If your product isn’t selling well, then it might be time to reposition it. That’s what the Kansas City Wizards of Major League Soccer did in 2010. It wasn’t their first rebranding effort, as they’d changed their name from the “Wiz” to the “Wizards” before, but transitioning to “Sporting Kansas City” made sense. They had a new stadium and had drafted local talent and went from a team that had to beg for attendance to a team that regularly sells out games. It culminated in a 2013 championship for the club.
Not every repositioning effort will be as successful as Sporting Kansas City’s, but nothing will work if you don’t make the effort to change in the first place. If you are struggling to find some sales headed your way or people are resistant to your marketing messages, then it is time to change the message, change the demographic, or identify a new position to take in regards to the value that you’re able to provide.
Effective Repositioning Marketing Strategies to Try
1. Understand Your Status
In order to fully reposition your brand and be able to market it effectively, you’ve got to know what your current status happens to be. There will always be variables, such as current events or challenges from competitors, that must be proactively countered, but you’ve also got to know why your brand is considered weak in the first place. Is it because of poor initial promotions? Zero perceived value? No actualized value? When you’ve got a clear picture because you know where you stand, it’s easy to choose where your next steps should be when you move forward.
2. Always Review
You must take time to review the history of your brand because it doesn’t make sense to stop what has worked. When repositioning, it is often a shift in the marketplace itself that has occurred and not actually an issue with the actual product. You’ve got good value. You just need to find a way to better communicate this value to the market that has evolved since you first introduced your ideas.
3. Ask Questions
When you’re repositioning, what you’re really doing is starting the marketing process from the very beginning once again. Although this can be a lot of work, it is also a chance for you to be able to figure out what differentiates you from the rest of the competition once again. If you’ve got customer equity within the market, you’ve even got an advantage in many ways. Figure out what makes you different AND better and use that as the foundation of your marketing strategies.
4. Profile Your Segments
You’ve got to specifically tailor your marketing message to each segment you’re targeting in order for your repositioning efforts to be successful. If you send the wrong message to a market segment, then you’re going to create chaos within your brand. It could be that this has already happened and forced you into in place where you’re considering a new position. Make sure you message is consistent and coherent and you’ll be able to improve your lines of communication.
5. What Are the Usage Patterns?
If your marketplace has evolved, then there is a good chance that your market segments have evolved along with it. You can discover how to properly communicate with your segments by seeing what the usage patterns are for products or services like yours that already exist. Take your strengths, build up the strengths that you see in each segment, and you’ll be in a place where you can begin repositioning your marketing.
6. Be the Niche Expert
One of the most common reasons for a brand to fail is that it has lost its reputation as a niche industry expert. With information available at the fingertips of the average consumer thanks to the internet, it’s really easy to verify claims, research the competition, and determine if your goods or services have any actual value. As a niche expert, you automatically have value because you can prove this value through your marketing efforts. Lose this status and you’ll lose the business.
7. What Do You Represent?
Your brand must stand for something. If it doesn’t stand for something specific, then you haven’t really positioned yourself in the market yet and need to complete your initial marketing strategy. What many don’t realize, however, is that public perception of what your brand stands for is actually more important than what personal beliefs happen to be. Take Hobby Lobby as an example of this. Some people believe they stand for religious freedom. Others say they are starting a war on women. Neither is actually want the brand tries to represent.
8. Define the Objective
You need to find out just how far you can repositioning your brand without alienating your existing customer base. It makes no sense to lose a majority of an existing customer base, small as it may be, on the idea that more customers “might” be found once the repositioning marketing efforts have been completed.
9. Never Assume
The classic mistake in repositioning is to make an assumption about knowing what a consumer’s needs happen to be. Your repositioning should be based on solid data that is supported by segment surveys, sales data, and other unique segment factors so that you can attract new users and turn them into brand ambassadors based on your new marketing efforts.
10. Promote the Mission
People want to know how you’re going to act or react to the insights that you receive from the marketplace. This is where the mission becomes extremely important. You need to grow customers, develop the brand, and make sure your business is successful. This must be beyond the reach of your competition. How is that done? By being clear and concise about your purpose and then communicating this in a consistent way to every market segment in a way to which they can relate. Only then will you be able to reposition yourself and allow your brand to grow.