Thursday, January 27, 2011

Branding and positioning to create value

Marketing has evolved from mass to direct to interactive communication. However, the future is definitely in collaborative interaction with customers. Customers are interacting with us in many new and different media channels, which makes the issue of branding even more important to marketers. Customers search first, interact and then purchase and are more likely to work with a brand that they know or hear about from frineds. Companies that are going out of business today are those that most likely have not been able to demonstrate a clear point of difference. Think Circuit City vs. Best Buy or Kmart/Sears vs. Walmart.

The best way to make money is stil to offer new/existing benefits by which we are differentiated fromt he competition and offer benefits that are valued by the consumer. Branding positioning is the specific, intended meaning of your brand in the mind of the customer and we looked at a specific format for the brand psoitioning statement: To the Target Customer, our brand is the Category that Point-of-Difference. Although both low-cost and differentiation are ways to position a brand, low-cost is hard to sustain and even Wal-Mart appears to be moving away from that strict low-cost positioning.

We looked at four retail web sites, Wal-Mart, KMart, Nordstrom and Target and analyzed if the web site was consistent with their brand positioning. Do you have any other examples of web sites where the brand positioning and the web site are in synch?
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