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Evaluating the effectiveness of brand‐positioning strategies from a consumer perspective

Christoph Fuchs (Aarhus School of Business, University of Aarhus, Aarhus, Denmark)
Adamantios Diamantopoulos (Department of Business Studies, University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria)

European Journal of Marketing

ISSN: 0309-0566

Article publication date: 16 November 2010




The purpose of the paper is to explore empirically the overall relative effectiveness of alternative positioning strategies from a consumer perspective.


Two studies (within‐ and between‐subjects design) are conducted aimed at evaluating the positioning success of four distinct positioning strategies of real brands in terms of consumers' perceptions of brand favorability, differentiation, and credibility, while controlling for brand‐specific, product category‐specific, and socio‐demographic influences.


The results show that the type of positioning strategy used affects the positioning success of a brand. More specifically, the study confirms normative arguments about the overall relative effectiveness of main positioning strategies by revealing that benefit‐based positioning and surrogate (user) positioning generally outperform feature‐based positioning strategies along the three effectiveness dimensions. The findings also demonstrate that no single strategy outperforms all the others on all dimensions.

Research limitations/implications

The study is limited in terms of the number of positioning strategies and product categories evaluated. The paper introduces an alternative approach to measure the effectiveness of positioning strategies of real brands. Moreover, the results of the paper show empirically that measuring positioning effectiveness must extend beyond capturing unidimensional brand attitude measures.

Practical implications

The findings should guide brand managers in selecting the most appropriate positioning strategies for their brands in high‐involvement markets such as the automobile market.


The study sheds initial light on the overall relative effectiveness of major positioning strategies. The study differentiates itself from existing studies by focusing on the conceptually most prominent positioning strategies, a different dependent variable, and employing real‐life brands and advertisements.



Fuchs, C. and Diamantopoulos, A. (2010), "Evaluating the effectiveness of brand‐positioning strategies from a consumer perspective", European Journal of Marketing, Vol. 44 No. 11/12, pp. 1763-1786.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2010, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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