What is repositioning?
Repositioning refers to the major change in positioning for the brand/product. To successfully reposition a product, the firm has to change the target market’s understanding of the product. This is sometimes a challenge, particularly for well-established or strongly branded products.
Firms may consider repositioning a product due to declining performance or due to major shifts in the environment. Many firms choose to launch a new product (or brand) instead of repositioning because of the effort and cost required to successfully implement the change.
Definition of repositioning
Elsewhere in this study guide, we have summarized the definition of positioning as:
- Positioning is the target market’s perception of the product’s key benefits and features, relative to the offerings of competitive products.
Therefore, in definition terms, repositioning is “implementing a major change" in the perception of the product, resulting is the relatively similar definition of:
- Repositioning is the task of implementing a major change the target market’s perception of the product’s key benefits and features, relative to the offerings of competitive products.
This view of repositioning as being a change of the established product positioning is reinforced by the following two quotes:
- “Sometimes, marketers feel the need to change the present position of the brand to make it more meaningful to the target segment. This change in position, and finding a new position for the brand, is called brand repositioning." (Vashisht, 2005).
- “Repositioning is changing consumers’ perceptions of a brand in relation to competing brands." (Lamb, Hair, & McDaniel, 2009).
Both definitions carry the word ‘change’ as the key issue. The first definition, however, suggests that repositioning is focused upon the same target market. But, as will be discussed, a product can be repositioned in order to appeal to a wider or different target market.