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Students by the end of this lesson you will be clear with
different aspects of positioning. You will be clear with perceptual mapping and positioning by Ries and Trout.

therefore re-emphasizing the importance of perception!!

New Productneed to communicate benefits

Before getting into the details of positioning lets us have a

recap of what STP is all about

Segmentation - Targeting - Positioning

Students lets move on to positioning.
If I say TV, what comes first to your mind probably you will
say LG Plasma or Sony Wega or any other. But why is it that
you have called out respective names only because that is how
they have positioned themselves in your mind in terms of
Positioning is defined as the act of designing the companys
offering and image to occupy distinctive place in the target
markets mind
The main points that you should remember are:
Positioning is the final part of the SEGMENT - TARGET -

POSTION process
Positioning is undoubtedly one of the simplest and most

useful tools to marketers.

Positioning is all about perception. As perception differs

from person to person, so do the results of the positioning

map e.g. what you perceive as quality, value for money in
terms of worth, etc, is different to my perception. However,
there will be similarities in certain cases.
After segmenting a market and then targeting a consumer,

next step will be to position a product within that market. It

refers to a place that the product offering occupies in
consumers minds on important attributes, relative to
competing offerings. How new and current items in the
product mix are perceived, in the minds of the consumer,


When we are discussing about STP it is a process of segmenting markets in terms of dividing the market and then targeting
an attractive segment and finally you are positioning the product
with potential customers in the target group.
In general, we can say that a segment is a relatively a homogenous group that has got high potential customers who make
their purchases based on similar criteria and motivations, act in a
substantially similar way (e.g. decision processes, shopping
patterns), and can be communicated to using the same focused
media (e.g. watch the same TV shows or read the same
More specifically, segmentation is the definitional process of
disaggregating a mass market into compartmentalized subsets
based on criteria such as demographics (e.g. age, sex, location,
income), psychographics (e.g. attitudes, interests, lifestyles),
usage (e.g. heavy or light users), and benefits sought (e.g.
convenience, safety, power).
Strategically, the most effective segmentation is typically based
on a creative slicing of the market (like benefit segmentation),
rather than the application of traditional demographic variables
(like age or income).
The next step, after defining alternative segmentation schemes,
is the analytically based decision process of targeting, i.e.
selecting segments that are inherently attractive and that closely
match the companys strengths.
Without looking at the further discussion can you guess the
most attractive segment that can be targeted?
In general, we can say the most attractive segments to target are
those that are:

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b. Homogeneous within the segment, i.e. members are

relatively similar with respect to attitudes, buying criteria,
media habits, etc.
c. Heterogeneous across segments, i.e. members in different
egments have fundamental differences and act accordingly.
d. Accessible: members can be reached effectively with
communications, and shop in outlets through which
products can be efficiently distributed.
e. Winnable: the companys distinctive strengths match the
segments requirements and provide an advantage versus
competition, so the company can reasonably expect an
acceptable share of the industry profits.
You should know that whenever we are planning there are lots
of strategic decisions that are taken which are applicable in case
of positioning also. Now let us discuss about the strategies that
are involved in positioning.
You should try and focus on positioning strategy aspect more
because you can apply it successful only if you clear with
conceptual part of it.

This strategy basically focuses upon the characteristics of the

product or customer benefits. For example if I say Imported
items it basically tell or illustrate a variety of product
characteristics such as durability, economy or reliability etc. lets
take an example of motorbikes some are emphasizing on
fuel economy, some on power, looks and others stress on
their durability. Hero Cycles Ltd. positions first, emphasizing
durability and style for its cycle.
In fact we can position a product with respect to its
characteristics that competitor has ignored. Brands of paper
towels have emphasized absorbency until Viva was
successfully introduced stressing durability. Viva
demonstrations showed their products durability and
supported the claim that Viva keeps on working.
At time even you would have noticed that a product is
positioned along two or more product characteristics at the
same time. You would have seen this in the case of
toothpaste market, most toothpaste insists on freshness
and cavity fighter as the product characteristics. It is always
tempting to try to position along several product
characteristics, as it is frustrating to have some good
characteristics that are not communicated.
Myers and Shocker have Classified Product Characteristics

Positioning Strategies
Basically this positioning strategy can provide a focus in the
development of an advertising campaign. The strategy can be
conceived and developed in a variety of ways. It can be derive
from the object attributes, competition, specific, application, the
types of consumers involved, or the characteristics of the
product class. All these attributes represent a different approach
in developing a positioning strategy, even though all of them
have the common objective of projecting a favorable image in
the minds of the consumers or audience. There are seven
approaches to postponing strategy:

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Using Product Characteristics or Customer Benefits

2. Price Quality Approach or Positioning by Price-Quality

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turall sym bol
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Lets us Discuss these One by One

1. Using Product characteristics or Customer Benefits


Lets take an example and understand this approach just

suppose you have to go and buy a pair of jeans, as soon as
you enter in the shop you will find different price rage jeans
in the showroom say price ranging from 350 rupees to 2000
rupees. As soon as look at the jeans of 350 Rupees you say
that it is not good in quality. Why? Basically because of
perception, as most of us perceive that if a product is
expensive will be a quality product where as product that is
cheap is lower in quality. If we look at this Price quality
approach it is important and is largely used in product
positioning. In many product categories, there are brands
that deliberately attempt to offer more in terms of service,
features or performance. They charge more, partly to cover
higher costs and partly to let the consumers believe that the
product is, certainly of higher quality.
But you should understand that in the same product
category, there are many other brands that appeal on the basis
of price, although they might also try to perceive as having

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a. Prospectively profitable: the segments characteristics (e.g.

price levels, growth rate) and competitive environment (e.g.
number of competitors, basis of competition) are conducive
to a growing pool of profits.


comparable or at least adequate quality. In many product

categories, the price quality approach is so important that it
needs to be considered in any positioning decisions mainly
in durable consumer goods. For example, in general
merchandise stores, Sabka Bazar is at the top end and all
other departmental stores are positioned under it in terms
of price. The advertiser must maintain his image of low
price while communicating a quality message but there is
always a risk that the quality message will blunt the basic low
price position. So if you want to position your product in
terms of price and quality you have to be very careful.
3. Positioning by Use or Application
Lets understand this with the help of an example like
Nescafe Coffee for many years positioned it self as a winter
product and advertised mainly in winter but the introduction
of cold coffee has developed a positioning strategy for the
summer months also. Basically this type of positioning-byuse represents a second or third position for the brand, such
type of positioning is done deliberately to expand the
brands market. If you are introducing new uses of the
product that will automatically expand the brands market
4. Positioning by Product Process
Another positioning approach is to associate the product
with its users or a class of users. Makes of casual clothing
like jeans have introduced designer labels to develop a
fashion image. In this case the expectation is that the model
or personality will influence the products image by
reflecting the characteristics and image of the model or
personality communicated as a product user.
Lets not forget that Johnson and Johnson repositioned its
shampoo from one used for babies to one used by people
who wash their hair frequently and therefore need a mild
people who wash their hair frequently and therefore need a
mild shampoo. This repositioning resulted in a market
5. Positioning by Product Class
In some product class we have to make sure critical
positioning decisions For example, freeze dried coffee
needed to positions itself with respect to regular and instant
coffee and similarly in case of dried milk makers came out
with instant breakfast positioned as a breakfast substitute
and virtually identical product positioned as a dietary meal
6. Positioning by Cultural Symbols
In todays world many advertisers are using deeply
entrenched cultural symbols to differentiate their brands
from that of competitors. The essential task is to identify
something that is very meaningful to people that other
competitors are not using and associate this brand with that
symbol. Air India uses maharaja as its logo, by this they are
trying to show that we welcome guest and give them royal
treatment with lot of respect and it also highlights Indian
tradition. Using and popularizing trademarks generally
follow this type of positioning.


7. Positioning by Competitors
In this type of positioning strategies, an implicit or explicit
frame of reference is one or more competitors. In some
cases, reference competitor (s) can be the dominant aspect of
the positioning strategy, the firm either uses the same of
similar positioning strategies as used by the competitors or
the advertiser uses a new strategy taking the competitors
strategy as the base. A good example of this would be
Colgate and Pepsodent. Colgate when entered into the
market focused on to family protection but when Pepsodent
entered into the market with focus on 24 hour protection
and basically for kids, Colgate changed its focus from family
protection to kids teeth protection that is basically done
because of competition. This strategy may be preferred for
two simple reasons: i. Competitors may have a well-crystallized image developed
over a number of years. The advertiser may use that
image as a bridge to help communicate another image
referenced to it.
ii. Sometimes, you know what happens, it is not important
to know where you are or what your position is in the
market or how good consumers think you are. It is just
important that they believe that you are better or as good
as a given competitor.
When we are discussing positioning with respect to a
competitor it can be an excellent way to create a position with
respect to product characteristics, especially price quality. But
lets not forget that this cannot be done in certain cases where
it is difficult to evaluate, like liquor products will often use an
established competitor to help the positioning task.
Positioning with respect to a competitor can be accomplished
by comparative advertising i.e., advertising in which the name
of competitor is explicitly named and compared on one or
more product characteristics, on factual information. It
makes that communication task easier.
Procedure for Determining Positioning Strategy
In the previous topic, we have discussed different positioning
strategies, then what should be our positioning strategy. All of
us know that it is a complex and difficult task to identify and
select a positioning strategy. Lets us discuss the steps involved
in positioning strategy, there are basically six-step that are

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Det ermining h ow the Compet it ors are

Perceived an d Evalu ated

Dete rmini ng the competi tors posit ions

Basically these two approaches suggest a conceptual basis for

identifying competitors even when marketing research is not
employed. A management team or a group of experts, such
as retailers or buyers management team or a group of
experts, such as retailers or buyers who have an
understanding of customers, could employee one or both
of these bases to identify competitive groupings.

Anal ysi ng the Cus tomer

Maki ng the posi tioni ng Deci si on

Monitori ng the posi ti on

In each of the steps, marketing research techniques can be
employed to get the necessary information. These steps now
will be discussed:
1. Identifying the Competitors A first step is to identify the
competition. This step is not as simple as it seems to be. For
example, Pepsi might define its competitors as follows:
1. Other cola drinks
2. Non-diet soft drinks
3. All soft drinks
4. Non-alcoholic beverages,
5. All beverages except water
One thing, which should be clear to you, is regarding
competition that is there basically two types of competitors

Primary competitors i.e., competitors belonging to the

same product class

Secondary competitors, those belonging to other product


In the above example other cola drinks are primary

competitors and other drinks and beverages are secondary
This can be done in number of ways the first approach can
be to determine from buyers of a product, which other
brands or products they consider appropriate if suppose
they do not get a brand of their choice.
A buyer of Pepsi cola may be asked to recall his or her last
purchase of Pepsi and shelter any alternative went through
his or her mind or he may asked to name the alternative cola
if Pepsi was out of stock. The resulting analysed will identify
the primary and secondary groups competitive product.

Another approach that can be developed is related to your

associations with the products. In this a respondent may be
asked to maintain a diary or to recall the use context for
Pepsi. One might be with an afternoon snack. The
respondent may then be asked to name all the beverages,
which might be appropriate to drink with an afternoon
snack. For each drink or beverage, a list of use context can be
prepared. This process would continue for 20 or 30
respondents. Then another group of respondent will be
asked to make a judgment on a seven point scale as to how
appropriate each beverage would be for each use situations.
Thus if Pepsi was regarded as appropriate with snacks, it
would primarily compete with other beverages used with
snacks. The same approach would work with an industrial
product such as computers.

2. Determining how the Competitors are Perceived and

Evaluated The second step in is related to determining the
product positioning, it is basically done to see, when the
competitors products are purchased by the customers. It is
to see comparative view, an, appropriate set of product
attributes should be chosen. The term attributes includes
not only product characteristics and consumer benefits but
also product associations such as product use or product
users. In any product category, there are usually a host of
attribute possibilities. Some can be difficult to specify. For
example beer has taste, smell, strength, fullness (including
alcoholic content) attributes. The task is to identify the
potential attributes out of a variety of attributes to remove
redundancies from the test of attributes and then to select
those that are most useful and relevant in identifying the
product or brand images.
3. Determining the competitors positions our next focus
should be to determine how different brands (including our
own brand) are positioned with respect to the relevant
attributes selected under the previous step. At this point we
should be clear about what is the image that the customer
has about the various product brands? You have to see how
are they positioned in respect to each other? Which
competitors are perceived as similar and which as different?
This judgment can be made subjectively. However a research
can be taken up for getting the answer of these questions.
Such research is termed as multidimensional scaling because
its goals it to scale objects on several dimensions or
attributes. Multidimensional scaling can be based upon
either attribute data or non-attribute data this topic will be
covered in detail in Research Methodology Paper.
4. Analysing the Customer now you need to analysis the
customers habits and behaviour in a particular market
segment. The following questions need attention while
understanding the customer and the market (i) how is

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Identi fyi ng the competi tors


market segmented? (ii) What role does the product class pay
in the customers life style? What really motivates the
customers? And what habits and behavior patterns are

Thus, the first four steps in the process provide a useful

background. The fifth one only is taken to make the position
decision. The final step is to evaluate and measure and follow

The segmentation question is, of course, critical. There are

various approaches to segmentation but out of all benefit
segmentation is relevant here, which focuses upon the
benefits or attributes that a segment believes to be
important. In order to specify that benefit segments, it is
useful to highlight the role of ideal object as a tool.

Now lets discuss about Product positioning in


Now you should understand what is an ideal object, An

ideal object is an object, the customer prefer over all other
objects including the object, which really does not exist. It is
a combination of all the customers preferred attribute level.
Although, the assumption that people have similar
perception may be reasonable, their preferences are nearly
always different and there ideal object location will differ.
One reason to locate ideal object is to identify segments of
customers having similar ideal object. The attributes of ideal
object then should be compared and the advertiser should
improve the product by renovating the product in view of
the ideal object
5. Making the positioning Decision The above four steps
provide you a useful backgrounds and are necessary to be
conducted before taking any decision about positioning. The
managers can carry these steps or exercises. After these four
exercises, the following guidelines can be offered to reach a
positioning decision: i. An economic analysis should guide the decision. This
analysis depends upon two basic factors (a) the potential
market size, and (b) the penetration probability unless
both these factors are favourable, the success in unlikely.
ii. Positioning usually implies a segmentation commitment.
It implies concentration only on certain segments and
ignores the parts of the market. Such an approach
requires commitment and discipline to the potential
buyers. Yet the effect of generating distinct, meaningful
positions is to focus on the target segments and not be
constrained by the reaction of other segments.
iii. If the advertising is working, the advertiser should stick
to it. He should not get tired of a positioning strategy
and should not think of change in advertising used to
implement it.
iv. Do not try to be something, your are not. It is usually
fatal to decide on positioning strategy that exploits a
market need or opportunity but assumes that the
product is something, it is not.
v. In making a decision on position strategy, symbols or set
of symbols must be considered. If any brand or symbol
is already in use. That must be use in positioning strategy.
6. Monitoring the position An image objective, like an
advertising objective should be measurable. It is necessary to
monitor the position overtime, for that you have variety of
techniques that can be employed it can be on the basis of
some test and interviews which will help to monitor any
kind of change in the image.

Product positioning in Advertising

Product positioning is a new term developed in the advertising

circles during 1970s. No generally accepted definition of the
term has been developed, although the concept can be described
William J. Station in these words A products position is the
image that the product projects in the minds of consumers in
relation to, first, other products sold by the company, and,
second, to competitive product.
Thus product positioning may be referred to as the image or
overall impression of the product in the minds of the consumers as compared to other brands available in the market. In
other words, it is a reputation of the product, just as an
individual develops a reputation for consistency, trust worthiness and so on, so too do brands, products, companies and
A brand name may have many associations some may be based
on physical attributes other will reflect the fact that products are
used to express life styles, social positions, and professional
roles, Still others will reflect associations involving product
applications, types of people who might use the product, stores
that carry the product, or sales people who handle it. Basically,
the advertising can be used to mould and reinforce an image
and the decisions as to what kind of an image should be
developed is a very crucial to many advertising campaigns. This
decision means, selecting those, which are to be removed, or deemphasized.
So we can say that positioning or product positioning means
ranking the brands of a product in the order of the image or
overall impression in the minds of consumers. When we say
that Sony Music system is the best or number one among the
brands available in the market, it means the position of brand
Sony is at the top or it hold first position. The position must
have a frame of reference for the image, the reference point
usually being competition. It is important to understand that
several levels of organization the company it self its brands or
its products can be thought of as objects. An image is
associated with each, and that each can be positioned with
respect to competitive alternatives. Thus an attribute and a
competitor must be there in positioning the product.
Positioning According To Ries And Trout

We have just discussed about positioning and the types of

strategies that can be used in positioning. I hope now you are
quite clear with the positioning aspect now let us discuss
positioning by popular people in marketing, Al Ries and Jack
Trout in 1972. They started their work in late 60s. Their book
Positioning the Battle for Your Mind was published in 1980.
According to Al Ries and Jack Trout, positioning is a creative
and maintaining an image for the product or brand in the mind
of the target audience relative to other brands. According to

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Ries and Trout have distilled the essence of positioning into the
following four principles:

You should know that positioning can be done for the

products as well as for the corporate organizations as a whole.
Like Modi Xerox, they have positioned themselves as the
document company offering total solutions for efficiency
documentation management. If we are discussing about high
tech products the apt way of positioning would be on the basis
of intangible attributes, rather than on performance specifications.
They have also discussed market positioning. In this case you
have to first identify the opportunity, then it should be
followed by Segmentation, targeting and finally by competitive
strategy. When we are talking about positioning in the mind, it
is basically known as rational positioning. But lets not forget
that most of us (consumer) are driven by emotions. Like if we
say Coffee, for instance, it is about intimacy, romanced and
togetherness. Titan is a gift of appreciation. Lakme and Vareli
touch a streak of narcissism in a woman. One thing, which
should be clear to you, is brand positioning is not just occupying a slot in the mind of the consumers. It is also about ruling
the heart. Psychological positioning is thus a communication
exercise threat follow AIDA: Attention, Interest, Desire and
Action model. Psychological positioning grows out of t market
If the marketer wants to succeed in our over competitive and
over communication society a company must create a position
in the prospects mind, a position that takes into consideration
not only a companys own strength and weaknesses, but those
of its clients are well, that is what Ries and Trout have discussed
in their concept of poisoning
Trout and Ries Suggest a six-step Question
Framework for Successful Positioning
What position do you currently own?

What position do you want to own?

Whom you have to defeat to own the

position you want.



A company must establish a

positioning in the minds of
its targeted customers.
The position should be
singular, providing one
The position must set a
company apart form its
A company cannot be all
things to all people it must
focus its efforts.

The principles, which are discussed above, are applicable to any

type of organization that competes for customers like National
postal services compete with private courier companies; public
and non-profit hospitals compete with each other and with
private health care providers etc. for all the organizations,
understanding the concept of positioning is the key to developing an effective competitive posture. I hope this is clear to you
that the concept is certainly not limited to services, but its
origins was in packaged goods marketing-but it offers valuable
insights by forcing service managers to analyse their firms
existing offerings.
Just suppose any XYZ Soap Company says that their soap has
fragrance, is antiseptic, has moisturizer will make you fair and is
not expensive, you as a customer come across with such a
company, them what will be your reaction. How will you
position such soap in your mind, with so many other brands
already there in the market? Dont you think, it is a difficult task
for you to position such a company in your mind as they are
trying to position themselves on to different attributes, which
are mostly found in different soaps? The problem is with the
company as they are trying to increase the number of claims for
their brand; which will lead to risk of disbelief and a loss of
clear positioning.

Do you have the resources to do it?

Can you persist until you get there?

Are your tactics supporting the positioning

objective you set?


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them this process should be designed in such a way that it

occupies a different and valuable place in the mind of the target
customers. Thus positioning is not what we do to a product
but is what we do to the mind of the prospect.


In General, a Company must Avoid Four Major Positioning



positioningSometimes a
brand is as
just another

2. Over positioningWhen Buyers may have

too narrow an image of
the brand it is said to be
over positioned?

our product and how we shall compete with others. Viewed in

this fashion, core strategy borders on Unique Selling Proposition (USP) devised by Ted Bates. Different segments need
different core strategies. Core strategy is broader than USP
because it considers both external and internal factors.

Lowest price
and acceptable

Confused positioningBuyers might have a

confused image of the
brand resulting from
the companys making
too many claims or
changing the brands
positioning too

4. Doubtful positionin gbuyers may find it hard

to believe the brand
claims in view of the
products features,
price, or manufacturer

Common core

quality or

If you are able to solve positioning problems enables the

company to solve the marketing mix problem.
How do Companies Select their Positioning?
Perceptual Mapping: when we define Perceptual mapping we
say that it is basically a technique to represent what people think
about products or services, people or ideas. Technically they are
all objects. It is a spatial representation of the perceptions about
the brands on the parts of different individuals. If you perceive
the brands to be similar then you are getting them closer in the
perceptual space, and if you perceive them to be dissimilar then
you are putting them apart. Joint space analysis combines
perceptions about the brands and consumer preferences in a
single space. In short, I can say that it represents both brands
and people.
I hope you have understood that positioning is not changed
every now and then, but in case if there is a market evolution
then it may be necessary to change the positioning. As you
know that the environment is turbulent so it changes fast and
calls for frequent changes in positioning. At times a company
can lose its position due to change in technology, consumer
attitudes, competitive activity both in the economy and
amongst creative executives. That is the reason why a company
should be in touch with the market place, and reposition itself
before it suffers in terms of products, image and revenue.
Though sometimes positioning is based on the same product
benefit service, performance or quality, the product must be
changed while delivering these bundles of benefits.
Positioning itself depends upon the study of the market and
competition. In this case first you segment the market and then
you target it and you are also taking into consideration competitive efforts. Positioning a product to specific segments is the
next logical step. Thus positioning involves sacrifice we have
to sacrifice a few segments of the market. We cannot afford to
give all things to all people.
When we are discussing about positioning, we have to decide as
to who all are our competitors. Then there is a need to develop
a core strategy that runs as a common thread through all pieces
of planning. Core strategy basically tells us why customers buy

The above figure of strategies shows the most common core

strategies used if we talk about mature industries, both the core
strategies are in vogue, and they add to their performance. Both
these positions may not be practicable but when a firm starts on
one, it ends up on the other. Product quality contributes a great
deal to profitability of the firm. But its the most profitable
combination we can say is the one with a premium position.
Conventionally, when marketing was discussed it was in terms
of marketing mix the four Ps of product, price, place and
promotion. Though it was quiet satisfactory, but it fails to
recognize the planning and decision making activities of
marketing separately. When we are discussing about planning
activity, we consider the offer, which consists of product,
services, price and the way it is represented to the customer
through a communication message. Most of the organization
creates value through this offer.
When we are discussing about the total marketing budget it is
spent on advertising, sales promotion, sales management and
distribution acts basically to enhance the value created by the
offer, and accordingly they delivers the same value to the
customer. These are infact marketing support activities. By this
they are trying to market the offer in an attractive manner to
their marketing intermediaries and customer.
One things which all of you should understand, that the offer
should be made appealing by the product manager where he /
she should take into consideration the product opportunities,
product design, product price and product positioning.
All of us know that a product has attributes and features. But
these must be related to perceived benefits preferences and
selection. If I say a camera the Important attributes would be
day-to-day use are ease of operation, picture clarity, automatic
forwarding and rewinding, and date time insert. For a moped
for teenagers the important attributes are reasonable price, a

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each other Any gaps could be regarded as possible areas for new

Apart from these attributes, customers aspirations and

perceptions and the availability of competing offers present
infinite alternatives of value creation. The challenge is to identify
what value would appeal to the customer convincingly.

The term positioning refers to the consumers perception of a

product or service in relation to its competitors. You need to
ask yourself, what is the position of the product in the mind of
the consumer?

In positioning it is necessary to tune according to the target

audience. I hope all of you know AmEx credit card they have
positioned themselves on the basis of exclusivity as their
positioning strategy for their customers. But it positions itself
as a business expander that will add volumes to a retailers
business. One thing, which should be clear to you as a marketer,
is related to whom you want to serve. Customer segments can
be based on core competence, strategies and revenue potential.
We must be fairly intimate with the behavioural dynamics of
the target audience and their need pattern.

Look at the example below using the auto market

Product: Ferrari, BMW, Proton, Mercury Cougar, Hyundai, and

When we say pricing it is based not only upon costs but is

related to the product quality, service and message. Price is used
as a tool to change perceptions about the product. A premium
priced Mercedes Benz manufactured in India costs Rs.
32,00,000 and conveys a sense of superior value to the customers.
Communication helps the marketer to builds up image of the
product. Image build up is influenced more by the effectiveness
of the communication than by the communication budget.
Now lets come to the final discussion on Products or services,
which are mapped together on a positioning map. This
allows them to be compared and contrasted in relation to each
other. This is the main strength of this tool. Marketers decide
upon a competitive position, which enables them to distinguish their own products from the offerings of their
competition (hence the term positioning strategy).
Take a look at the basic positioning map template below.

Positioning Map for Cars

The seven products are plotted upon the positioning map. It
can be concluded that products tend to bunch in the high price/
low economy (fast) sector and also in the low price/high
economy sector. There is an opportunity in the low price/ low
economy (fast) sector. Maybe Hyundai or Daewoo could
consider introducing a low cost sport saloon. However,
remember that it is all down to the perception of the individual.
Once a positioning strategy is determined, it must be communicated effectively to the audiences.
Finally Just through this Article
August 2000
Case Study : Is Search Engine Positioning Really Worthwhile?

The marketer would draw out the map and decide upon a label
for each axis. They could be price (variable one) and quality
(variable two), or Comfort (variable one) and price (variable
two). The individual products are then mapped out next to


Here are some very serious questions that Ive been asked about
search engine positioning. How much traffic can search engine
positioning generate? Is search engine optimization worth my
time to pursue? Is it cost-effective? These are legitimate
questions that our subscribers have asked about this popular
marketing practice.
Back in 1996, I discovered how important top rankings were in
the major search engines. As a business owner who admittedly
started his company from his home and on a shoe string

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sleek style, easy start, easy pick up, fuel economy, and maintenance services.


budget, I didnt have the luxury of a big advertising budget.

Fortunately, by marketing our site through the search engines,
we generated thousands of dollars in sales while spending zero
in advertising dollars. This helped a great deal to get the
business off the ground.
Many of you who have used WebPosition Gold for search
engine optimization know what a tremendous return on
investment it yields. However, recently Ive read an article or two
suggesting that search engine positioning may no longer be a
wise use of online marketing dollars. As a marketing veteran,
this really shouldnt surprise me.
Everyone knows that controversy sells magazines and newspapers. However, for someone to suggest that search engine
positioning is not an important use of an online marketing
budget when I know so many people who had proven
otherwise was just too much to stomach.

were tracking, not the many incidental and accidental rankings

that such a large-scale effort undoubtedly creates. Their sites
traffic from search engines topped 238,000 visitors per month.
The successes represented by these case studies are certainly
noteworthy. While solid outcomes can be expected when you
employ an expert services firm like iProspect.com, marketers
should look to wider industry validation before making
decisions about new marketing methods such as search engine
Therefore, I asked iProspect.com what studies and statistics they
had tracked about the value of search engine positioning that
validates this marketing method. Yet again, they had done their
homework. As you would guess, the analyst and industry
support for search engine positioning was solid.

Therefore, I contacted Fredrick Marckini, the CEO of

iProspect.com, one of the most successful search engine
positioning agencies in the country and the company that wrote
the book on search engine positioning called Secrets to
Achieving Top 10 Rankings.
Knowing he was a recognized expert in this field, I asked him if
he would discuss some client case studies and share some of
his firms insider research. I also asked him to reveal some
search engine positioning tips that our readers would find
valuable. I was pleasantly surprised by the wealth of information he produced.
I asked iProspect.com to share some specific client success
stories that would demonstrate the real-world value of search
engine positioning. I have received testimonials from many
satisfied users of WebPosition Gold and they talk about specific
rankings and increases in traffic that their search engine positioning efforts have generated but I could not have anticipated
the examples provided by iProspect.com. These examples clearly
demonstrated, on a much larger scale, the true power of search
engine positioning.
iProspect.coms contracts contain non-disclosures so we must
respect their clients right to privacy. We will discuss them and
their online businesses by their business category, what they sell,
their industry and/or the nature of their sites only.
One of these clients operates an e-commerce site that sells
automobile parts. What makes this case study so interesting is
that this particular company has never used any other online
advertising; not banner ads, not e-mail marketing, nor print or
television advertising. Their entire online marketing campaign
consisted of search engine positioning, and they engaged
iProspect.com from launch through to today. This Web site,
through search engine positioning alone, is now transacting
$250,000 per month in sales. They are on-track to hit $3 million
dollars in sales this year. According to iProspect.com, these
visitors can only be coming from search engine referrals.
Another iProspect.com client operates a number of technical
content Web sites. According to Fredrick Marckini,
iProspect.com increased their rankings from 2,041 top-30
rankings to 13,338 total top-30 rankings in a five month period
- and that counted only those keywords and phrases that they


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