In the fast-paced world of business, staying still is not an option. Companies always need to stay ahead of the curve, constantly evaluating and refining their strategies. This is where the concept of repositioning comes into play. It is the practice of changing the market’s perception of a brand or product, aiming to tap into new customer segments or reinvigorate a company’s image.
Repositioning can be seen as a strategic makeover, a process that requires careful consideration and planning. It’s about redefining your brand’s identity in a way that resonates with your target audience, aligns with market trends, and ultimately strengthens your competitive edge. Remember, repositioning is not merely about altering your logo or tagline, it’s about reshaping the way people perceive and interact with your brand.
Table of Contents
What is Repositioning?
Repositioning is the process of changing the market’s perception of a brand or product to tap into new customer segments and strengthen its competitive edge. A repositioning marketing strategy involves redefining the brand identity in order to align with current market trends and resonate with target audiences.
An excellent example of repositioning can be Google, originally a search engine organization, that successfully repositioned itself into an internet giant offering a wide range of services, including payments, translation, and email.
Repositioning is also about evolving your marketing mix and exploring brand extensions. It involves revisiting the four Ps – Product, Price, Place, Promotion – and making the necessary adjustments to align with the desired positioning. With an effective repositioning strategy in place, companies can expect to reap numerous benefits such as:
- Repositioning is a strategic move where a brand adjusts its market position to align with changing customer needs, and market dynamics, or reach new customer segments.
- It involves changing how people perceive and understand a brand or product. This can include modifying the product, price, place, and promotion – known as the marketing mix.
- Successful repositioning can increase brand recognition, improve customer loyalty, and expand market share, helping organizations stay competitive and relevant in their industry.
Importance of Repositioning
Strategic and well-planned repositioning can play a pivotal role in the long-term success of a brand. Repositioning is not just about changing a logo or tweaking a tagline, it’s a comprehensive transformation that touches every aspect of the business – from its internal culture to the way it interacts with its customers.
The objective of repositioning is to align the brand more closely with its market, improve its competitiveness, and create more resonance with the customers. However, repositioning should not be undertaken lightly. It’s a significant endeavor that requires careful planning, execution, and monitoring.
It’s an introspective journey that invites the brand to question its current position, reassess its strengths, and weaknesses, and identify the areas where it can truly differentiate itself. Let’s have a look at some of the key reasons behind using a repositioning marketing strategy for your business –
Key Reasons For Using Repositioning
1) Navigating Increased Competition
Increased competition in the market is a compelling reason for repositioning. When competitors with similar offerings flood the market, a brand’s unique selling proposition might get drowned. Repositioning helps the brand stand out, cementing its uniqueness and relevance. A company repositioned successfully will have the following advantages:
- Enhanced brand perception
- Diversified customer base
- Renewed business growth
- Better adaptability to market trends
- Improved competitive advantage
2) Rectifying Faulty Positioning of the Brand
Sometimes, a brand’s existing positioning might not resonate with its target audience, or it fails to accurately represent the brand’s values and offerings. In such cases, repositioning serves as a strategic avenue to correct misalignments and establish a brand image that mirrors the company’s ethos and product strengths. Some of such sorts of repositioning campaigns offer advantages like-
- Superior brand alignment
- Enhanced audience connection
- Increased market relevance
- Amplified value proposition
- Strengthened brand loyalty
- Renewed customer engagement
3) Adapting to Product Evolution and Customer Trends
Brands must evolve with their products and the shifting trends of their customer base. As products mature, their relevance in the original market segment might decline, necessitating a new positioning strategy. Similarly, as consumer trends shift, brands need to reposition themselves to stay relevant and appealing. The following are the advantages of repositioning in such cases-
- Refreshed brand image and customers’ perception
- Access to unexplored markets and unprecedented visibility
- Increased market share, enhanced product appeal, improved customer service, etc
4) Responding to Environmental Changes & Technological advances
External factors such as sociopolitical events, economic shifts, or technological advancements can significantly impact a brand’s position. Brands must adapt and reposition themselves to navigate these environmental changes gracefully, ensuring their survival and growth in the evolving landscape. Repositioning in such cases enables brands to keep up with the changing times while staying true to their core values. Some of its advantages include-
- Improved brand relevance
- Enhanced public image
- Increased trust and loyalty from users
- Capturing untapped opportunities
- Adaptability to the new environment
5) Embracing New Market Opportunities
Repositioning can also be driven by the recognition of new market opportunities. As markets evolve, new segments may emerge that are more profitable, less saturated, or perfectly aligned with a brand’s offerings. Repositioning in such scenarios allows a brand to leverage these new opportunities, driving growth and profitability. Key benefits of repositioning efforts include –
- Increased competitive edge
- Improved market penetration
- Positive change in customer perception
- Higher profitability
- Sustainable business growth
6) Managing Negative Perceptions and Reputation
At times, a brand may face negative perceptions due to various reasons such as product failures, poor customer service, or negative publicity. In such instances, repositioning serves as a tool to manage these perceptions and rebuild the brand’s reputation. It allows the brand to redefine its image and renew its relationship with its customer base, thus regaining trust and loyalty. Some of the upsides of this are-
- Improved customer relationships as customers feel they are being heard
- A chance to regain and maintain the trust of customers by showing improved performance
- Enhanced brand reputation due to a more positive perception in the marketplace
- Improving overall brand loyalty, resulting in increased sales and market share
Brand Repositioning vs. Rebranding
While repositioning and rebranding might seem similar, they are fundamentally different strategic approaches. To clarify their distinctions, let’s examine them side by side in terms of purpose, scope, target audience, risk, and complexity.
|To change the perception of the existing brand in customers' minds.
|To change the brand's identity.
|Limited to strategic elements such as products, pricing, or channels
|Involves wider aspects like logo, design, name, etc.
|Often targets a new segment in addition to the existing one.
|Generally targets the whole market.
|This might lead to confusion if not communicated properly.
|Risk of losing brand equity.
|Involves complex strategic planning
|Involves complex design and creative works
Hence, it is important to understand the purpose of each approach and choose accordingly. Many brands use repositioning strategies to stay in line with their current vision and change customer perception, while other brands might feel the need to rebrand themselves completely when they outgrow their conventional markets.
Amazon underwent repositioning to become a one-stop shop for its customers. It changed from being an online bookseller to being an ecommerce giant that provides everything from books and electronics to grocery items and apparel. By doing this, Amazon was able to effectively target a wider customer base. Some of the key techniques used in Amazon’s repositioning strategy included:
- Amazon launched in 1995, identifying itself as the “Earth’s Biggest Bookstore” during a time when online shopping was barely a blip on the radar.
- The company demonstrated the potential of online retail, creating a platform that made it effortless to purchase a vast array of books from the comfort of one’s home.
- The early years of the internet saw Amazon pioneering many of the standard online shopping features we take for granted today.
- Over the years, Amazon has successfully repositioned itself as not just a bookstore, but one of the world’s leading e-commerce platforms.
- Today, Amazon stands as a testament to successful brand repositioning, with its beginnings as an online bookstore evolving into a comprehensive marketplace for virtually any product.
BlackBerry marketed itself as a business-focused smartphone manufacturer. The company was successful for many years but eventually faced stiff competition from Apple and Android phones. To counter this challenge, BlackBerry introduced its own touchscreen product. However, they couldn’t match the pace set by their competitors and hence they were failed extensions. Rather than giving up, they decided to reposition themselves.
BlackBerry is now a top player in mobile cybersecurity. They create smartphone security systems and develop secure, compliant operating systems for various industries. While still in the technology sector, they now cater to consumers in a fresh and innovative manner.
Here is how BlackBerry’s repositioning has paid off:
- The company has regained a significant market share in the cybersecurity sector.
- They have won multiple contracts with businesses and government agencies to provide secure technology solutions.
- BlackBerry now offers an impressive suite of products, from mobile device management software to secure communication solutions.
Spotify exemplifies COVID-related repositioning. Initially a free music streaming service with ads, it evolved into a user-curated playlist platform. Subscribers paid as low as $9.99/month for ad-free streaming, offline access, and on-demand playback.
Things were going well until COVID hit. Spotify lost subscribers and advertisers. They repositioned themselves to become a music and podcast platform, offering music streaming and attracting new listeners.
They charged podcasters a subscription fee for uploading their podcasts and created curated playlists and Spotify® Originals to attract more listeners. The timing couldn’t have been better, with the demand for high-quality podcasts soaring during the pandemic. Hence, a few key steps leading to a successful repositioning of Spotify are:
- Focusing on music and podcasts, rather than just one type of content.
- Developing playlists that appeal to its target audience.
- Introducing Spotify Originals for exclusive content creation.
- Offering low subscription fees for podcast creators.
- Adding new features and future plans that created positive perceptions in consumers’ minds
Q. How to know if repositioning will be beneficial for your brand?
Repositioning can be beneficial for your brand, but it’s important to understand if and how it will benefit you. Before repositioning, consider the following:
- What are your goals?
- Who is your target audience?
- How will the repositioned product or service be different from the original one?
- Is there a need for the repositioned product or service?
- What are competitors doing in this space, and how can you differentiate yourself?
- How will you measure success?
These questions will help determine if repositioning is right for your brand and ensure that it’s done with a clear strategy.
Q. How to make a repositioning strategy?
Creating a successful repositioning strategy requires an understanding of the brand, its target audience, and the competitive landscape. When crafting a repositioning strategy, follow these steps-
- Identify the current market position of your brand.
- Conduct detailed market research.
- Define your new target audience.
- Develop a unique value proposition.
- Create an engaging and effective communication plan.
- Implement the strategy across all channels and touchpoints.
- Monitor results and adjust the strategy as needed.
- Maintain consistency in messaging and visual identity.
- Educate your staff about the changes and their roles in implementing them.
- Review and revise the strategy regularly.
Q. What are some key repositioning strategies?
Some key repositioning strategies include:
- Price-based repositioning
- Product/service repositioning
- Repositioning by customer segment
- Geographic repositioning
- Quality/value repositioning
- Image repositioning
- Competitive repositioning, etc
Liked this post? Check out the complete series on Positioning