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Gerald E. Smith

The predominant view of positioning in both the literature and practice – a remarkably uni- or two-dimensional view – asks these questions: (1) What dimension should the…

Abstract

The predominant view of positioning in both the literature and practice – a remarkably uni- or two-dimensional view – asks these questions: (1) What dimension should the product or service be positioned on, for example, unique styling, design, performance, and quality? (2) What category does the product or service compete in or belong to? So marketers therefore ask: Should the computer brand be positioned as reliable (Dell), or faster (Toshiba)? Research on economic value is well established in the pricing literature, especially in business-to-business pricing. Most of this literature focuses on differentiation value, that is, how to calculate the worth of the differential benefits a customer receives from using the firm's product versus the competitive substitute. But a much less studied area of this research deals with the price of the competitive reference product, or competitive frame of reference. Rarely do marketers extend positioning strategy to the level of economic value, asking: How is the product framed, and how valuable is the frame? The purpose of this chapter is to explore competitive frames of reference in business-to-business positioning. Specifically, what are alternative types of frames of reference? What is the role of the reference price in frames of reference? What are the implications of choosing one type of frame of reference versus another?

Details

Business-to-Business Marketing Management: Strategies, Cases, and Solutions
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78052-576-1

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Article

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…

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. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1061-0421

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Article

Bashar S. Gammoh, Anthony C. Koh and Sam C. Okoroafo

This study aims to extend current research efforts by utilizing the institutional theory to propose cross-cultural-based asymmetrical moderating effects of ethnocentrism…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to extend current research efforts by utilizing the institutional theory to propose cross-cultural-based asymmetrical moderating effects of ethnocentrism and cultural openness on the effectiveness of global, foreign and local consumer culture brand positioning strategies of high-tech products.

Design/methodology/approach

This study used an experimental design in the USA (developed country) and India (developing country). Print advertisements across the two countries were used to explore the proposed moderating effects of ethnocentrism and cultural openness on consumer brand evaluations of a high-tech product under the three different consumer culture brand positioning strategies.

Findings

Overall, this study provided empirical evidence in support of the proposed cross-cultural asymmetrical effects. The study findings indicate that consumer ethnocentrism seems to be more important in influencing a subject’s brand evaluations across the positioning strategies in a developed country like the USA, while consumer cultural openness will be more important in influencing a subject’s brand evaluations across the positioning strategies in a developing country like India.

Originality/value

Despite existing research efforts on the potential benefits of positioning brands using global, foreign or local consumer cultures, there is a lack of empirical evidence regarding the effectiveness of these positioning strategies across different cultures. Theoretically, this research draws on the institutional theory to investigate the asymmetrical cross-cultural moderating effects of ethnocentrism and cultural openness on the effectiveness of the three-consumer culture brand positioning strategies. Managerially, this study provides empirically based suggestions for brand managers attempting to position their brands with different segments of consumers while highlighting the importance of cultural differences between developed and developing markets.

Details

Journal of Product & Brand Management, vol. 29 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1061-0421

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Article

Stavros P. Kalafatis, Markos H. Tsogas and Charles Blankson

Tests the relevance of positioning within the domain of business marketing through the application of a new typology of positioning strategies. The proposed typology is…

Abstract

Tests the relevance of positioning within the domain of business marketing through the application of a new typology of positioning strategies. The proposed typology is tested in a well‐established market sector which is characterised by commodity products and consequently the research deals with positioning as applied to actual companies rather than specific brands. Our results offer strong support as to the stability of the proposed typology and the relevance of the concept of positioning in business markets. The authors suggest that although business positioning is predominantly determined by hard criteria (e.g. product quality) and relationship building factors (e.g. personal contact), other considerations such as company structures (i.e. geographical coverage), breadth of offerings and degree of integration (i.e. location in the distribution chain), also play an important part. Finally, we offer support to the claim that, level of familiarity with a specific company is a contributing factor to perceptions of the pursued positioning strategies.

Details

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, vol. 15 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0885-8624

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Article

Christoph Fuchs and Adamantios Diamantopoulos

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

Abstract

Purpose

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

Design/methodology/approach

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.

Findings

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.

Originality/value

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.

Details

European Journal of Marketing, vol. 44 no. 11/12
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0566

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Article

Charles Blankson and Stavros P. Kalafatis

This article aims to examine positioning strategies of international and multicultural‐oriented service brands.

Abstract

Purpose

This article aims to examine positioning strategies of international and multicultural‐oriented service brands.

Design/methodology/approach

Following review of the literature and pilot study, three main populations (executives and experts, companies' marketing communications, and the target group of consumers) were examined. The methodology concerned triangulation research involving face‐to‐face long interviews, secondary data, content analysis and mail survey.

Findings

The paper highlights that while no single positioning strategy is significant across the four card brands (Visa, MasterCard, Amex and Diners Club), “the brand name” positioning strategy appears to be the most preferred among Visa, MasterCard and Amex and not Diners Club. The findings also show that “top of the range” positioning strategy is favored among Amex and Diners Club card brands. However, “country of origin” positioning strategy is incompatible within the study setting.

Research limitations/implications

Apart from the low response rate from survey of the general public, another limitation of this study is the concentration on a single sector of the services industry. The latter poses difficulties for generalization across all service brands.

Practical implications

Service managers now have an insight into the positioning activities of the plastic card brand sector. These serve as building blocks and benchmarks for appreciating and operationalizing the concept of positioning – a research issue that is missing in the extant literature.

Originality/value

This study is a step forward in the operationalization of the concept of positioning. The research also provides diagnosis of the congruence between management's presumed positioning strategies, firm's actual positioning practices and target group's perceptions of the positioning strategies. Without such knowledge, managers cannot expect to choose the best competitive options to defend or enhance their positions in the market place.

Details

Journal of Services Marketing, vol. 21 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0887-6045

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Article

Anne Maarit Jalkala and Joona Keränen

Despite increasing interest in customer solutions, and the importance of brand management in the B2B context, prior research provides little understanding on brand…

Abstract

Purpose

Despite increasing interest in customer solutions, and the importance of brand management in the B2B context, prior research provides little understanding on brand positioning strategies adopted by solution providers. The present study aims to examine the possible brand positioning strategies for industrial firms providing customer solutions.

Design/methodology/approach

The empirical part of the present study consists of a multiple case study, involving four industrial firms providing customer solutions. Primary data was gathered by semi-structured interviews from a total of 22 business managers from the case companies.

Findings

The present study identifies four possible brand position strategies for industrial firms providing customer solutions: customer value diagnostic, global solution integrator, high quality sub-systems provider, and long-term service partner. The identified strategies highlight the tendency of solution suppliers to position their brands around different capabilities that are needed at different phases of the solution delivery process.

Research limitations/implications

The present study was conducted from the industrial supplier's perspective and is context-bound to companies operating in solution-oriented process and information technology industries.

Practical implications

Managers need to identify the capabilities that are central to delivering customer value and acquire and/or develop capability configurations that differentiate their brand positioning from competitors.

Originality/value

Existing literature on branding lacks understanding about the specific characteristics of building brands in solution-oriented B2B contexts. The present study identifies four brand positioning strategies that illuminate the special characteristics of branding customer solutions.

Details

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, vol. 29 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0885-8624

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Article

Charles Blankson, Stavros P. Kalafatis, Stanley Coffie and Markos H. Tsogas

The purpose of this paper is to undertake a comparative examination of the media types used in projecting positioning strategies of service brands, and to establish…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to undertake a comparative examination of the media types used in projecting positioning strategies of service brands, and to establish whether there is evidence of congruence/fit between managerial decisions, adopted communications and target audience perceptions of positioning strategies of the brands. The relative congruence among intended, conveyed and perceived brand positions is an important research task. Also, how to ensure such synergy and minimize incongruence is an important research question both to theory and to practice.

Design/methodology/approach

Following extensive review of the literature, triangulation research method (face-to-face long interviews, survey and content analysis) characterized this study.

Findings

The findings reveal that overall parity between the three media (TV; newspaper; and pamphlets, leaflets, brochures and billboards) is evident in terms of failure to translate managerial decisions into corresponding positioning messages. The findings also show that fit or congruence between managerial decision and communicated message fails to deliver the desired message in 19 per cent of the observations. Further 23 per cent of the adopted strategies are neither present in communications nor perceived by the target audience. Irrespective of a positioning strategy being adopted or not, there is total congruence/fit between messages in newspapers and target audience’s perceptions, while the corresponding results for TV and other media are moderate. Moreover, channels for positioning offerings can be multifaceted and they do not strictly have to occur via communications. Only “brand name” positioning strategy demonstrates total fit, while “top of the range” shows high frequency of failure to translate managerial decisions into appropriate communication messages.

Originality/value

This paper offers useful insights into the overall differences between the three media (TV; newspaper; and pamphlets, leaflets, brochures and billboards) in the positioning of service brands. The study is a step forward in the diagnosis of the congruence/fit or coherence in the positioning activities between managers, firm practices and consumers’ perceptions. Without this knowledge, executives may encounter difficulties and challenges in their efforts at establishing, maintaining or reframing market “positions” for their offerings.

Details

Journal of Product & Brand Management, vol. 23 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1061-0421

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Article

Salah S. Hassan and Stephen Craft

This paper aims to examine the conceptual as well as empirical linkages between segmentation bases and brand positioning strategies in the context of discussing practical…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to examine the conceptual as well as empirical linkages between segmentation bases and brand positioning strategies in the context of discussing practical implications for firms operating in increasingly globalizing markets.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper empirically examines an inventory of market segmentation factors in relation to four global strategic positioning decision options.

Findings

The two studies reported suggest that a combined use of macro and micro‐bases to segment world markets is significantly linked to the perceived positioning strategies of global top brands, whereas firms seeking more localized positioning strategies use only micro‐bases to segment.

Practical implications

The conceptual and empirical findings reported in this paper pave the way for embarking on promising and relevant future research that is needed to substantiate and enrich the academic understanding and managerial practice of segmentation and strategic brand positioning decisions in world markets.

Originality/value

This paper is unique in identifying a link between global brand positioning and segmentation factors.

Details

Journal of Consumer Marketing, vol. 29 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0736-3761

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Article

Eline L.E. De Vries and Bob M. Fennis

Using food brands as a case in point, the purpose of this paper is to examine the relationship between a local vs global brand positioning strategy and buying impulsivity…

Abstract

Purpose

Using food brands as a case in point, the purpose of this paper is to examine the relationship between a local vs global brand positioning strategy and buying impulsivity, as well as the mediating role of construal level. The findings add a psychological argument to the array of reasons for firms to opt for a local instead of a global brand positioning strategy: local food brands promote higher levels of buying impulsivity than global brands by lowering consumers’ level of construal.

Design/methodology/approach

Five experiments use student and nonstudent samples, different construal level indices and generic and brand-specific buying impulsivity measures to test the hypotheses.

Findings

Local food brands promote higher levels of buying impulsivity than global brands by lowering consumers’ level of construal. Because local brands are proximal to consumers’ lifestyles, values, preferences and behaviors, they decrease the psychological distance between the brand and the consumer, compared with global brands. The smaller psychological distance lowers consumers’ construal level and renders the immediate, concrete, appetitive attributes of the product more salient, thus making consumers more prone to impulsively buy a local brand than a global one.

Practical implications

For the choice between a global or local brand positioning strategy, this paper argues in favor of the latter. Local (food) branding is a concrete brand positioning mechanism that can influence and benefit from consumers’ buying impulsivity.

Originality/value

The research reveals heretofore unknown but important implications of local vs global brand positioning strategies for consumers’ construal level and buying impulsivity.

Details

International Marketing Review, vol. 37 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0265-1335

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