Why is repositioning used?

Why repositioning is used?

Because the firm has made the major decision to reposition a product (which is a timely and expense exercise), it is clear that there must be significant concerns with the current performance or outlook of the brand or product.

With that in mind, the following table outlines the more common reasons for considering repositioning as an option. (Note: Several of these reasons are further discussed in the ‘repositioning examples’ section further below.)

Major Reason

Why reposition?

Change in consumer needs Over time (say 10-20 years), there are changes in consumer needs and lifestyles (as the next generation moves through), which may result in the key benefits of a product no longer being as relevant to the target market.
New/strong competition  A product may be challenged by a new (perhaps more relevant) or stronger competitor in their positioning space, requiring the task of repositioning to a less competitive arena.
Lack of perceived differentiation A firm may have found their products with many points-of-parity and few points-of-differentiation, requiring a revised positioning in order to highlight their particular advantages.
Under or over positioned Under positioned means that the positioning is too vague or weak and over positioned means that the product is too narrowly defined. Either way they are problems for the firm that can be addressed by a repositioning exercise.
Change in macro environment Significant changes in the macro environment may require products to be repositioned. Economic conditions, technological advances, and even legislative change may require the firm to change its product’s positioning.
Improved product If a firm invests in a substantial product improvement, it is likely that additional benefits (or relative advantages) will be delivered, which means that product repositioning could be warranted.
Poor product launch Any new product that is launched with disappointing results may be considered for relaunch with a new positioning (that is, repositioned).
New target market Sometimes alternate target markets may be more attractive. Therefore, a product may need to be repositioned to more directly appeal to the newly defined target market.
Broader/smaller target market Some firms, as part of their target market selection process, may decide to broaden (or more tightly define) their target market. This will mean that the firm will probably need to construct a revised positioning for the product.
Clear market gap A review of a perceptual map may indicate a significant and uncontested market gap, which may be deemed more profitable than the product’s current positioning space. In this case, a repositioning exercise might be considered.
Positioning drift If a product’s positioning is not clearly defined by the firm, has inadequate support, or is carelessly managed by the firm over time; then it is likely that the resultant product positioning will not be in line with positioning goals and repositioning will be required to correct this ‘drift’.

Related Topics

For and against of product repositioning