How easy is for a consumer to understand the value of a brand over another? And how easy is for a brand to be recognized by its target? These are 2 really hard questions especially these days when the proliferation of new brands and the problems of brand positioning is becoming something companies have to cope daily.
We know that positioning a brand or a product is essential to succeed and that there are 3 strategies the companies follow to position themselves in the market, failing: underpositioning, overpositioning and confused positioning. All of them are related to how the product or the brand compare itself to other products or brand in the same industry or category and how this is communicated to the final users in terms of benefits, uses, prices.
Brand Positioning: 3 positioning errors
The first one, underpositioning, occurs when a message is not communicate in the right way either because it’s too simple or overcomplicated and creates a vague impression of the product or the brand.
The overpositioning occurs, on the other side, when a product or a brand only caters to a specific niche in the market while the confused positioning simply happens when a product or a brand sends different messages, all contradictory and equivocal but also when a brand changes its positioning strategy too often just to keep up with the market even if it’s not its specific one.
Brands’ power and brand positioning
We know, without any doubt, that some brands are powerful over others because they’ve chosen a perfect positioning strategy, have worked hard to reach the market and be recognized as leaders in the industry and nowadays the consumers award them being faithful. They’re on top of consumers’ minds and it will be hard to change this position unless they will work very hard to do so.
A few names? Lous Vuitton, L’Oréal, Oreo and many many others we all know. Among them, Gucci which has always positioned itself as a luxury and unique brand, worldwide. Then, one day, Gucci has decided to follow Adidas and release a new pair of sneakers which are basically the Adidas Stan Smith with a Gucci design.
What’s the message Gucci is sending out?
Are they trying to satisfy the needs of reach people which think Adidas is just for average people? Are they thinking to revamp their brand? Are they just experimenting? As per today, I’ve no clear answer to this but I feel a little bit confused by the message Gucci is sending to me (by e-mail, just to keep it even more personal): they’re basic asking us to buy their new sneakers but when I see the picture I only think how great and powerful Adidas is in the industry if Gucci has decided to copy them and how badly I want to buy another pair of Stan Smith and I won’t never consider (regardless of the price, that’s not the point of this whole article) the Ace Sneakers by Gucci.
A strong strategy that makes me think, however, that only by seeing the Ace Sneakers by Gucci the average consumer will be even more tempted by another pair of Stan Smith (re)confirming the leadership of Adidas in the industry. The point is that the average consumer to Gucci is probably not the same of Adidas and that’s why I feel that the new shoe will become the way to understand what target Gucci is aiming to with the new sneakers: not the Adidas “aficionados” but those who want to position themselves as different thanks to a stylistic detail (and cost is not insignificant in this case) that differentiates them from the others but without depart from it too. In short: the detail which makes the difference, that allows you to become a part of a particular social group but at the same time does not disqualify you from the others.
Will be Gucci win or lose both in running to be part of the market and in positioning itself in the market and among the consumers?
Something interesting for you:
An analysis on Gucci’s brand positioning over the years
The marketing mix of Gucci