An important differentiating strategy with an existing product category too crowded is to take the same basic product and position it in another category, provided the attributes of the product can match consumer expectations from that category. Your brand will then be perceived by prospects in a different light. This is referred to in the jargon as “macro-positioning” or “inter-set positioning”.
If you are marketing is skimmed milk powder for instance, the same basic product can be positioned as:
1. Reconstituted milk (Home dairy)
2. A whitener for tea and coffee
3.”Name of the Milk brand”The weight watcher (considering the growing interest in physical fitness this is how it can be positioned)
4. “Name of the milk brand”instant Breakfast
Remember we are talking of the same physical product in four different incarnations. What are the implications of such category related positioning or repositioning?
Once you have chosen the category in which to slot your brand, you should be prepared for suitable modifications in the product and other elements of the marketing mix. If a milk powder has to be positioned as a “whitener” for tea or coffee you will take great care over instant solubility. You may also introduce a creamy variety. for the “home dairy” position it should be readily soluble in hot and cold water without leaving lumps. As an instant breakfast you may need to add vitamins and other nutrients and possibly, flavours. It must also offer good taste.
Thus, once the category positioning decision is taken, the smart marketer will try to modify the functional features of his existing brand to mesh more closely with that position. If it is a new brand he may even design it from scratch to make it a perfect match.
The packaging form for “home daily” maybe a metal can. For “whitener” it maybe serving size sashets. For “instant breakfast” it may be glass jar.
Distribution modifications maybe needed as well. The “weight watcher” product may also fit on chemists shelves for example, and certainly in the emerging health-food outlets.
The Category related position decision determines the product market in which you will operate. It defines your competition. You will wish to chose a category where there are no strong competitors making your brand a “me too”. You may choose a long haul category because you believe it has a future, like an instant breakfast or a food for the diet conscious.
Somebody evidently believes that there is a long-term Future for beverages and food positioned in the category of fitness foods.
With this positioning decision you are really making your bed and you must be prepared to lie on it. Repositioning is indeed possible and may sometimes be unavoidable. But it is better to make on-time decision in the first place.