Differentiation, Positioning, and Strategy

This video explains why differentiation depends on target markets as well as why differentiation is important on its own. It shows a few different ways to differentiate a brand or product. These ways include focusing on quality as a key value. If consumers see your product as being high quality, that could differentiate your brand and gain more sales. Product leadership is another method of differentiation. Like Apple, which (formerly?) has been seen as the high tech, cutting edge leader of computer and cell phone markets. Apple is seen as a clean, futuristic innovator. This is what helped give Apple its loyal consumer base.  Yet another is called “customer intimacy” in the video, but that would be customer relationship- as in CRM. Specializing in great customer service and building good relationships with customers can be a very effective way to differentiate a brand from others in the same market.

http://www.kelseyads.com/why-is-your-brand-positioning-important/

This article makes a similar point, but further hammers the idea that sticking to a proper target market will make positioning your brand against others possible. It gives the example of trying to sell snow tires in Arizona. The target market for snow tires there is going to be slim to none.  A far better approach would be developing tires that grip roads after a sandstorm sweeps through. Sticking with that example, positioning the brand as bringing safety would be a good fit. It’s likely people in the market for tires that grip despite sandy conditions would prioritize safety. But then one would have to stick to the concept of safety. Putting out too many ads that advertise say, the “coolness” of having sand tires, or how well-made the tires are might distract from the main goal. Unless the well-made property or reliability of the tires directly feeds into the safety, the attempts at positioning are going to start falling flat.

http://www.wsxenterprise.co.uk/why-do-you-need-a-marketing-strategy-december-2012/

This article sums up why marketing strategies are important to companies. Because of this, it would sum up a huge chunk of the marketing discussion. Why? It shows how the different pieces of the marketing pie come together in the marketing plan. For example, it shows the relationship between target markets and market research. It would be difficult to do a lot of in-depth research without knowing the target market. To build on this, it would be difficult to even find a target market if the product or service doesn’t fill any needs or wants for anyone. But if that were the case, a company would be able to build a target market (like how razor companies started selling to women during WWII when their original target market, the men, left to fight) – which would be all part of a marketing plan. It also says to keep going over your market plan. If some parts aren’t working out, fix them! It wouldn’t make sense to adhere to a broken marketing plan and it wouldn’t make sense to lag behind the competition.

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