If you have feet, you can move! Well, it means if something is not working for you, try to do it the other way. If you are trying your “luck” in something and failing to make a mark, it does not mean you should leave it. Instead, you should change your strategy; you should change your position; you should consider repositioning.
In the business world, it is very much possible that you may fail initially. Starting a business is not child’s play, and you may even face difficulties with an already settled business. That is why businesses often go for repositioning and come up with a different strategy. In fact, repositioning has done wonders for many international brands.
So, what is repositioning? Why is it important for businesses? You will get answers to your questions but let’s start with the basic definition or explanation.
What is Repositioning?
In marketing terms, repositioning is a strategy that businesses use to change the perception of the targeted audience about their products or services. It basically targets two things related to a product or service. That is, what does a target audience think about features and competitors of a product.
Therefore, a business that considers repositioning targets these two things. One of the most important things a business should consider while repositioning is maintaining that relationship with the customer. Here business tries to alter or update the marketing mix, brand essence, and brand identity.
Importance of Repositioning
The next question is, which is also a very important one, why is repositioning important for a business. Well, it is important in several ways. That said, if a brand has already mispositioned itself, then repositioning becomes necessary.
Mispositioning means that a brand has failed to connect with its target audience psychologically. A faulty positioning makes it almost impossible for a brand to survive, let alone thrive. A brand cannot connect to its customers emotionally with a faulty positioning.
Now, it doesn’t necessarily mean that a brand can only reposition itself if it failed earlier. Repositioning also becomes important when a business faces growing competition. Moreover, technological changes may also trigger brands to reposition in order to stay connected with their customers. In such cases, it helps in refreshing the brand image in the customers’ minds.
Repositioning V/S Rebranding
People often confuse rebranding with repositioning. Although the purpose behind both strategies is somewhat similar, they have totally different methodologies. Let’s explain this difference with a simple example.
Imagine, a brand is just like a person who wants to change things. If that person changes his “physical” outlook, including a change in hairstyle, wardrobe, body appearance, or even his name, it will be rebranding.
On the other hand, if the same person opts to change his personality, values, behavior, inner traits, etc., it will be repositioning. It is also possible that the person applies both strategies at the same time.
Similarly, rebranding from a marketing point of view is changing the brand identity. Generally, rebranding means changing everything related to brand identities, such as tagline, icon, logo, font colors or style, brand color, or even the brand name. A common example of rebranding includes Philip Morris that rebranded itself as Altria.
On the other hand, a brand can reposition itself without changing its identity. Repositioning (as mentioned earlier) generally targets the customers’ perception of the brand and its competitors. In repositioning, a brand focuses on its personality and its promise to the customers.
Brands often change their taglines to communicate a refreshed or new promise. Most of the time, brands do not change everything while doing repositioning and mainly focus on “updating” themselves. Moreover, a brand can opt for both strategies at the same time.
Reasons behind Repositioning
As mentioned above, a brand generally considers repositioning when it fails to make a mark in the market. Or when a brand wants to keep up with the market competition or technological changes. The strategy is important to stay on top of your customer’s mind because a lot of competition can make your customers forget you.
Here are some important reasons behind repositioning:
An Incline in Competition
Sometimes, strong competition can prove to be “unhealthy” for many brands. That said, the customers may forget a specific brand when there are “hundreds” of options around. In that case, repositioning becomes almost compulsory to highlight the advantages a brand can still offer.
It is possible that a brand is under-positioned; i.e., it fails to connect with its customers emotionally and psychologically. Or a narrowly defined brand can also impede business growth. Repositioning becomes important in both cases.
Product Evolution and customer Trends
With the constant technological advancement around, customer trends also change regularly. Customer preferences changes with time, and brand repositioning become important for a business to survive and grow. Moreover, when a brand makes significant changes in its product(s), repositioning can help in introducing those changes in a better way.
Apart from customer trends, environmental changes can also force businesses to reposition. For instance, changes in government policies, industrial changes, economic conditions, and technological advancements can also trigger repositioning.
Sometimes brand repositioning becomes important due to brand extension. Brand extension is a marketing strategy where an already established business launches a new product in the same or new category.
However, sometimes brand extensions do not work as planned. This can hurt a brand’s already created image as well. In these situations, brand repositioning becomes important to regain the lost advantage.
Growing brands often look for expansion by acquiring other brands or even merging with them. Moreover, some businesses even prefer to capitalize on new market opportunities and moving to the next level. Brand repositioning can help in such ventures.
Examples of Repositioning
This business strategy is not a theory anymore. From SMBs to large enterprises have successfully implemented the brand repositioning strategy and finally captured the market and scaled up.
Below are the real-life examples of well-known brands that repositioned in recent times.
“Yo Quiero Taco Bell” chihuahua? The iconic slogan from Taco bell was a major customer attraction and a strong representation of the company’s old brand identity; cheap Mexican fast food with an oft-parodied mascot.
These slogans worked wonders for Taco Bell, but the change was inevitable. As the competition grew, the sales started dropping, and Taco Bell was forced to make a change.
Although Taco Bell was still the “crowd’s favorite,” it had to strengthen its position to excite its customers in a different way. Therefore, the company introduced some major changes, which included the change in slogan; “Live Mas!” (“live more”). Here is how the company repositioned:
- The company opened upscale Taco Bell “Cantina” locations having an urban restaurant design. Moreover, they introduced a custom menu, shareable appetizers, an open kitchen, and alcoholic beverages.
- The company introduced menu experimentation, including stylish Doritos Locos Tacos and breakfast options.
- Taco Bell also did slightly changed branding. i.e., a changed brand font with the same iconic bell.
- They renovated the interior design.
Well, things worked out brilliantly for Taco Bell, and everybody knows how famous Taco Bell is, especially among teens and the youth.
Spotify is a perfect example of brand repositioning due to environmental changes. The covid-19 pandemic forced people to stay at home, and it looked like that Spotify would thrive during this period.
Spotify is a digital platform, and it would have worked perfectly for stressed and “bored” customers to find a “happy” spot for themselves. However, the fact that Spotify generates its major part of the revenue from advertisements forced the company to make improvements. That is because advertisers had to reduce their budgets during covid-19.
With a major reduction in advertisement revenue, the company responded according to the occasion and introduced new features. For instance:
- Spotify shifted its focus to original content creation such as Spotify Originals and Podcasts.
- The company strengthened its efforts into curated playlists from external and internal experts, celebrities, and AI.
Before this strategy, Spotify was just a music provider, but with repositioning, it emerged as a tastemaker and content creator. The success greeted Spotify upfront as it got more than 150k uploads from the customers within a month. Moreover, subscriptions, artist-curated playlists, and exclusive celebrity podcast deals did amazingly well.