Whycan we say that having an excellent global positioning is one of theprincipal assets of a brand?
Globalpositioning is becoming an important concept in internationalmarketing since it allows organizations to enjoy customer brandloyalty. It is evident that brands have several components thatenable customers to identify with it. In this paper, I determinedwhether global positioning forms a principle asset of any given brandby exploring its different functions including cultural branding,brand quality and prestige, revival or stabilization of brand crisis,brand differentiation, brand identification, and brand key. Afteranalysis, I discovered global positioning shapes customerpreferences, establishes consumer value propositions, and develops abrand’s competitive advantage through differentiation. Thesefactors are essential in international marketing since they introducea brand to the clients enabling them to develop positive perceptions.Consequently, it can be concluded that the concept of globalpositioning is crucial in the realization of brand success.
Keywords:Branding, Brands, Global Positioning, Segmentation Bases,Differentiation
Branding and Brands 5
Global Positioning 6
Global Positioning as a Primary Brand Asset 7
Brand Culture 8
Demographic Segmentation 8
Behavioral Segmentation 9
Geographic Segmentation 9
Psychographic Segmentation 10
Brand Quality and Brand Prestige 11
Brand Revival and Stabilization 11
Brand Differentiation 12
Competitive Set 12
Essential Brand Difference 13
Brand Identity 13
Brand Key 13
Whycan we say that having an excellent global positioning is one of theprincipal assets of a brand?
Theconsumer environmental market today is dynamic where perceptions,tastes, personalities, and tastes of consumers change regularly.Therefore, any organizational management team should place greatemphasis on evaluating the effectiveness and efficacy of theirpresent brand strategic positions linked to any competitive brand inthe market. If achieved, the company may continue to enjoy a solidcompetitive advantage. It is apparent that brands play differentroles related to competing products, representing quality consistencyand offering legal security from copying. Further, positioninginvolves implanting unique benefits associated with any particularbrand to establish consumer mind differentiation (Hui-Ju, 2015). Itis mainly a consumer perception about a brand or product againstother competing products strategic positioning enables managers tounderstand and appreciate the manner by which consumers view theorganizational offerings. With this, a firm should emphasize onestablishing selling strategies that appeal to any particular targetsegment. If actualized, consumers will develop a positive view of theorganizational products and brands. According to Smith & Burns(2013), any multinational company recognizes that brand positioningin an international market and enables them build a solid competitiveadvantage. Furthermore, the organizations can strengthen their brandpositioning by launching and managing both their new and existingbrands effectively. In this paper, I will strive to deduce whetherhaving an exceptional international positioning is among a primarybrand asset.
Agood organization understands that the word brand exceeds beyond thenames or logos linked to any given company. Accordingly, a brand hascharacteristics that include design, sign, name, or a mixture, whichdiscern a certain product or service from another. It also informs acustomer about a product’s packaging, benefits, design, quality,and features. In other terms, Claudiu-Cătălin (2014) points outthat they are the everyday experiences that users or consumers havewith products over multiple years. In agreement with Paharia, Avery &Keinan (2014), the business environment established the concept ofbranding to necessitate the need of groups and individuals to createa distinctiveness that was straightforwardly identifiable by others.Subsequently, branding associates more with marketing where companiesuse it as a strategy to distinguish their brands and products fromthose of their competitors. In simpler terms, branding highlightscharacteristics, which make an organization’s product moreappealing or different from its rivals. It also offers anorganization with a strong competitive edge since it sets aside fromfactors that include distribution, promotion, and pricing. Accordingto Sirianni etal.(2013), multinational organizations currently place emphasis oncreating proper brand connections in their customer’s minds toachieve brand differentiation and an overall competitive advantage.
Further,an international brand is a form of product that goes beyond itsoriginal manufacturing location, but shows similar values acrossmultiple cultures and nations (Feetham & Gendall, 2013). Examplesof these global brands include Coca-Cola and Shell among others. Itis apparent that these brands sell in various marketplaces andexperience recognition from distinct customers across the world.Economically, branding is valuable to the global brand owners andcustomers. In the current international business environment, Eryigit& Eryigit (2014) claim a solid brand manages to attract higherperformance, quality, and value in terms of profitability andrevenue. If any international organization manages to brand theirproducts successfully, they can promote their strengths. However,these firms should know that they have the responsibility ofdelivering their promises to their consumers by maximizing on theirstrengths and taking advantage of the opportunities that may develop.
Multiplescholars agree that positioning outcomes are core to the globalbrands development (Eryigit & Eryigit, 2014). Evidently, globalpositioning serves as the factor, which ensures the organizationalsustainability in a given business environment. According to Hui-Ju(2015), positioning is the means by which an organizationdifferentiates from others in any given market and the brandsperceptions among the marketplace consumer targets. Similarly,Paharia, Avery & Keinan (2014) considered positioning to be afirm’s decision relating to determining its brand occupation placein a marketplace. Positioning can also undergo description as an actthat evaluates a brand recognizing, that which makes it distinctiveand relevant (Hui-Ju, 2015). It is apparent that multinationalcompanies utilize the concept of positioning to communicate theirgeneral value propositions mainly to their consumers. Further, Smith& Burns (2013) claims positioning entails the development ofparticular marketing mix to attract untapped customers. Through theconcept, firms realize where to channel their efforts to exploittheir environment of operation fully. Claudiu-Cătălin (2014) statesthat the position strategy appropriateness can undergo determinationthrough analyzing the proposed policies and goals for feasibility,clarity, competitiveness, consistency, consonance, and advantage(Eryigit & Eryigit, 2014). However, to ensure effectiveness, thegeneral value propositions need to be distinctive, attractive, clear,and relevant enough to the targeted marketplace.
GlobalPositioning as a Primary Brand Asset
Itis noticeable that an excellently executed global positioning servesas a core asset of product branding. According to Sirianni etal.(2013), branding and positioning are indistinguishably connected.Positioning resolutions are calculated decisions linked to a brand ororganization since such outcomes can be crucial to consumer choiceand perception. Currently, there are rigorous competitions amonginternational organizations crowding the market with offerings andproducts. The implications not only affect new or smaller brands, butalso strong brands since they find challenges establishing necessarydifferential competitive advantages in the international market. Tooverpower these difficulties, numerous multinational organizationsuse brand positioning. According to Eryigit & Eryigit (2014),they execute this through designing their products and company imageto engage a distinctive place in the global consumer minds. Forinstance, in the international automotive industry, Honda and Toyotaare popular competitors and have to change their strategiesconsistently to maintain their competitive position.
Whenexecuted perfectly, positioning should manage to achieve a successfulestablishment of consumer-centered value proposition and a credibleopinion concerning an organization’s brand when compared to itsrivals (Feetham & Gendall, 2013). It also realizes a compellingreason behind why target markets should choose a particular company’sbrand or product instead of its rivals. Undeniably, positioningshapes the consumer preferences leading to high consumer loyalty,willingness to seek a brand, and consumer-derived brand equity(Claudiu-Cătălin, 2014). Therefore, applicable positioning is anecessity for any company to position their brand effectively if itdesires to attract its target marketplace. The achievement canexperience establishment through cultural branding using differentmarketing segments, enhancing brand quality and prestige, reviving orstabilizing brand crisis, brand differentiation, brandidentification, and Brand Key.
Globalpositioning serves as a significant asset to any organizational brandsince it facilitates economies of scale, a consistent and solid brandculture, and borderless marketing. According to Eryigit & Eryigit(2014), global organizations benefit from economies of scale thatultimately increases cost efficiency. Further, Claudiu-Cătălin(2014) argues that the economies of scale allow these businesses andorganizations to compete satisfactorily leading to price and costreduction. Therefore, economies of scale encourage a brandscompetitive advantage. Venter, Wright & Dibb (2015) suggested acultural strategy to capture international branding, which considersthe different branding methods and the different brands worldwide.The question of culture enhances especially with the introduction ofthe globalization concept. With this, companies must learn theirmarketing segments to ensure that they position their brandeffectively among different consumers across the world. There areseveral bases related to the international market segmentation thatcan allow companies to achieve effective brand positioning. Thedifferent base markets include the demographic, behavioral,geographic, and psychographic segments (Diamantopoulos etal.,2014).
Aneffective way for organizations to segment their customer targetmarkets in the international market requires the utilization ofdemographics. In agreement with Diamantopoulos etal.(2014), demographics represent quantitative traits related toconsumer groups. Despite the appropriate use of demographic variablesto segment a market, the concept alone is not sufficient for entiremarket segmentations. The demographic variables used include familysize, age, occupation, nationality, ethnicity, gender, religion,generation, income, social class, family life cycle, housing type,and education level (Diamantopoulos etal.,2014). An organization should manage to study consumer demographicsegmentations to ensure that they introduce a cultural-specificacceptable brand. For instance, some organizations target their brandonly to a specific gender. Similarly, others target their brands tohigh-income market, whereas others make products that are religionspecific. Through this, the company is able to create a brand cultureamong the different demographic segments ensuring that they have anextensive global brand positioning.
Thebehavioral segmentation process is an effective way for firms totarget its client market and depends on the actual customer behaviorregarding brands. The variables associated with behavioralsegmentation include brand loyalty, user status, usage rate,occasions, benefits sought, and readiness to buy. As stated by Hui-Ju(2015), good customer records, as well as, their purchases enablemarketers to identify the specific purchased products or theirspending methods. With this, they manage to create similar brands orthose that have special offers. It is apparent that thoroughmarketers keep appropriate consumer records and have an effectualunderstanding of customer behavior and buying pattern. Once realized,they would come up with proper strategies, which ensure that theydevelop a brand culture from their observations. Through this, themarketer’s company would counter the competition from their rivalssince their brand culture would have created brand loyalty.
Thegeographical segmentation is amongst the most popular foundation ofmarketing segmentation. It involves global marketplace segmentationsby factors including population density, region (local government,state, country, neighborhood, and continent), population size, orclimate (Diamantopoulos etal.,2014). For example, an organization may decide to market their brandsin certain continents that are in line with their brand culture,disregarding other continents all together. Likewise, a firm maychoose to market its product brand in a single state or region withina nation as part of their marketing strategy. As pointed out byDiamantopoulos etal.(2014), geographic segmentations manifests in different formsincluding southern versus northern regions, rural versus urban areas,and dry versus rainy seasons among others. Through these examples, itis evident that the geographical segmentations has multiplevariations, takes multiple forms, and could initiate other forms ofsegmentation bases. With an understanding of this, companies shouldstrive to understand the geographical segmentation to come up witheffective brand cultures accepted across the bases. Once thisundergoes establishment, organizations will manage to reach a broadgroup of clients who will identify with the brand and opt for itevery time they are in need.
Thelifestyle or psychographic market segmentation variables serve asqualitative attributes linked to a marketplace (Diamantopoulos etal.,2014). It mainly refers to the manner by which consumer’s think andtheir actual acting tendencies regarding brands. Scholars argue thatthis segmentation base is only greater when compared to thedemographical segmentation (Diamantopoulos etal.,2014). It is dependent on multivariate examinations of consumervalues, emotions, behaviors, beliefs, attitudes, interests, andperceptions. The segmentation bases prove to be difficult for companymarketers to evaluate especially because they are required toidentify proper psychographic variables carefully. As stated by Smith& Burns (2013), the difficulty lies in segmenting marketplacesinto sub-components that ensure a company gains a larger market base.Due to the qualitative characteristic of these psychographicvariables, marketers need to nurture special skills to understandtheir market. Once this is done, the company marketers will ensurethat they come up with products that will appeal to their consumertargets. Consequently, they will effectively create a brand culturethat attracts their clients and create a wide customer base that goesbeyond borderlines.
Brand Quality andBrand Prestige
Multiplefindings by different scholars suggest that brand prestige andquality are significant characteristics in positioning internationalbrands (Paharia, Avery & Keinan, 2014). Therefore, if consumersperceive a brand to have high quality products, it allows a brand toincrease their prestige and equity in the international marketplace.For instance, companies such as Apple have managed to promote a brandof high quality in the various markets they pursue. Due to this,their prestige has increased allowing them to further position theirbrand as a high-end brand when compared to their brands in themarket.
Brand Revival andStabilization
Globalbrand positioning can be utilized to revive and stabilize a brandsuffering from crisis or one that seeks a new identity. It is evidentthat the positioning approach that an organization takes may help inthe repositioning of a troubled brand. For instance, the HSBC bankwas popular for its long-lasting slogan “The World’s Local Bank”(Claudiu-Cătălin, 2014). Nevertheless, in 2011 after theappointment of Mr. Stuart Gulliver, their new CEO, the organizationannounced that they would drop their old-slogan. They will thenrefocus their bank form a retailing bank perspective to tradefinance. Actually, if international positioning is establishedeffectively, it can develop strong and solid brands. However, thereverse is true when done haphazardly. Sirianni etal.(2013) point out that successful global positioning strategiesestablish unlimited value propositions attached to a brand.
Globalbrand positioning allows consumers to identify the different brandswithin a market. It emphasizes on the various features that make abrand distinctive from its competitors ensuring that it attracts thepublic. They may undergo expression either as promises to the publicor benefits. Through this, the client market develops a reason tobelieve in the brand reinforcing this promise or benefit. As statedby Eryigit & Eryigit (2014), positioning allows companies todetermine the brand’s benefit and the subjective and factualreasons supporting these benefits, the target market, and the maincompetitors in the market. Through this concept, organizationsunderstand that the basis of every customer choice is dependent oncomparison. Therefore, a brand experiences consideration only if itis evidently a function of the evaluation and selection process.Further, Feetham & Gendall (2013) point out that brandpositioning involves two stages known as the competitive set and theessential brand difference.
Arrivingat a definite competitive set is important. However, the simplicityof this concept varies and gets harder with the originality anduniqueness of a product. It is important that companies exercisepositioning where they are strongest to capture the attention oftheir clients. According to Venter, Wright & Dibb (2015), this isbecause consumers make choices when looking at brands but makecomparisons when looking at products. As pin pointed byClaudiu-Cătălin (2014), brand positioning provides firms with ameans to attack their rivals’ market share. The position may evolvewith time since companies develop through expanding their competitionfields. When a brand fails to occupy a position within a market, itbecomes difficult for consumers to identify it since the market isflooded with numerous choices.
Branddifference is important since it give a competitive edge to anyparticular brand. The differences may be due to their quality. Acompany must ensure that it provides proper communication regardingtheir brands making it easier for consumers to single it out fromcompetitor products. Clients will do this by evaluating and deducingthat which makes a specific brand worth using. Therefore, it is theduty of organizations to ensure that they communicate thisinformation. Eryigit & Eryigit (2014) note products only increaseconsumer choice but brands often simplify this process.
Eventhough brand positioning is an essential concept in marketing, it isdependent on brand identity. According to Sirianni etal.(2013), brand identity proves to be more long lasting and stablebecause it is connected to the fixed parameters and roots of a brand.It has six distinct facets making it larger when compared topositioning alone. Subsequently, at a brand identity center,consumers are able to find the essence of the brand and the corevalue it represents. For example, the positioning of Coke remainsoriginal even when it competes against other colas. To ensure thatthe business experiences extensive growth, Coca Cola Companycurrently competes with all the soft drinks in the industry. Owing tothis, company positioning serves as the most stimulating connectionbetween consumers around the world.
Abrand key explains how an organization can define its brandthroughout the international market (Hui-Ju, 2015). Subsequently, abrand key manages to build on a brand positioning statement to ensuresuccess. There are primarily eight features of a brand key. Theyinclude the target, competitive environment, consumer insightsregarding the brand, brand benefits, brand personality and values,reasons to believe, the discriminator, and brand essence (Feetham &Gendall, 2013). Essentially, these eight brand key features form abasis for a solid global positioning. If defined appropriately,companies will benefit from the power of brand positioning ensuringtheir sustainability in the marketplace.
Itis obvious that the concept of global position is amongst the primaryassets of brand success. Through positioning, a brand can easilydifferentiate from others in the market and gather a competitiveedge. Organizations can achieve global brand positioning successthrough assessing their brand culture, brand quality and prestige,reviving or stabilizing brand crisis, brand differentiation, brandidentification, and brand key. The different characteristics mayenable them effectively penetrate the different international marketsensuring that they benefit from consumer brand loyalty.
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