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Brand Positioning: By Choice or By Chance


On the first day of the (EIRS) 2013 which is currently being held at ITC Sonar, Kolkata, a workshop titled “Brand Positioning – By Choice or By Chance was conducted between 11am to 1pm by , Client Services Director, Integrated Marketing, JWT, Kolkata. The two-day event will provide a unique platform to connect businesses, knowledge, and ideas for driving modern retail in Eastern India.

The workshop dealt with how brand positioning is necessary to create a successful brand. Sen broadly spoke about the three simple rules which a brand should follow to attain a great positioning in the market.

The workshop started with the basic understanding of what a brand plans to do by addressing the question: Whether a brand is made by choice or by proper brand positioning?

According to Sen,the decision lies with the brands. However, the last decade has thrown challenging times for business which indicates the adoption of a proper brand positioning . Supporting his views, Sen shared some interesting audio visuals about Google titled as ZEITGIST. He said being marketers, we must know what are the things people search for on Google.He then dwelt upon the relationship between brands and customers giving statements about contractual and ambiguous relationship. Commenting on contractual relationship, he said: “I use you but I don’t know if I love you.” For ambiguous relationship, he mentioned: “I have bought you but I don’t know if it is love.”

One must position the brand in such a way that it is positioned in the right context, suggested Sen. He said: “We have our own perception of what a brand is. It can be a logo, name, person, or promise; any one out of all of these; more than one; all of them; or none of them.”

He then initiated an interaction with the participants who work with a brand, work for a brand, or own a brand by asking questions like, What is a brand? Who do you relate your brand with? Is it a logo, name, person or promise?

Sen attempted to go beyond Kotler and gave his personal opinion on branding. According to him, a brand has two aspects, i.e., Building Reputation Alongside and Newer Deliverables.

He further added: “As humans we value reputation and newness. Reputation is built over time while newness is built by knowledge. Both are equally critical. Reputation does not only mean big brands. Every brand is retail and there is nothing called non retail. Evaluators calculate value and customers create value.”

Talking about the rules in brand positioning, Sen said being different certainly topped the charts. The “Be Different” quotient can be achieved by questioning oneself like What do you have that they don’t have? and What do you offer that they don’t offer? Providing an answer to such questions, he stated: “You will have to be different whether in terms of content or in terms of delivery.”

According to Sen, product, experience, before sales, after sales, staff uniform, invoice printout, office location, factory size or any other thing qualifies to be a differentiator for a brand with respect to its competitors.
“If we don’t have brand differentiation, we will have a cluttered mind. Thus, we need to find it instantly as there is no time to think,” added said.

Coming to the second rule in brand positioning, i.e., Focus, Sen mentioned that the term has been a part of our mythology. Focus, he said, could also mean to dare. Being present in a market, the brand needs to focus.

Consistency is the third rule to be followed in brand positioning, stated Sen. “If you are doing something then keep on doing it, if you cannot stay at it someone else will take your place,” he explained. An example of the brand Nike was then given by him in the context of being consistent.

Concluding the workshop, Sen shared  JWT’s 10 Trends for 2014 and beyond, including, immersive experience, do you speak visuals, the age of impatience, mobile as a gateway to opportunity, telepathic technology, end of anonymity, raging against the image, remixing tradition, proudly imperfect, and mindful living. The workshop ended with Sen’s remark: Retail Needs Revelation!