Bridge Positioning: Is It a Step Ahead of All Other Positioning Techniques? a Conceptual Paper

Article excerpt

ABSTRACT

Positioning has undergone lot of transformation with the passage of the time. Positioning has to be more precise so that time to build brand can be shortens and thus maximizing the resources. The new customers are attracted to the newer brands. Similarly, Xerox is a well known brand for photocopy but Xerox does not sell to that extent it should sell even though having a greater awareness of the brand among consumer. It is because the positioning statement which helped the marketer to develop the early brand recall does not gel with the customer perception. It is possible provided the unique selling point matches unique customer perception or when the customer perception is same as unique selling point, the positioning statement can act as a bridge between communicator (manufacturer) and the user. This "bridge positioning" can lead to long-term relationship with the customer.

Objective of the study was to find out finer points of developing bridge positioning statement and how it can bridge the gap between the UCP and USP. The study further focused on how bridge positioning can be validated in terms of sales.

INTRODUCTION

Positioning is a technique which helps in easy brand recall due to its approach of occupying separate place in customer's mind. Many times the brands are recalled but do not lead to increase in sales. The recent study conducted on the leading brands in insurance sector revealed that LIC is recalled better compared to many other insurance brands but the growth registered by LIC is less, as they are not able to acquire new customers. Growth registered by ICICI Lombard, HDFC Life Insurance etc is much higher.

The new customers are attracted to the newer brands. Similarly, Xerox is a well known brand for photocopy but Xerox does not sell to that extent it should sell even though having a greater awareness of the brand among consumer. It is because the positioning statement which helped the marketer to develop the early brand recall does not gel with the customer perception. Why there is a cognitive dissonance behavior at the time of purchase for these brands? It could be that positioning statement has become stale and customer is not excited. Therefore, there is need to have bridge positioning statement which could communicate with the customer in their own way through right usage of customer perception mapping.

Today, creating a different differentiation is becoming difficult and problematic. Product differentiation should be strong enough to create a wide gap between two brands. If a differentiation technique does not create a wide gap between the two brands, then the customer is not able to differentiate the same leading to less brand loyalty. This is what is happening in FMGC sector especially in soap industry, where the customer is not able to differentiate between two soaps. Lux, Cinthol appears to be same which was not the case earlier. Even in pharmaceutical industry many doctors are not able to differentiate one brand with the other brand of same category. As the product differentiation technique does not create a wider gap between one brand and the other, customer loyalty is getting eroded. Can bridge positioning be a tool to solve this problem?

It is possible provided the unique selling point matches unique customer perception or when the customer perception is same as unique selling point, the positioning statement can act as a bridge between communicator (manufacturer) and the user. This "bridge positioning" can lead to long-term relationship with the customer. This is explained in figure 1.

Most marketers assume that their product USP stay constant .Companies should change the USP to stay contemporary and relevant. USP based positioning is more effective However in order to have better brand recall, what companies need to understand is product's UCP.(Srivastava, 2005) UCP is a culmination of a multitude of information that the consumer receives from various channels. …