View Full Version : Retrenchment problems 2009 Sigh

03-24-2009, 11:41 AM
I was part of the massive Philippine layoff of Jan 15 - around 1000 employees of 2 large US companies lost their jobs in a single day. There was even talk of a local outsourcing company who simply shutdown unannounced. There was crying in the city at that time --good thing I had internet income running 2 months before --so I really wasn't worried like the rest who had to contend with a new larger job market looking for scarce jobs. 1000 people may be small compared to the US - but this is the first time this has happened to the Philippines!

In the meetings of the "fired people, I felt I had to extend a hand and said "Why don't they visit my website - http://www.jomarhilario.com - I teach a free three month lesson via email on how to create income using blogs." Though I was shy at first, I think they really needed to know that there options out there. Specially now. I extend the same invite to you. Once your anger or disbelief is over. Signup to my blog and start learning the step by step lessons that enabled me to smile when things are grim.

04-07-2009, 08:39 AM
Mula kina Ned and Ardy Roberto ---

Marketing positions

By Ned Roberto, Ardy Roberto
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 03:53:00 02/27/2009

Filed Under: Marketing, Market research

(First of a series)

Question: We’ve attended several seminars on brand positioning and each seminar speaker had his/her own idea of what the concept means. So instead of coming out of these seminars with a clearer idea of what brand positioning is really all about, we ended up confused and with more unanswered questions than when we came in. We hope you can help us with our unanswered questions. Here they are:

1. What does positioning mean and what’s the difference (if any) between brand positioning, market positioning and competitive positioning?

2. What is a positioning statement and what’s the right way of composing it?

3. Can we present to our target consumers our brand positioning statement in the way that it was composed?

4. Why is it that, as one seminar speaker told us, this is the job of our ad agency and not ours?

5. On the subject of repositioning or positioning change, another seminar speaker, a very impressive one, reminded us that brand positioning is all about brand values. But he said that changing positioning cannot be done by changing consumer values. We can only change our brand differentiator versus competition on a consumer priority value. Is this correct?

6. On differentiator, still another speaker told us that it’s bad to change differentiator when we’re thinking of changing positioning, especially when our differentiator has defined our brand equity. In our case, we’ve often changed the differentiator of our leading brand of baby milk. That’s as often as our ad agency had recommended. Does this mean our ad agency does not know what it’s recommending?

Answer: You raised important questions. They are currently the subjects of continuing debate in marketing. We’ll answer your questions one column at a time.

So on to your first question: “What does positioning mean and what’s the difference among brand positioning, market positioning and competitive positioning?” This is the most basic of all your questions. We want to tackle this because we have something new to say and share about this question.

Positioning is essentially another term for motivating. Brand positioning is made up of market positioning and competitive positioning. So brand positioning means motivating consumers to favor your brand instead of the competitors’. Market positioning is about the first half of brand positioning, i.e., motivating your market to buy your brand. Competitive positioning relates to the second half of brand positioning, i.e., motivating the consumers away from competition.

Let’s now talk some more about market positioning. As mentioned, that’s basically positioning your brand to your market. What about your market specifically? That’s about your target market segment’s priority product values.

It’s the first necessary condition for brand positioning. It states that you must position your brand on something important to your target consumers.

When you talk to your consumers, you’ll find that there are many product values that are important to them. So you need to also find out how they prioritize those important values. That’s the meaning of “priority product values.”

Let’s study this further.

The Sensodyne example

In its print ad last Saturday in the Science/Health Section of the Philippine Daily Inquirer, it was obvious that Sensodyne’s market positioning is about preventing plaque buildup and gum problems brought about by ignoring pain from sensitive teeth. Presumably, from among the many product values of consumers with sensitive teeth, Sensodyne has identified this toothpaste value as its highest priority.

But suppose this is not so, or that consumers have changed priorities, what then? That’s precisely the fundamental problem with motivating or positioning. When positioning your brand, you are assuming as the marketer that you’ve chosen the right priority to motivate your target consumers.

Positioning is both marketer and consumer behavior.

This is a critical assumption. It reminds you that you should always consider that positioning is both a marketer behavior and a consumer behavior. When you position your brand, it does not automatically translate into the consumer positioning your brand as you have positioned it. In other words, when you motivate, that doesn’t mean that your target of motivating will be motivated in the way you want. Your target consumers will respond or position your brand the way they want.

How are consumers positioning your brand?

So, if you were Sensodyne’s brand manager, for example, you should be prepared for two possibilities. The first is that it could happen that your assumed consumer priority is no longer so. Secondly, your target consumers may decide to position Sensodyne as good for something else. This means that you should always check how your consumers are positioning your brand. If your positioning differs from your consumers’, then you must align with your consumers’ positioning or you risk failure.

What about competitive positioning?

When the Sensodyne print ad said that Sensodyne can relieve the pain of your sensitive teeth better than “regular toothpaste,” that is its competitive positioning. It’s Sensodyne’s differentiator claim as against regular toothpaste competitor brands.

In the same way that consumers may position Sensodyne on another priority value than where you’ve positioned it, they may also position it against something else than “regular toothpaste” brands. What if those with sensitive teeth say that this is primarily a problem for dentists and not just for toothpastes? In such a case, the consumer-defined competitors are the dentists while the marketer-defined competitors are the regular toothpaste brands. So to position against regular toothpastes is a flawed competitive positioning.

Beware of the two fatal brand positioning errors.

The foregoing tells you that in brand positioning, you have to be careful about two fatal errors. One is the market positioning error of motivating on a consumer product value that is not a priority to your target consumers. The other is the competitive positioning error of trying to be better against a marketer-defined competitor that diverges from the consumer-defined competitor.

Next Friday we will tackle your second question which is not as simple as it appears.

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Keep your questions coming. Send them to MarketingRx@pldtDSL.net God bless!