Study Notes for Positioning

What is positioning?

Positioning is defined as the target market’s perception of the product’s key benefits and features, relative to the offerings of competitive products.

The important aspects of this definition are:

  • Positioning is the perception held by consumers
  • The focus is on the perceptions of the target market
  • Only the key features and benefits can be effectively communicated for most brands
  • Perception is relative to competing products

The role of positioning in the STP process

Positioning is the third and final major phase of the overall STP (segmentation, targeting and positioning) process.

Importance of positioning

• Support overall strategy
• Differentiate offerings
• Competitive position
• Increase sales and customer loyalty
• Avoid cannibalization
• Clear communication and consistency
• Reduce price sensitivity
• Good for low-involvement purchases
• Good for habitual purchases
• Facilitate W-O-M
• Guide marketing mix development

Tagline or slogan?

  • Tagline is usually ongoing, part of positioning
  • Slogan is often short-term, for a specific campaign

But please note that it is common to use the terms tagline and slogan interchangeably in business discussions.

Tagline Examples

  • Melts in your mouth, not in your hands (M&Ms)
  • Always (Coca-Cola)
  • When it absolutely, positively, has to be there overnight (Federal Express)
  • We try harder (Avis Rent-a-Car)
  • Eat fresh (Subway)
  • Choice of a new generation (Pepsi)


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