Brand Repositioning If a brand does not reposition at the right time, it may not get a second chance.CHAPTER 1 :INTRODUCTIONMEANINGIn marketing, positioning has come to mean the process by which marketers try to create an image or identity in the minds of their target market for its product, brand, or organization. Re-positioning involves changing the identity of a product, relative to the identity of competing products, in the collective minds of the target market. De-positioning involves attempting to change the identity of competing products, relative to the identity of your own product, in the collective minds of the target market. Brand repositioning means rebirth of any brand for a particular product...relenshing of the old technology or concept by innovative solution.Repositioning can be required as the market changes and new opportunities occur. Through repositioning the company can reach customers they never intended to reach in the first place. If a brand has been established at the market for some time and wish to change their image they can consider repositioning, although one of the hardest actions in marketing is to reposition a familiar brand.
The repositioning strategy is rolled out in three stages: introductory, elaboration and fortification stages. This involves the introduction of a new or a repositioned1
brand, seeking to underline the brands value over others, and to broaden the brand proposition. It is truly tough to change the customers perceived attitude towards a brand, and therefore the risk is great that the attempt to repositioning might be unsuccessful. After rolling out the strategy, it is time to modify the proposition through update of the personality and through repositioning. There are benefits and risks with both of this segments and it is of great significance that they are truly evaluated when deciding the next step in the process.
THEORY & CONCEPTTimely repositioning Contemporary perception could involve Either the image or superior functional utility. Iodex was almost the unassailable leader for several years in the pain balm market but was forced to reposition itself by Moov, which made rapid strides. Dove is repositioning itself as a superior soap with moisturisers (as against its previous `trial for results' positioning). Vim Challenge was a response to several regional brands emerging in the dishwash market. Esteem's "Shall we go for a drive, please?" campaign (where the son hopes his dad's pleasure at the ride in the car will overshadow his poor marks) was triggered by the various offerings which entered the mid-segment passenger car market. If repositioning is not attempted by a brand in a timely manner, the brand may not get a second chance. The powerful positioning of economy by the no-frills Maruti 800 during the mid-Eighties could have been pre-empted by Ambassador, not necessarily by2
the same economy proposition: Ambassador even today is widely acknowledged as a comfortable car for Indian roads and is also known for its space. Some of the recent offerings in the passenger car market today use this as a strong proposition. The brand could have used this effectively to create a favourable perception of itself. Maruti 800 became almost a legend as much known for derailing Fiat and Ambassador as it is for its fuel economy.
Even in fast moving consumer goods involving mundane household products, timely repositioning matters. The Ujala brand of blue used to whiten clothes made history with its liquid variant. The pioneering (and the brand which held the dominance for years) Robin Blue had a powder variant before Ujala was introduced. Powerfully repositioning Robin Blue (even before introducing the liquid variant as a follower) might have reduced the impact of the new entrant because of the favour and trust Robin Blue enjoyed with consumers.
Burnol, the antiseptic cream for burns (it did attempt some sporadic repositioning exercises) no longer seems to occupy the same space in the consumer's mind. Women continue to cook as before and probably mostly in a hurry to catch up with the pressures of life. Burnol being a handy brand to overcome the inevitable small burns could have been a probable proposition to reposition it. With several categories jostling for consumer mindspace, there is a relevant proposition required for a brand in the `small burns category' to get into the considerations set of consumers. The timing of repositioning (in such cases) should3
be worked out to ensure that the category does not fade from the consumer's mind because of a number of other categories emerging to create generic competition in terms of the share of consumer's wallet. For example, a brand traditionally used for burns may be forgotten because of several categories of products and offerings like a cream for heels, herbal antiseptic ones for multiple injuries and corn caps. Forhans toothpaste, Zambac and Saibal multipurpose antiseptic ointments, Eno's for acidity relief, Waterbury's Compound for `after-cough' recovery and Crook's Lactocalamine lotion are some of the brands of yesteryear which could have maintained their dominance of the consumer's memory with appropriate repositioning strategies.
Contemporary image This matters in some categories which are conspicuous in terms of consumers' usage and observation. With changing lifestyles and nuclear families in urban markets (especially in the upmarket segments), the role of the male in the family is undergoing a change. The `relationship' repositioning of Raymond is a good example of a brand coming to grips with the changing psychographics of the target segment. Fair and Lovely's repositioning as a brand for the aspiring girl making a mark in a male-dominated world (woven around the cricket commentator commercial) too is one such example. Pepsodent's commercial in which the mother scolds her child for snacking and establishes the brand as a protector of teeth is associated with traditional habits which have been highlighted to create a realistic association between the brand and the target segment. Product/brand attribute relevance to the habit of the user (children) and the buyer of the category (concerned mother) has been used to reposition the brand. Lifebuoy's repositioning on health based on hygiene is an attempt to take into consideration the priorities4
consumers place on heath in a deteriorating environment one of the issues raised frequently by mass media and consumer groups.
Changing the target segment It is difficult for an established brand to change its target segment overnight because of the prolonged associations and perceptions related to imagery and price. However, there have been rare instances of a brand repositioning itself for a new target segment. Cadbury, in an effort to make chocolates appeal to adults, created the repositioning around `spontaneous joy' (the girl's dance in the cricket field) and since then the mould version of its offering continues to be positioned for adults. With the company offering different offerings for different segments, the strategy for the mould version synergises with the overall strategy of the brand.
Timex, which was targeting the lower-end watch market when it entered India, has introduced expensive watches with high technology at the higher end of the market. Technology, with its rub-off on the product's attributes, could be a powerful factor in moving a brand from lower to higher segments. Changing the target segment for an established brand is a delicate marketing exercise and several aspects of marketing mix elements are involved. These are important from the viewpoint of consumer perception. Bata, during the Nineties started dealing with designer brands: it had developed the Power brand for youth and a number of offerings for middle-class consumers. In the recent times, it has segmented its retail outlets into discount outlets and higherend ones. In such a situation, it may be difficult for the brand to reposition itself5
with a clear association. Communicating the newness can be seen in the `new, `improved' versions of old established brands. The point that is important in such a positioning is that consumers should be able to relate to the improved claims made by the brand. If Rin is repositioned to provide extra whiteness, the attribute should be recognised by consumers.
Decisions concerning repositioning A brand need not always rely on repositioning: the decisions are related to the strength of the company, competitive context and consumer perception. A brand could create several sub-brands over a period of time in tune with the changes in the environment. Hero Honda, after the success of its CD 100 almost two decades ago, continues to hold sway over the market by creating several sub-brands each distinctive from the other. It created SS, Passion and Splendor with differing appeals. Sometimes, a premium offering needs to be repositioned when consumers become more receptive to the brand over a period of time. Colgate Total, one such offering, was initially positioned on multiple benefits but later, the same benefits were positioned with the `12-hour protection' proposition. Brand positioning and repositioning deals with the mind of consumer. Brand repositioning is more complex as it has to take into account the perception already created in the consumers' minds.
DEVELOPING BRAND DIFFERENTIATIONSUSP or the unique selling proposition of a brand continues to be a critical issue in this era of digital marketing. Trout, one of the proponents of the positioning concept, is of the opinion that any advertising for a brand should sell with a USP rather than provide entertainment for viewers. USP positions a brand in the mind6
of the consumer and creates a strong differentiator for it from among competing brands in the respective category. Fevistick