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Market and brand-oriented schools of positioning

Urde, Mats LU and Koch, Christian LU (2014) In Journal of Product & Brand Management 23(7). p.478-490
Abstract
Purpose

– The purpose of this paper is to revise the concept of positioning to differentiate between fundamental approaches to it and chart a scheme of schools of positioning.



Design/methodology/approach

– An extensive literature review traces the roots and evolution of the concept. Two approaches to positioning are explored and related to the paradigms of market and brand orientation. Based on current theory and practice, different schools of positioning are identified and categorized along a market- and brand-orientation spectrum. Metaphors differentiate schools of positioning, illustrated by case examples.



Findings

– Positioning is a key concept in marketing, branding and... (More)
Purpose

– The purpose of this paper is to revise the concept of positioning to differentiate between fundamental approaches to it and chart a scheme of schools of positioning.



Design/methodology/approach

– An extensive literature review traces the roots and evolution of the concept. Two approaches to positioning are explored and related to the paradigms of market and brand orientation. Based on current theory and practice, different schools of positioning are identified and categorized along a market- and brand-orientation spectrum. Metaphors differentiate schools of positioning, illustrated by case examples.



Findings

– Positioning is a key concept in marketing, branding and strategy. However, its theoretical and practical usefulness is in peril due to its many meanings, applications and overall vagueness. There is a need for a theoretical overview of positioning, which the literature currently lacks. Two approaches to define a brand’s position are identified and introduced: market- and brand-oriented positioning. Five principal schools of positioning show how these are different and why differentiating between them matters. The choice of school implies the market- and/or brand-oriented approach to positioning.



Research limitations/implications

– Further empirical case-based research might investigate when, what and how different positioning schools are applied in practice. The brief cases in this paper indicate a dynamic over time regarding the applications of the brand- and market-oriented school of positioning. An in-depth theoretical and practical investigation of the dynamics of positions would be of value for the research field.



Practical implications

– The distinction among different schools of thought helps bridge the gap between the theory and practice of positioning. A specific positioning objective can guide management in the selection of a particular school of positioning, which enables management to make more insightful conscious choices regarding its opportunities, limitations and consequences.



Social implications

– Position and positioning is of relevance in society in broad terms, e.g. in sports, politics and culture. Positioning strategy is discussed and implemented in different industries (business-to-business and consumer), for all kinds of brands (including, for instance, corporate brands) and for “brands” in the very widest sense (such as places or people).



Originality/value

– This paper relates positioning to the fundamental discussion of brand and market orientation. It integrates positioning research and provides a structured overview of the concept. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Positioning, Market orientation, Brand orientation, Brand-oriented positioning, Market-oriented positioning, Schools of positioning
in
Journal of Product & Brand Management
volume
23
issue
7
pages
478 - 490
publisher
Emerald Group Publishing Limited
external identifiers
  • scopus:84927517346
ISSN
1061-0421
DOI
10.1108/JPBM-11-2013-0445
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
da222a4a-d26f-44ad-a21d-48cd6790f935 (old id 4861699)
date added to LUP
2014-12-16 10:15:03
date last changed
2017-05-07 04:02:56
@article{da222a4a-d26f-44ad-a21d-48cd6790f935,
  abstract     = {Purpose<br/><br>
– The purpose of this paper is to revise the concept of positioning to differentiate between fundamental approaches to it and chart a scheme of schools of positioning.<br/><br>
<br/><br>
Design/methodology/approach<br/><br>
– An extensive literature review traces the roots and evolution of the concept. Two approaches to positioning are explored and related to the paradigms of market and brand orientation. Based on current theory and practice, different schools of positioning are identified and categorized along a market- and brand-orientation spectrum. Metaphors differentiate schools of positioning, illustrated by case examples.<br/><br>
<br/><br>
Findings<br/><br>
– Positioning is a key concept in marketing, branding and strategy. However, its theoretical and practical usefulness is in peril due to its many meanings, applications and overall vagueness. There is a need for a theoretical overview of positioning, which the literature currently lacks. Two approaches to define a brand’s position are identified and introduced: market- and brand-oriented positioning. Five principal schools of positioning show how these are different and why differentiating between them matters. The choice of school implies the market- and/or brand-oriented approach to positioning.<br/><br>
<br/><br>
Research limitations/implications<br/><br>
– Further empirical case-based research might investigate when, what and how different positioning schools are applied in practice. The brief cases in this paper indicate a dynamic over time regarding the applications of the brand- and market-oriented school of positioning. An in-depth theoretical and practical investigation of the dynamics of positions would be of value for the research field.<br/><br>
<br/><br>
Practical implications<br/><br>
– The distinction among different schools of thought helps bridge the gap between the theory and practice of positioning. A specific positioning objective can guide management in the selection of a particular school of positioning, which enables management to make more insightful conscious choices regarding its opportunities, limitations and consequences.<br/><br>
<br/><br>
Social implications<br/><br>
– Position and positioning is of relevance in society in broad terms, e.g. in sports, politics and culture. Positioning strategy is discussed and implemented in different industries (business-to-business and consumer), for all kinds of brands (including, for instance, corporate brands) and for “brands” in the very widest sense (such as places or people).<br/><br>
<br/><br>
Originality/value<br/><br>
– This paper relates positioning to the fundamental discussion of brand and market orientation. It integrates positioning research and provides a structured overview of the concept.},
  author       = {Urde, Mats and Koch, Christian},
  issn         = {1061-0421},
  keyword      = {Positioning,Market orientation,Brand orientation,Brand-oriented positioning,Market-oriented positioning,Schools of positioning},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {7},
  pages        = {478--490},
  publisher    = {Emerald Group Publishing Limited},
  series       = {Journal of Product & Brand Management},
  title        = {Market and brand-oriented schools of positioning},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/JPBM-11-2013-0445},
  volume       = {23},
  year         = {2014},
}