What is Positioning Error ?

Major Positioning Errors

Not all the time, companies are right with their positioning strategies. There is multiple evidence where a product or a brand could not benefit from the company’s positioning strategies. Sometimes companies under position its products or brands and sometimes over position it. There are four major positioning errors. They are:

  • Under Positioning
  • Over Positioning
  • Confused Positioning
  • Doubtful Positioning

Under Positioning 

This positioning error means the unsuccessful effort to establish a compelling competitive position for a brand, product or service. In this, customers feel no emotion to consider for the particular product from a wide range of options. In this positioning, the brand or product just acts as another entry in the marketplace with no unique proposition. There is no clarity in the existence of the product or brand.

Illustration: Pepsi introduced Crystal Pepsi in its new product line. Consumers see no connection with the product and they didn’t find any other reason to go for Crystal Pepsi over their regular drinks. Later, this product was discontinued.

Over Positioning

It means over emphasizing the certain characteristics of a brand or product that the target customer finds unnecessary, irrelevant or too special to their position. In this error, the target audience believes that the product is not made for them and the target audience disconnects with the product or brand.

Illustration: When Maruti launched its Baleno Model, the company over positioned this car. The loyal customers of Maruti were in delusion that it can make cars comparatively more expensive than their regular ranges. There was an image issue with the Maruti Baleno model. Customers started questioning this high end model from Maruti Baleno.

Confused Positioning

In this positioning error, the company claims too much about its brand or its product/services. Consumers are confused regarding its utility and usage. Such confused positioning hampers the brand, product and the company.

Illustration: the positioning of Nestle’s Milkmaid was a confused positioning. It is marketed as a tea whitener, then positioned as a topping powder and finally placed as base for desserts. 

Doubtful Positioning

It is the positioning error where the claims of the company regarding its delivery are doubtful and rejected by the customers. In this error, companies promise unachievable propaganda or features.

Illustration: Asset Management companies promising 100% return in different financial investments. Similarly, Fair and Handsome and other beauty cream promising 100% fair skin is another example of doubtful positioning.


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