If you were asked to name as many wrist-watch brands as you can think of, how many could you name? Most of us would be able to think of three or four. If you are an A-class student you could probably rattle off about seven.
Now think about your company’s product or service – how many brands do you think your customers could name in your category and how many brands would they mention before they get to yours?
If your brand isn’t the first or second one they think of, you may want to look at your brand positioning strategy.
Before you can change the position of your product or service in the minds of your customers, you need to understand which factors influence the position. Positioning is influenced by perceptions, impressions and feelings that customers have towards your product or service, and that of a competing brand. What emotion comes to mind when I mention Breitling? How does it compare to your feelings for Casio? What has Breitling done to create the emotion you feel?
The answers are in the ads they created, the materials or solutions they used in the design, the stories they told you and the way they priced the product – these all work towards positioning Breitling in your mind. Each of these touchpoints creates perceptions, impressions, and feelings and ultimately how you position the product.
You may wonder why positioning takes place in our minds? The main reason is that we’re overloaded with information about the variety of different products and services in the marketplace. We as consumers cannot re-evaluate every product every-time we make a buying decision. So, to help us consume, it is easier to pop something into a category like luxury watch brand or luxury Swiss watch category.
Our mind organises products, brands, and companies into categories to shorten evaluation time for each purchase. and by differentiating your product or service, you can achieve the position you want in the consumer’s mind. Consumers position products with or without the help of marketers and it is important that you as a marketer help the consumer understand how to position your product or service in relation to your competition.
As mentioned, Breitling uses a number of elements to evoke emotion in its consumers, referred to as a marketing mix. The use of a marketing mix creates a planned position. Finding the right positioning strategy requires selecting a value proposition that communicates the full mix of benefits on which the product or service of your brand is positioned, as well as developing a positioning statement. In simple terms, it is the answer to the customer’s question: Why should I buy this watch from you?
If you look at Breitling, you can observe that its value proposition relies on a number of elements, such as it has been around since 1884, it is Swiss precision made and it’s durable. Breitling also speaks about being an innovator in Chronographs. In my opinion, Breitling’s main value is the brand positioning Breitling has been associated with aviation and marine navigation. On the contrary, a Casio watch is positioned on the economy.
Value propositions can be associated with a cost relative to the benefits they offer and below are the key pricing differentiators to position your product by
More for More
More benefits at a higher price, meaning, you offer a product with superior customer value and charge higher prices for that. Think of a Cartier watch encrusted with diamonds. The better the quality, durability, performance or style, the higher the price. These types of products usually carry prestige and status to the buyer.
More for the same
More benefits or value at the same price as a competitor. Rado can be taken as an example – it offers more value, being a luxury Swiss watch brand, while not claiming exceptionally higher prices, in contrast to competitors such as TAG Huer.
The same for less
The-same-for-less positioning is applied by discounters. It can be a very powerful value proposition, as every customer likes a good deal. Companies pursuing this strategy do not claim to offer better products, but the same value product as their competitors at a lower price. IWC (International Watch Company) is a good example.
Less for much less
Less-for-much-less positioning can be identified in nearly every market. Often, consumers are searching for much lower prices and therefore accept less benefits. For example, a Casio watch for $10 offers less benefits than a luxury watch would in the way of prestige, but still tells the time.
More for less
More-for-less positioning, in theory should be the winning value proposition but in practice, it often simply does not work. Although many companies claim to offer more benefits or value at a lower price, it is not possible in the long run to maintain this best-of-both positioning strategy. Offering more benefits usually cost more. The Casio G-Shock in my opinion offers a lot of value at a fair price compared to other outdoor watches.
Do you need to change your pricing to change the position you own or do you need to create a whole new product or service category?