phone, directly to seniors who need a simpler cellphone with bigger buttons, large screen text, and a louder speaker. And Colgate makes a large selection of toothbrush shapes and toothpaste flavours for children—from Colgate SpongeBob SquarePants Mild Bubble Fruit toothpaste to Colgate Dora the Explorer character toothbrushes. Such products help make tooth brushing more fun and get children to brush longer and more often. Therefore, in target marketing, the issue is not really who is targeted but rather how and for what. Controversies arise only when unscrupulous marketers attempt to profit by unfairly targeting vulnerable segments with questionable products or tactics. Socially responsible marketing calls for segmentation and targeting that serve not just the interests of the company but also the interests of those targeted. Differentiation and Positioning 1. LO 4 Beyond deciding which segments of the market it will target, the company must decide on a value proposition —how it will create differentiated value for targeted segments, and what positions it wants to occupy in those segments. A product position is the way the product is defined by consumers on important attributes—the place the product occupies in consumers’ minds relative to competing products. More often, positioning is based not just on the product, but on the product’s brand name. Branding experts say that products are created in the factory, but brands are created in the mind. Product position The way the product is defined by consumers on important attributes—the place the product occupies in consumers’ minds relative to competing products. Consumers are overloaded with information about products and services. They cannot re-evaluate products every time they make a buying decision. To simplify the buying process, consumers organize products, services, and companies into categories and “position” them in their minds. A product’s position is the complex set of perceptions, impressions, and feelings that consumers have for the product compared with competing products.
The less differentiated the product actually is, the more important positioning becomes. Think of personal care products, for example. Old Spice is positioned as being the choice for manly men, Axe is the brand for young men who want to score with the opposite sex, and Dove is for the regular, everyday family man. Subway restaurants positioned themselves with spectacular success as the healthy fast food. Beer is a relatively undifferentiated product, so beer brands position themselves on the basis of lifestyle: Corona is for when you’re on vacation (or want to feel like you are); Molson Canadian is the hockey fan’s beer, and Kokanee is for the outdoorsy type. And most mobile devices and telecommunications services have similar features, so marketers attempt to position their smartphone’s brand in the mind of the consumer by using emotional appeals. TELUS has been doing this for years with their colourful and quirky animals.
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