and overall image. Principles of Marketing
can be created in products and services, distribution strategies, people and overall image. Principles of Marketing

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POINT OF PARITY (POP)

This describes the category the company or brand wants to serve. It's put larger frame of reference in the minds of consumer. These are the associations that are not necessarily unique to the brand but may be shared with other brands.

CATEGORY POINTS-OF-PARITY are associations’ consumers view as essential to be a legitimate and credible offering within a certain product or service category. They represent necessary conditions but not necessarily sufficient for brand choice. For example, a cafe or a fast food restaurant. However, it may change over time due to technological, legal, or consumer trends.

Consumers might not consider a hand sanitizer truly a hand sanitizer unless they are gels designed to apply topically, contain alcohol that kills the germs present on the skin, and developed for use after washing hands or for those times when soap and water are not available. These service elements are considered as category Points of parity. Nivea became the leader in the skin cream class on the "gentle," "protective," and "caring" platform. The company further moved into classes such as deodorants, shampoos, and cosmetics. Attributes like gentle and caring were of no value unless consumers believed that its deodorant was strong enough, its shampoo would cleanse, and its cosmetics would be colorful enough.

CORRELATIONAL POINTS-OF-PARITY are potentially negative associations that arise from the existence of positive associations for the brand (research trade-offs consumers make in their purchasing decisions). These correlations may also be associated with the country of origin.

COMPETITIVE POINTS-OF-PARITY are associations designed to negate competitors’ points-of-difference. The brand should be in a strong competitive position.

POINTS-OF-PARITY VERSUS POINTS-OF-DIFFERENCE

Often, the key to positioning is not so much achieving a point-of-difference as achieving points-of-parity. Dettol and Savlon both are antiseptic is their POP. No-sting property of Savlon is its POD.

is their POP. No-sting property of Savlon is its POD. MULTIPLE FRAMES OF REFERENCE Some POPs

MULTIPLE FRAMES OF REFERENCE

property of Savlon is its POD. MULTIPLE FRAMES OF REFERENCE Some POPs and PODs will be
property of Savlon is its POD. MULTIPLE FRAMES OF REFERENCE Some POPs and PODs will be
property of Savlon is its POD. MULTIPLE FRAMES OF REFERENCE Some POPs and PODs will be

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frame of reference it is has multiple frame of reference. A firm can develop the best

possible positioning for each type or class of competitors and then see whether there is

a way to create one combined positioning robust enough to effectively address them all.

For example, Cafe coffee Day can position itself as a cafe (frame of reference local cafe), or a quick-serve restaurant (frame of reference any fast food joint like MCD) or as a retail coffee brand (frame of reference coffee brand like Nescafe).

If the competition is too diverse, it may be necessary to prioritize competitors and then

choose the most important set of competitors to serve as the competitive frame. Try to

be all things to all peoplethat lead to lowest-common-denominator positioning, which is typically ineffective. It may be useful to either develop the positioning at the categorical level for all relevant categories or with an exemplar from each category

STRADDLE POSITIONING

Occasionally a company will try to straddle two frames of reference. Straddle positioning is a situation one a brands POD in one segment becomes POP in other segment and visa-versa. For example, Honda Mobilio's positioning as spacious MUV yet stylish car. It is a stylish car in MUV segment and spacious for normal cars.

When BMW first made its strong competitive push into the US market in the early 1980s, it positioned the brand as the only automobile that offered both luxury (competing with Cadillac) and performance (competing with the Corvette), which is known as Straddle Positioning because it uses points-of-difference and points-of- parity across categories.

If Starbucks considers quick-serve restaurants and convenience shops in its competitive frame of reference, then intended POD might be quality, image, experience and variety, while intended POP might be convenience and value.

STEP III CHOOSING POP AND POD

The selection of POP and POD is driven by the needs of category membership and the necessity of competitive differentiation. Competitive advantage is a company’s ability to perform in one or more ways that competitors cannot or will not match. Few competitive advantages are inherently sustainable. A leverageable advantage is one that

a company can use as a springboard to new advantages. Marketers typically focus on

brand benefits in choosing the points-of-parity and points-of-difference that make up their brand positioning.

No company has mastered order fulfillment and shipping quite like Amazon. Not only are they extremely efficient and accurate but speed is a major priority. Through Amazon Prime, the company’s flagship paid membership service, customers can get guaranteed two-day shipping on all products that are Prime eligible. Offering this two-day service is a smart move for Amazon for two distinct reasons:

Conditions customers: Even if a customer only tries two-day shipping once, they find it hard to go back to the standard three to seven days. As a result, they’re apt to continue paying for a Prime membership.

three to seven days. As a result, they’re apt to continue paying for a Prime membership.
three to seven days. As a result, they’re apt to continue paying for a Prime membership.

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Encourages more purchases: The biggest disadvantage ecommerce has compare to brick-and-mortar retail is that consumers have to wait for products to arrive after purchasing them. By focusing on speedy delivery, Amazon has been able to mitigate this disadvantage. (Samuel Edwords, 2016)

Brand attributes generally play more of a supporting role by providing “reasons to believe” or “proof points” as to why a brand can credibly claim it offers certain benefits. P&G, the marketers of Olay Total describes that how the product is beneficial in seven different ways.

Marketers can decide about changing the position according to markets/ consumer’s taste & preferences, for example, Dabur honey for health conscious peoples. Al time POP and PODs are helpful in broadening the frame of reference, for example, Britannia’s Little Hearts biscuits are “a treat to your heart”. Using a POD can help shifting to a new category, for example Dove – “superior moisturizing”.

PERCEPTUAL MAPS:

Marketers must decide the levels of brand attributes, benefits and value by using quantitative research. Consumer centric positioning aims at identifying the POP and POD using perceptual maps. These maps are drawn looking into consumer

perceived positioning by plotting them in

a graph. The dimensions of the graph can

be any two dimensions. For example price and quality. The relative and absolute position of a firm can be identified on these two dimensions (attributes).

firm can be identified on these two dimensions (attributes). Q4: Draw a position map for Airline

Q4: Draw a position map for Airline industry in India.

STEP IV ESTABLISHING BRAND MANTRAS

A brand mantra is closely related to other branding concepts like “brand essence” and

“core brand promise”. It ensures that all employees within the organization and all external marketing partners understand what the brand is most fundamentally to represent with consumers so they can adjust their actions accordingly. They provide guidance about what products to introduce under the brand, what ad campaigns to run, and where and how to sell the brand by highlighting PODs

They create a mental filter to screen out brand-inappropriate marketing activities or actions of any type that may have a negative bearing on customers’ impressions. Brand mantras are designed with internal purposes in mind.

Three key criteria for a brand mantra:

Communicateclarify what is unique about the brand. Simplifymemorable; short, crisp, and vivid in meaning

what is unique about the brand. Simplify — memorable; short, crisp, and vivid in meaning Principles
what is unique about the brand. Simplify — memorable; short, crisp, and vivid in meaning Principles

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Inspirebrand mantra should stake out ground that is personally meaningful and relevant to as many employees as possible

Kevin Keller in his paper, Brand Mantras: Rationale, Criteria and Examples, has defined the core brand promise that combines functional benefits with emotional and descriptive modifiers.

benefits with emotional and descriptive modifiers. Q5: Develop an effective positioning strategy for a new

Q5: Develop an effective positioning strategy for a new eyewear brand.

MARKETING INSIGHT

Having ruled the multi-purpose segment for almost two decades, Toyota Kirloskar is planning yet another mid-sized MPV which is expected to be lighter and more fuel efficient and priced between 15 lakh and 20 lakh. The vehicle will adhere to the stringent cleaner and greener norms that carmakers have to conform to. The company is also launching an SUV.

With the new Innova Crysta transitioning to the higher price bracket, Toyota’s new MPV is likely to sit below the Innova and the new SUV, and will take on the Jeep Compass head on. According to several people in the know, the C MPV architecture is planned for 2022-2023 market launch, and in all likelihood will be shared by Maruti Suzuki, to add to its product portfolio.

The new C MPV is likely to come with a hybrid solution and will be based on the lighter monocoque architecture, to help the company meet stringent Corporate Average Fuel Economy norms. Unlike Innova, the new C MPV is likely to come with a pure hybrid solution. N Raja, deputy MD of Toyota Kirloskar, declined to comment on future product plans, but he said that Toyota is studying various sub-segments including compact SUV and MPV.

“Now, that there’s a clear strategy for relying on Suzuki for B-segment vehicles, Toyota can clearly lead the charge for the C segment both MPV as well as SUV. Interestingly, both the segments mid-size SUV and MPV are big, wide spaces in the portfolio of Suzuki and Toyota, which they could jointly leverage,” said the second person, requesting anonymity. (Thakur@Timesgroup, 2019)

Q6: Discuss the positioning strategy for Innova Crysta.

anonymity. (Thakur@Timesgroup, 2019) Q6: Discuss the positioning strategy for Innova Crysta. Principles of Marketing
anonymity. (Thakur@Timesgroup, 2019) Q6: Discuss the positioning strategy for Innova Crysta. Principles of Marketing

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BIBLIOGRAPHY

Bureau, B. M. (2014). Creating ‘impressions’ with Kansai Nerolac ‘High-Definition’ paints. Retrieved from Best Media Info: http://bestmediainfo.com/2014/04/creating- impressions-with-kansai-nerolac-high-definition-paints/

Bureau, E. (2010, March). Rin Vrs Tide. Retrieved from Economic Times:

economictimes.indiatimes.com/articleshow/5629626.cms?utm_source=contentofintere

st&utm_medium=text&utm_campaign=cppst

Kotler. (2017). Crafting The Brand Position. In K. Kotler, Marketing Managment 15e (p. 297). Pearson.

Samuel Edwords. (2016). 3 Companies Using Speed as a Competitive Advantage. Retrieved from Entrepreneur India: https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/253372

Thakur@Timesgroup, K. (2019, Feburary 7). Toyota Plans New Models to Keep UV Edge. Retrieved from Economic Times:

https://epaper.timesgroup.com/Olive/ODN/TheEconomicTimes/#

Edge . Retrieved from Economic Times: https://epaper.timesgroup.com/Olive/ODN/TheEconomicTimes/# Principles of Marketing
Edge . Retrieved from Economic Times: https://epaper.timesgroup.com/Olive/ODN/TheEconomicTimes/# Principles of Marketing

Principles of Marketing