The right Positioning is Key to Success

Brand positioning is one of the most important and difficult decisions in marketing. The term positioning means owning a credible and profitable “position” in customer’s perception, either by getting there first, or by adopting a position relative to competitive offers, or by repositioning the competition. Experience has proven that the success of emotional (and rational) brand positioning and communication attempts present a frontier or knife edge problem: There is only a real chance for sweeping success when the brand meets an emotional and factual wish or need very precisely. Namely if you want to position your brand on a relevant emotional benefit you have to hit it precisely.

Therefore competitive advantage can come only from a solid foundation of knowing your customers and uncovering relevant cause and effect chains how they choose. The rest should be seen for what it is – a lottery. - The so called trial and error approach is rarely successful. – Innovative tools such as the Limbique Emotional Explorer, to unearth the hidden forces that drive our behaviour, and “Positioner-Analysis”, to provide a quantitative sound basis, provide the foundation for successful positionings and sustainable competitive advantage.

Usually every positioning statement contains all relevant elements which should be covered in an appropriate market analysis for that purpose. However experience shows that only rarely all five relevant dimensions are analysed in strategic market research for positioning purposes:

  • emotional benefit
  • rational benefit
  • reason why, „reason to believe“
  • usage situation(s)
  • tonality and execution style (e.g. life style, Limbic personality)

Given the increasing complexity of most markets nowadays, it has proven to be important to analyse markets on these five dimensions. Special multi-causal analysis can be used to identify the best positioning option for your brand as spectacular brand successes have demonstrated.

The following strategic way of iterative steps has identified optimal brand positioning in numerous applications: 

1.  Try to dominate the key category benefit directly (if possible)
Experience has proven again and again that if a brand succeeds to dominate the category core benefit, it nearly „automatically“ becomes market leader – unless your brand is limited by some perceived barriers (e.g. taste barrier). Success examples: ACC akut, Birds Eye / Iglo; Dymo Labelwriter, Leitz,Odol med 3 in Germany / Colgate Total in USA

2. Use a superior reason why to dominate the core category benefit
Success examples: Langnese Cremissimo, WD-40

3. Communicate the key category benefit in a new (different) way
Success example: Jever

4. Try to dominate the key category benefit in a different usage situation
Success examples: Jules Mumm, Odol mouth spray

5. Appeal to market segments with different need profiles
Market segmentation, if properly applied, can discover customer groups whose behaviour can be changed or whose needs profiles are not being met. Success examples: Beck’s Gold, BOSCH IXO, Sheba, Wrigley Extra

The following case studies indicate the opportunities:
AETA Case Study Baileys Mini Case Study Beck's Gold Case Study Beck's International Case Study Birds Eye Case Study DYMO Case Study Efasit Case Study Enzym Lefax Case Study Hasseröder Case Study ibutop Case Study Iglo 4 Sterne Menue Case Study Kathi Case Study Landliebe Case Study Lefax Case Study Leitz Case Study LEKI Case Study MC Iglo Case Study Milka Case Study Moet Case Study N-Ergie Case Study Niederegger Case Study Nivea Case Study PerfectDraft Case Study Sheba Case Study TV Hören und Sehen Case Study Verpoorten Case Study Vorwerk Case Study WD-40 Case Study WD-40 Smart Straw Case Study WeightWatchers Case Study Wrigley´s Extra Case Study

R. Mayer de Groot: Erfolgreiche Positionierung: Warum Marktsegmentationen meistens falsch sind, Eppstein 2008

R. Mayer de Groot u.a.: International brand guidance research leads to success, planung & analyse Special English Edition 2000

R. Mayer de Groot: “Produktpositionierung”, Köln 1984