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Position mapping involves graphically mapping a firm and its competitors relative to the two major purchase criteria. To be of benefit, the axis of the graph needs to be the two most important criteria consumers use in choosing a vendor from within an industry. For trucking firms, the most important criteria may be on-time delivery rate and cost. For a professional service such as surgery, the most important criteria may be competence and availability.
The position map allows a company to see what position they occupy in the mind of consumers relative to their competition. For a potential new entrant into the market, the position map will show possible gaps that are not currently being served by anyone. The map may also suggest a new position for a firm currently in the market.
Steps in positioning:
STEP -1: DETERMINE THE CORRECT POSITION:
The first step in determining the correct position for a service is to identify the fir important to look at competition from a consu vendors do consumers consider? The list of vendors generated is the competing firms.
STEP-2: ASSESS CONSUMER PERCEPTION:
The second step in the process is to assess consumers‟ perceptions of each firm in the industry.
Consumer perceptions are crucial in positioning. The position a firm believes they occupy or the position they would like to occupy is irrelevant at this point.
STEP-3: DETERMINE THE POSITION OF EACH FIRM:
Based on information gained from consumers, the third step is to determine the position of each firm within the industry. Using the position map is an excellent method of doing this. The map will allow firms to see where they are relative to their competition.
STEP-4: ANALYSING CONSUMER PREFERENCES:
The fourth step in determining the correct consumer position is to analyze consumer preferences. This information is difficult to obtain but is important in making a positioning decision. Analyzing consumer preferences involves determining why consumers prefer one firm over another.
STEP-5 MAKING CONSUMER POSITION DECISION:
Based on the information gained, a firm is ready for the fifth step; making a consumer position decision.
The decision may be to remain positioned where it is. However, if a firm is unhappy with the position it occupies in consumers‟ minds, it may want to be very careful. Changing the position of a firm in consum become ver entrenched. Consumers have to be convinced that what they believe about a firm in reference to its competition is wrong or that it must be modified.
STEP-6: DEVELOP A STRATEGY:
The final step in the process is to develop a strategy to implement the new position or to reinforce the current position.
Conduct internal market and competitor analyses:
It addresses the overall level and trend of demand and the geographic location of the demand.
Research may be needed to gain a better understanding of not only customer needs and preferences within each of the different segments but also how each segment perceives the competition.
Internal corporate analysis:
It focuses on identifying the organizations resources [financial, human labor, physical assets] any limitations, it‟s goals [profitability, growth it does business.
From the analysis, we can select a limited no. of target market segmentation that can be served with either new/existing services.
It emphasis on the strength, weakness, may suggest opportunities for differentiation, the company can determinetunitiesit‟stoachieveoppordifferentiation.
It is the outcome of integrating these 3 forms of analysis. This describes the described position of the organization in the market place.
[Refer Pg. 67 fig 3-3.] Anticipating competitive response:
The best way to anticipating competitive response is to identify all current and potential competitors and
to put oneself in their own management‟s shoes the firms.
Stimulate models can be done to analyse the impact of alternative competitive moves.
* How would a price cut affect demand
* How long would it take before customers responded to a new advtg campaign designed to change perceptions?
It is responsing to changing market structures, technology, competitive activity. Some business lend themselves to evolutionary repositioning by adding/deleting services and target segments.
[offering extended hrs. of service, added banking services]
Use positioning maps to plot competitive strategy:
It is a perceptual mapping.
It is a useful way of representing customers perceptions of alternative products graphically.
Competitive positioning :
Firms may have to undertake significant change in an existing position. Such a strategy is known as repositioning –means revising service characteristics/ redefining target market segments]
Change perceptions through advertising:
Improving negative brand perceptions may require extensive redesign of the core product/supplementary services.
Weaknesses are perceptual rather than real.
Innovation is positioning:
One way to compete is to introduce new dimensions into the positioning equation that other firms can‟t immediately match.
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