Branding, Positioning, Chanting
Here is a story about position.
Tonight I stood in front of twenty-two public relations students and asked them to shout out a product name when I gave them a category.
Toilet Paper: Charmin
It was amazing, 85-95% of group answered the same thing, almost in unison. It was rather chantlike the way they responded.
Does this support positioning? How can you say that it doesn't.
Here's the really interesting part. I asked them to say it again, but I added a little twist.
Tell me the toothpaste again: "Crest," they said.
Another toothpaste: "Aqua Fresh, Colgate, Mumble, Grumble..."
The toilet paper: "Charmin."
Another one: "Kroger, Mumble, Grumble..."
In all of the categories I mentioned, their was a dominant leader and a slew of products that came in second.
One product dominated the class in each category, except one.
Name an automobile: "Mumble, Grumble, Bamble, Fumble..."
No one dominated this group. A Brand did not ring clear.
I tell you this story for three reasons:
1. there is a psychological process that a person goes through to categorize stuff. Some products have very clearly carved out the dominant position in the minds of these college students.
2. The number two position is dilluted. If you are not number one, you will have a tough time getting market share.
3. Automobile marketing has not hit this group square on. That may be an indicator that they are not in the market for a vehicle, so they are not paying attention to advertising, but it still struck me as odd at how diversified the answers were for a brand of vehicle.
Positioning, Branding - the product that stands for something in the mind of consumers will win.