Positioning is a Powerful Concept in Marketing & Communications

By: Peter Andersen

Positioning is a powerful concept in marketing. To illustrate, have you ever visited a fast food restaurant, and, in a rush to complete your order asked for a coke when you 'perhaps' meant to order some other soft drink? The Coke brand and its owners have achieved a top of mind awareness. Their brand name has become synonymous with a commodity that has a strong demand. A lot the brand's success may be attributed to being the first successful soft drink on the mass market, other possibilities may be due to their perpetual multi-million dollar global marketing campaigns that span life-times as well as cultures. Whatever the cause, the Coke brand has a very successful & fortified position.

Another example of a strong positioning statement that achieves a great top of mind awareness is Verizon's 'Can you Hear Me Now' campaign. How many times have you uttered those exact words, sometimes even consciously, when the person the other end of the tele has a low signal. In most cases, what follows are expressed or unexpressed images about the 'Can You Hear Me Now Guy.'

Good marketers know the power of a strong positioning statement. With strong positioning, it is nearly impossible to be out-paced by the competition using moderate marketing dollars alone. Furthermore, there are cases where product owners with seemingly unlimited/ multi-million dollar marketing budgets were unsuccessful at winning significant market-share against a product with an established position. In fact, given a strong position that is known by the market, the competition is better off not competing on your terms, because the consumer already intuitively associates your brand with the commodity and has successfully filed you away in their mental filing cabinets as occupying that 'spot.' Therefore, marketing communications that are contrary to the consumer's product knowledge are challenged or unconsciously blocked/denied by the mind.

Now, having demonstrated the power of a strong positioning statement, Will You Accept This Rose? Log-on to see an interactive demonstration of how positioning can help you achieve the coveted 'top-of-mind.'

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Power Positioning Exercise: Can you think of a few viral-like positions (intentional or not) that help reinforce Mountain Dew's Code Red brand? Hint: One deals with extreme heat/humidity advisories within U.S. Cities & States that have extreme summer temperatures.

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