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Introduction

Repositioning is a marketing strategy that changes aspects of a product or brand in order to change market position and alter consumer perception. It involves changing the identity of a product, relative to the identity of competing products, in the collective minds of the target market. This approach of repositioning is often done to revitalize the brand which is losing sales and market share and/or has approached the end of its product life. This type of repositioning does not target new customers, but seeks rather to update the image or features of a brand. But sometimes a company may deliberately reposition a brand to attract new customers. This may often involve significant changes to one or more of the marketing mix elements. This might be to take account of market dynamics or revitalize flagging sales. Also sometimes a marketer can create a new position in the market by introducing new criteria for brand choice based on attributes in which the marketer is strong. The strategy followed in repositioning is essentially based on repositioning competitor brands rather than changing the position of ones own brand. This means altering the perceived position of competitive brand from the perspective of the customers.

There are three reasons for re-positioning


Competition Change Crisis

Competition: Every re-positioning problem has to start with competition. It not what the organization wants to do, it is what the competition let them do. Unless they have a wonderful new invention or have stumbled into a monopoly chances are that the organization will face some killer competition who will take away their business. For instance, Avis a luxury car rental service claimed in their advertisement, "No.2, We Try Harder", the point was to say something so shocking (it was by the standards of the day) that it cleared space in the consumers brain and made them forget all about who was #1, and not to make some philosophical point about being "hungry" for business.

Change: Use of latest technologies, communications, and multimedia resources to connect with the consumers. For instance, Dettol toilet soap was positioned as beauty soap initially. This was not in line with its core values. Dettol, the parent brand (anti-septic liquid) was known for its ability to heal cuts and gashes. The extension's 'beauty' positioning was not in tune with the parents germ-kill positioning. The soap, therefore, had to be repositioned as a germ-kill soap (bath for grimy occasions'') and it fared extremely well after repositioning Crisis: Repositioning enables an organisation to cope with every form of crisis from losses and rising cost to bad press and PR nightmares. For instance, on October 2003, a customer discovered worm inside a Cadbury chocolate bar, the controversy immediately plunged the company sales and created bad press for the company. Cadburys solution: they launched a trust exercise in the form of advertisement featuring Amitabh Bachhan taking a tour of Cadbury factoring. This advertisement restored some amount of trust of the customer and helped Cadbury regain its lost market position.

Strategies of repositioning
After having developed a position for a brand there is a frequent need to reposition, as the market develops, competitors enter or exit customers expectations and needs also changes. In thinking about repositioning the marketing planner has 4 strategic options: 1. Gradual Repositioning: this involves a planned and continuous adaptation to the changing marketing environment. 2. Radical Repositioning: this strategy helps in minimizing the gap between what the brand offers and what market wants. 3. Innovative Repositioning: it is a strategy where the planner finds a new strategic position that offers market opportunities that have not so far been identified by competitors. 4. Zero Repositioning: it is the strategy where the organization maintains an unchanged face to the market over a long period of time and/or it communicates very poorly with the target market, with the result that potential customers have little idea of what organization stands for. There are several factors for repositioning. Repositioning is changing the position of brands, repositioning includes:

1. Increasing occasions for use. Eg: Burnol: curing burns to 3 in 1 curing burns, cuts and gashes Titan: Watch with elegance to Watches as gifts. 2. Search for viable positions. Eg: Centaur : Hotel with style to Hotel for business class. 3. Making the brand serious. Eg: Saffola: Good for heart to Heart not safe without Saffola. 4. Falling sales Eg: Ambassador: Rugged road-master rational to A member of the family emotional. 5. Bringing new customers. Eg: Rayban: For Males to Females as well. 6. Making the brand contemporary. Eg: Onida: Neighbors envy, Owners pride to Worlds envy, Owners pride. 7. Differentiate from others. Eg: Mint-O: Adult candy to All mint no hole. 8. Changed market conditions. Eg: Horlicks: Milk additives to Nutrition.

Certain points to be kept in mind, when an organisation undergoes repositioning:


Be relevant to a customers frame of reference: When repositioning a brand it is essential for marketers to capture not just emotional and physical needs of the customers, but the dynamics of the situation in which the needs occur. We refer to this as the customers frame of reference. For example like isotonic beverages like Gatorade and Powerade are thirst quenching drinks, consumers tend to think of them in the broader context of sports, exercise and physical activities. Indeed most customers have a specific definition of what the brand is and what it can be relative to their frame of reference. Repositioning a brand too far from this frame of reference creates customer confusion that makes a positioning unsuccessful. Attempting to reposition Gatorade, for example, within a social light hearted context would probably be stretching the brand to far from the current sports/physical activity frame of reference. Similarly, a communications company known for data services for business customers would likely to reposition the brand

too far outside of the customers frame of reference if it suddenly tried to launch a friends and family calling plan. Securing the customers permission: Establishing the frame of reference does not automatically translate into successful brand repositioning. To reach that end point marketers must ensure that they have the customers permission to claim the new ground to which the brand aspires. Because that permission amounts to reasonable and logical extension of the brand in the eyes of the customers, it requires building a bridge that can carry customers from where perceive the brand. Bridges are often best built from where they leverage the unique emotional benefits or identity elements of the brands equity that are relevant to its customers. Emotional brand benefits can provide the most powerful source of brand permission.If a brand is currently meeting the customers emotional needs then extension of that brand into an allied product/service arena to be today to where the company may want to take it in the future. Thus for the celestial seasonings brand the bridge leverages customers perception of the brand as organic, natural and healthy to allow the brand to extend from its core product to teas into herb based and alternative vitamin and mineral supplement. Make sure what you say is what you do: After the brand repositioned, marketers must ensure the brand performance is able to leave up to its new promise. While do what you say has always been rule number one for building brand equity, following that rule can be a significant challenge for many companies. This is particularly true in service industries, given the need for tremendous change and industries that require long lead time for organisational or infrastructure changes. Such changes occur at the same time customers are being presented with the new brand position. Due to complexities of brand positioning, many marketers are correctly choosing to move to an interim repositioning. This interim repositioning is designed to establish brand credibility and performance on the road to fully achieving the longer term aspirational repositioning. Such a repositioning focuses on those aspects of the brand on which the organisation is currently able to deliver.

Repositioning an ailing brands


Brands ails for all sorts of reasons. When companies notice that their brand, products or services have taken a hit in the market they have several options. They can adjust sales strategies, reallocate resources, and/or consider a brand repositioning. Before embarking on new strategies, they must get to the reason for change, by conducting research that helps uncover and understand the source of variation. With every brand repositioning, one must explore and assess the market and identify as many repositioning options as possible then gather data that gives a clear picture of the repositioning options before jumping to conclusions or attempting to shift customer perceptions in a particular direction. After analyzing all options, one must chart the course that maximizes ones relationship in targeted market segments. Identifying the resources will help to support ones repositioning endeavor.

When repositioning is not required


There are risk associated with repositioning and strategic approach, if a brand is well established and strong. Repositioning may be unwise and difficult to achieve, however where it is triggered by falling sales or in the anticipation of faltering performance, repositioning may be necessary. Example Lowenbrau was a successful beer before attempts to reposition it, caused it to falter. Original position as a truly great German beer, it was exported out of Europe. When the brand was bought by an American company, Miller, the new owner decided that they would not be able to continue importing it quickly enough and started brewing it in the USA. The position was changed to a truly great American beer but this was at odds with the beers established perception. Production issues led to the change in position and Miller had to spend millions of dollars creating a new position.

Conclusion
Repositioning shows an organisation how to adapt, competeand succeedin todays overcrowded marketplace. Even if the company is doing well, these cutting-edge marketing observations can keep a company on top of their game and ahead of the pack.Understanding the mindset of the consumers is half the battle. Winning in todays world is often a matter of repositioning. Its how one rethink the strategies one has always relied on. Its how one regain the success they haveworked so hard for. Its how one wins the new battle of the mind.