Topic 5 Positioning

Positioning reflects the process of promoting an organisation-brand and/or products-services to the target groups, in ways that are most appealing to said target groups. Positioning aims to differentiate the organisation and its products from its competitors and present them as the best possible choice for the target groups. Accordingly, in the positioning process an organisation must analyse and compare:

  • what the target groups strongly care about;
  • what the competition offers;
  • which are the organisation’s differentiating attributes, products or services, what value they create and how does this corresponds to the target groups’ own interests and values.

Based on this analysis, an organisation can position and communicate its brand, products and services either in a positive (what the organisation/product does or is) or in a negative way (what the organisation/product doesn’t do or isn’t). Successful positioning is hard to achieve, but positioning must be continuously evaluated and, possibly, revised, following market changes and fluctuations.

Some Positioning strategies used in the cultural sector are (Kotler & Scheff, 1997: 117-118):

  • Positioning on specific product features: eg. presenting Viennese operetta, the Parthenon sculptures, the Pergamon temple, Mona Lisa etc.
  • Positioning on benefits, problem solution, or needs: e.g. the experience the audience gets by attending a museum or the arts
  • Positioning as number one: e.g. “the oldest”, “the greatest”, “the most famous”, “the largest”, etc.

Source: Kyle Head,