Positioning refers to the place that a brand occupies in the mind of the customer and how it is distinguished from products from competitors. In order to position products or brands, companies may emphasize the distinguishing features of their brand (what it is, what it does and how, etc.) or they may try to create a suitable image (inexpensive or premium, utilitarian or luxurious, entry-level or high-end, etc.) through the marketing mix. Once a brand has achieved a strong position, it can become difficult to reposition it.
Positioning is one of the most powerful marketing concepts. Originally, positioning focused on the product and with Ries and Trout grew to include building a product’s reputation and ranking among competitor’s products. Primarily, it is about “the place a brand occupies in the mind of its target audience”. Positioning is now a regular marketing activity or strategy. A national positioning strategy can often be used, or modified slightly, as a tool to accommodate entering into foreign markets.
It has also been called product positioning, but that is a limiting description because it focuses on the product itself, while the positioning marketing technique focuses on the minds of the consumers.
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