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Case study
Publication date: 20 January 2017

Derek Rucker and David Dubois

This case features Bel-Brand's efforts to position its flagship brand The Laughing Cow in the United States. The challenges in this case are twofold. First, choose a…

Abstract

This case features Bel-Brand's efforts to position its flagship brand The Laughing Cow in the United States. The challenges in this case are twofold. First, choose a viable position for a brand after a period of high growth following the South Beach Craze. The difficulty here is that the initial driver of the brand's position, the South Beach Craze, an environmental factor, is dwindling and is not sustainable. Second, the brand was receiving pressure from global stakeholders to try to unify the positioning in the United States with the global brand positioning. These are both challenges that were faced by the marketing team and raised in the case.

This case can be used to teach the following topics: 1) Developing a sustainable positioning. This case gives students the valuable experience of making a positioning choice and supporting the rationale for the positioning chosen. Furthermore, it demonstrates how a brand maintained a position after the initial support/argument for that position has dwindled or disappeared. 2) Managing global versus local positioning. The case also showcases a real life example of where positioning in the United States was extremely misaligned from the global positioning of the brand, and how the brand responded to this. 3) Write a positioning statement. One important exercise that students could be asked to do is write a positioning statement and become more familiar with concepts such as point-of-parity (POP), point-of-difference (POD), and reason-to-believe (RTB).

Details

Kellogg School of Management Cases, vol. no.
Type: Case Study
ISSN: 2474-6568
Published by: Kellogg School of Management

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Article
Publication date: 24 October 2022

Jiaxun He and Fan Zhang

This study aims to explore how cocreated brand meaning builds and affects dynamic brand positioning in a hyperconnected world.

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to explore how cocreated brand meaning builds and affects dynamic brand positioning in a hyperconnected world.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors conducted a qualitative study of Casarte, a high-end appliance brand, as an instrumental case for conceptualizing and theorizing. This study constructs a matrix of dynamic brand positioning as the key analysis framework using in-depth interview data, firm materials and user-generated content from online brand communities.

Findings

The matrix of dynamic brand positioning has two dimensions: brand core and peripheral meaning, and firm- and customer-led orientation. The interaction between the firm and its customers strengthens the understanding of a brand’s core meaning and consistency perception, expands the scope of brand peripheral meaning and improves the perception of brand meaning diversity. The mutual transformation of the ambidexterity of core and peripheral meanings facilitates the dynamic positioning of brands.

Research limitations/implications

This study is a qualitative case study; the relevant conclusions have not been tested empirically. If longitudinal data of actual tracking support the effect of dynamic brand positioning, the theory’s reliability can be more rigorously tested.

Practical implications

It provides managerial logic and a tool for firms to practice dynamic brand positioning in a hyperconnected world, which contributes to the implementation of the emerging firm-customer synergistic strategy.

Originality/value

This study proposes a construct of dynamic brand positioning supported by qualitative evidence. It disputes the traditional view that brand positioning is determined by the perception of core meaning consistency and creatively puts forward the view that brand positioning evolves dynamically with the mutual transformation of the ambidexterity of brand core meaning and peripheral meaning.

Details

European Journal of Marketing, vol. 56 no. 10
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0566

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Article
Publication date: 7 July 2022

Cecilia Ugalde, Natalia Vila-Lopez and Ines Kuster-Boluda

Fashionable brands need to develop brand attachment so that their consumers become fans and act as apostles by recommending them. But how can companies develop brand

Abstract

Purpose

Fashionable brands need to develop brand attachment so that their consumers become fans and act as apostles by recommending them. But how can companies develop brand attachment? This paper aims to investigate, on the one hand, the role of four drivers of brand attachment (perceived quality, brand personality, credibility and awareness) and three effects (loyalty, buying intention and perceived risk). On the other hand, three groups of fashionable brands with different positioning strategies are compared to analyze if the brand positioning strategy moderates the proposed relationships in the analyzed country.

Design/methodology/approach

To achieve the two objectives, surveys with the same instrument were conducted twice, and a sample of 1,922 consumers from the three most populated cities of Ecuador (Quito, Guayaquil and Cuenca) took part in the study. They chose fashionable brands with functional (n = 1,066), hedonic (n = 463) and symbolic (n = 393) positioning strategies. They mentioned, for example, functional brands such as Avon, La Lechera, Nokia or Converse; hedonic brands such as Christian Dior, Oreo, Apple or Timberland and symbolic brands such as Axe, Coca-Cola/Coke, Motorola or DBond.

Findings

The results of this study show that (1) brand positioning affects attachment, (2) a functional positioning leads to higher consumers' loyalty, (3) a hedonic positioning leads to the strongest brand personality and credibility and (4) a symbolic positioning seems to be the less useful option in terms of desired effects.

Originality/value

First, this paper considers three different subscenarios in launching a new product: hedonic, functional and symbolic brand positioning. The comparison of these three scenarios makes progress with respect to previous research since the connection between consumers' brand attachment and positioning brand strategy has been scarcely addressed to date. Second, no study has been found that assesses the simultaneous effect of four key antecedents capable of enhancing brand attachment (personality, quality, awareness and credibility), causing three major effects (loyalty, purchase intention and decrease in perceived risk).

Details

Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management: An International Journal, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1361-2026

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Article
Publication date: 4 February 2022

Lars Erling Olsen, Bendik Meling Samuelsen, Ioannis Pappas and Luk Warlop

Brand managers can choose among two fundamentally different brand positioning strategies. One is a broad brand strategy, focusing on many favorable brand associations. The…

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Abstract

Purpose

Brand managers can choose among two fundamentally different brand positioning strategies. One is a broad brand strategy, focusing on many favorable brand associations. The other is a narrow brand strategy, focusing on just a few and thus more mentally accessible associations. Building on associative memory theory, this paper aims to examine which of these brand positioning strategies performs better under dynamic market conditions.

Design/methodology/approach

Three experiments test the effect of brand positioning strategy on memory accessibility and competitive brand performance. Study 1 tests how brand strategy (broad vs narrow) affects defensive brand performance. Study 2 tests how broad vs narrow brands perform differently in a brand extension scenario (offensive brand performance). Study 3 uses real brands and situation-based attributes as stimuli in a defensive scenario.

Findings

The results show that a narrow brand positioning strategy leads to a competitive advantage. Narrow brands with fewer and more accessible associations resist new competitors more easily and have higher brand extension acceptance than do broad brands.

Research limitations/implications

The study shows how to use accessibility as evidence of associative strength and test how accessibility influences competitive brand performance in a controlled experimental context.

Practical implications

Brand managers would benefit from a narrow brand positioning strategy in accordance with the unique selling proposition (USP) school of thought used by many marketing practitioners.

Originality/value

The paper demonstrates that narrow brand positioning performs better than broad brand positioning in dynamic markets, and to the knowledge is the first to do so.

Details

European Journal of Marketing, vol. 56 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0566

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Article
Publication date: 5 April 2022

Ruiyang Hong, Zhe Zhang, Chun Zhang and Zuohao Hu

The purpose of this study is to investigate hybrid brand positioning strategies for emerging market brands based on two positioning elements: brand country-of-origin (COO…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to investigate hybrid brand positioning strategies for emerging market brands based on two positioning elements: brand country-of-origin (COO) and brand globalness.

Design/methodology/approach

Researchers conducted two studies. In Study 1, a survey of 128 brand managers of emerging market brands were used to examine whether asymmetric positioning strategies improve brand preference more than symmetric strategies, and if so, which type of asymmetric strategies improves brand preference more. In Study 2, a consumer experiment in the USA was conducted to identify the positioning strategy for emerging market brands that improve brand preference the most.

Findings

For emerging market brands, at any given value of COO or global elements, asymmetric strategies outperform symmetric strategies in terms of brand preference. On average, the best hybrid positioning strategy is the one that highlights brand COO and de-emphasizes brand globalness.

Originality/value

A large body of branding literature examines COO and globalness separately without considering their co-presence in the same brand positioning strategy. Few studies that examine the joint influence of brand COO and globalness focus on established brands from developed markets and do not examine whether highlighting both brand COO and global elements equally is an effective positioning strategy for emerging market brands. This study introduces a framework to systematically examine the various combinations of COO and global elements in a brand’s positioning strategies for emerging market brands. By conducting two studies, the authors empirically test the influence of various combinations of COO and global elements on brand preference for emerging market brands from both firm and consumer perspectives.

Details

International Marketing Review, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0265-1335

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Article
Publication date: 13 September 2021

Leeford Edem Kojo Ameyibor, Peter Anabila and Yvonne Kabeya Saini

This study aims to investigate the relationship between brand positioning and business performance, as well as the mediation effect of brand equity between them within the…

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Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to investigate the relationship between brand positioning and business performance, as well as the mediation effect of brand equity between them within the context of Ghana’s alcoholic beverages industry.

Design/methodology/approach

A sample of 196 staff across four alcoholic beverage firms in Accra, Ghana was selected using a judgemental sampling technique. A structural equation modelling approach using partial least squares was used to conduct the analyses to answer the research hypotheses.

Findings

All the hypotheses were confirmed in line with extant literature. Specifically, the study found a positive relationship between brand positioning and business performance. The study also found that brand equity partially mediates the relationship between brand positioning and business performance.

Practical implications

The study serves as a useful guide to strategy and policy formulation in branding in general and specifically on how brand positioning can be effectively deployed as a key strategy to enhance business performance.

Originality/value

The study has practical implications not only for the marketing and sale of alcoholic beverages in Ghana to achieve financial performance but also for lasting competitive advantage.

Details

International Journal of Wine Business Research, vol. 34 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1751-1062

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Article
Publication date: 24 September 2020

Siyu Gong, Guanghua Sheng, Peter Peverelli and Jialin Dai

This study aims to develop a comprehensive conceptual framework to investigate how green brand positioning strategies positively impact consumer response. It focusses on…

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Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to develop a comprehensive conceptual framework to investigate how green brand positioning strategies positively impact consumer response. It focusses on uncovering the causal mechanism in which such effect is mediated by brand stereotypes. Additionally, it outlines the moderating role of construal level in this formation process.

Design/methodology/approach

Three experimental studies were conducted to examine the hypotheses. Study 1 tests the positive influence of green brand positioning on consumer response. Study 2 tests the dual mediating effect of warmth and competence in the relationship between green brand positioning and consumer response. Study 3 further examines the moderating role of construal level in the effects of green brand positioning on brand stereotypes.

Findings

The findings reveal that green emotional positioning strategies are predominantly stereotyped as warm while green functional positioning strategies are predominantly stereotyped as competent. Both warm and competent mediate the effects of green brand positioning on consumer response. Furthermore, a congruency between green emotional positioning and high-level construal, as well as the match between green functional positioning and low-level construal, leads to more warmth and competence perception.

Originality/value

This study contributes to green brand management literature by proposing a brand stereotype-based mechanism to explain how green brand positioning strategies trigger consumers’ stereotyping process, leading to positive consumer response. This study also identifies the construal level as a moderating variable that impacts consumers’ warmth and competence perceptions towards two kinds of green brand positioning strategies. Managerially, the findings of this study provide managerial ideas for developing green branding strategies.

Details

Journal of Product & Brand Management, vol. 30 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1061-0421

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Article
Publication date: 1 January 2005

Patrick Hartmann, Vanessa Apaolaza Ibáñez and F. Javier Forcada Sainz

Proposes a set of strategic options for green brand positioning, based either on functional brand attributes or on emotional benefits. The aim of the study is to test the…

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Abstract

Purpose

Proposes a set of strategic options for green brand positioning, based either on functional brand attributes or on emotional benefits. The aim of the study is to test the suggested green positioning strategies against one another, assessing their effect on perceived brand positioning and brand attitude.

Design/methodology/approach

A theoretical model of the dimensionality and attitudinal effects of green brand positioning was developed. Both suggested alternatives to green brand positioning, along with a combined functional and emotional strategy, were tested in an experimental online setting. The hypothesized model was tested in the scope of exploratory factor analysis and structural equation modelling.

Findings

Results indicate an overall positive influence of green brand positioning on brand attitude. Further findings suggest distinct functional and emotional dimensions of green brand positioning with the interaction of both dimensions in the formation of brand attitude. Highest perceptual effects were achieved through a green positioning strategy that combined functional attributes with emotional benefits.

Research limitations/implications

The measures used, while providing good reliability and validity, have their limitations, especially in the case of the emotional dimension of green brand associations. Future research should concentrate on the further development of the constructs used in the study, particularly that of the emotional dimension of green brand associations and replicate the study under “real‐life” conditions within different product categories and with a representative sample.

Practical implications

A well implemented green positioning strategy can lead to a more favourable perception of the brand, giving support to the green marketing approach in general. This study supports significant attitude effects of both functional and emotional green positioning strategies. Thus, brand managers should deliver emotional benefits through the brand, at the same time making sure that target groups perceive real environmental benefits.

Originality/value

Although green marketing has been an important research topic for more than three decades, hardly any research has been conducted that focuses specifically on green branding. This paper analyses the dimensionality of green brand positioning, offers green branding insight and suggests strategic tools for brand managers.

Details

Marketing Intelligence & Planning, vol. 23 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-4503

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Article
Publication date: 11 June 2018

J. Lucy Lee, Yukyoum Kim and June Won

The purpose of this paper is to identify the location of sport brands in sport consumers’ minds using a perceptual map of multiple positions; and examine whether there is…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to identify the location of sport brands in sport consumers’ minds using a perceptual map of multiple positions; and examine whether there is congruence between the sport brands’ purported images and the targeted consumers’ perception of the brands’ images.

Design/methodology/approach

A mixed method was used. Four steps of data collections (i.e. face-to-face, focus group interviews, and questionnaires) and analyses (i.e. content analysis, MDS analysis, PROXSCAL analysis, multiple regressions analysis, frequency analysis, and congruence score) were performed.

Findings

Four positioning typologies (i.e. great quality equipment, equipment for professionals, innovation, and tradition) were identified; each brand’s positions in consumers’ minds were distinctly portrayed in the perceptual map; and the congruence between intended and perceived positions was found in two brands – Titleist and Ping – implying they established a high position-congruity and providing evidence of positioning effectiveness.

Practical implications

The findings will aid practitioners and scholars in positioning and its effectiveness: the results provide information for managers to select, implement, and manage effective positioning strategies and the study provides initial evidence about whether companies and their brands are well-positioned in the sport consumer’s perception.

Originality/value

The authors attempt to examine how consumers perceive brands and how effectively brand positions are portrayed in consumers’ minds. The effectiveness and competitiveness of positioning strategies were examined via a perceptional map.

Details

International Journal of Sports Marketing and Sponsorship, vol. 19 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1464-6668

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Article
Publication date: 11 November 2014

Mats Urde and Christian Koch

– The purpose of this paper is to revise the concept of positioning to differentiate between fundamental approaches to it and chart a scheme of schools of positioning.

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to revise the concept of positioning to differentiate between fundamental approaches to it and chart a scheme of schools of positioning.

Design/methodology/approach

An extensive literature review traces the roots and evolution of the concept. Two approaches to positioning are explored and related to the paradigms of market and brand orientation. Based on current theory and practice, different schools of positioning are identified and categorized along a market- and brand-orientation spectrum. Metaphors differentiate schools of positioning, illustrated by case examples.

Findings

Positioning is a key concept in marketing, branding and strategy. However, its theoretical and practical usefulness is in peril due to its many meanings, applications and overall vagueness. There is a need for a theoretical overview of positioning, which the literature currently lacks. Two approaches to define a brand’s position are identified and introduced: market- and brand-oriented positioning. Five principal schools of positioning show how these are different and why differentiating between them matters. The choice of school implies the market- and/or brand-oriented approach to positioning.

Research limitations/implications

Further empirical case-based research might investigate when, what and how different positioning schools are applied in practice. The brief cases in this paper indicate a dynamic over time regarding the applications of the brand- and market-oriented school of positioning. An in-depth theoretical and practical investigation of the dynamics of positions would be of value for the research field.

Practical implications

The distinction among different schools of thought helps bridge the gap between the theory and practice of positioning. A specific positioning objective can guide management in the selection of a particular school of positioning, which enables management to make more insightful conscious choices regarding its opportunities, limitations and consequences.

Social implications

Position and positioning is of relevance in society in broad terms, e.g. in sports, politics and culture. Positioning strategy is discussed and implemented in different industries (business-to-business and consumer), for all kinds of brands (including, for instance, corporate brands) and for “brands” in the very widest sense (such as places or people).

Originality/value

This paper relates positioning to the fundamental discussion of brand and market orientation. It integrates positioning research and provides a structured overview of the concept.

Details

Journal of Product & Brand Management, vol. 23 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1061-0421

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