Competitive and Effective Brand Positioning

In this chapter, we will address the following questions:

  • 1. How can a firm develop and establish an effective positioning? (Page 131)
  • 2. How are brands successfully differentiated? (Page 135)
  • 3. How do marketers identify and analyze competition? (Page 136)
  • 4. How can market leaders, challengers, followers, and nichers compete effectively? (Page 140)

Marketing Management at Burberry

London-based Burberry has 19th-century roots and a 21st-century brand strategy. It is positioned as a distinctively British luxury fashion brand, and its iconic trench coat is recognized all over the world. The company competes with Louis Vuitton, Christian Dior, Hermes, Prada, and other top fashion brands. Burberry’s positioning is based on its 160-year heritage, quality, and authenticity, complemented by digital and mobile elements that appeal to today’s lifestyles. For example, as Burberry expands in Asia, its biggest market, it chooses retail locations that reinforce the brand’s upscale cachet, and it uses social media to project a vibrant fashion image. Customers can choose how, when, and where they want to engage with the brand by watching online fashion shows, using mobile apps, or buying online and collecting from a Burberry store.1

Creating a compelling, well-differentiated brand position, as Burberry has done, requires a keen understanding of consumer needs and wants, company capabilities, and competitive actions. In this chapter, we outline a process by which marketers can uncover the most powerful brand positioning. We also examine the role of competition and how to manage brands based on market position.

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