Following are some real-life tips on brand positioning.
Fact 1: Consumers, like spouses if you’re the jealous type, are all potential cheaters.
No matter how satisfied you think they are with you, you cannot expect them to be loyal to you 24/7. Every day they are exposed to temptation (in marketing language refers to hundreds and thousands of ads and messages from competitors) online.
The Internet delivers information about all these potential “others” in the form of Facebook feeds, emailers, interactive media, or simply unassuming web pages.
Fact 2: Consumers are cynical and discriminating. They don’t want to be tied up to anything unless it suits their needs.
The hard part though is that you cannot file an annulment case against them. You need them in your business.
The trick, I think, is to stop being the poor, jilted lover. You can be the unforgettable, irresistible choice regardless if you’re the spouse or the “other”. In other words, making yourself distinct and memorable.
Positioning is the act of designing a company’s offering and image to occupy a distinctive place in the minds of the target market.
Among Philippine brands that were able to successfully position themselves well are Jollibee Foods, Ayala Corporation, San Miguel Corporation, Bank of the Philippine Islands, Globe Telecom, Banco de Oro, and a few more.
The goal of positioning is to locate the brand in the minds of consumers. For example, Cebu Pacific, with its slogan “It’s time everyone flies” is the current number 1 in low-cost travel market. (At least for now, that is.)
To be effective, companies must be able to identify and communicate their brands’ uniqueness and verifiable value to their consumers.
Generally, the following are the key steps you need to do to create an effective positioning strategy for your brand:
Cebu Pacific achieved its desired positioning through a coherent, aggressive and well-placed marketing strategy. It has the most number of domestic destinations among all providers. As most players in the local industry are offering low-cost flights, year-round promos, Cebu Pacific differentiated itself by offering no-frills and fun flights (holding quick games and giving prices to passengers while on flight), an efficient and best-performing online booking system (although sometimes their website doesn’t work), as well as a convenient online check-ins and reservations.
In order to sustain long-term gains from a good positioning strategy, it is important to deliver the promise consistently. In the case of Cebu Pacific, it is not enough to have the most flights and destinations. They also have to improve their service quality, and minimize, if not eliminate, flight delays. These and other areas of dissatisfaction that exist today should be addressed if Cebu Pacific were to stay longer on top.
In relationships, I don’t recommend being so untrusting. And I don’t always espouse monogamy either. There are cases where an open and honest relationship works for partners.
But the opposite is the case in business. You have to always strive for loyalty. And it is advisable to be always suspicious. That is why you always have to rethink, reinvent, and rework your strategies.
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Here's a book I co-wrote with a bunch of industry colleagues. Not sure if you'll find it useful, but feel free to check once you can.
Ateneo Graduate School of Business
University of San Carlos