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Five Great Product Positioning Success Stories

In Destroy the Competition With Positioning Strategy, I provided five key product positioning principles and Toyota's Lexus brand as an example that used most of them.

Although I view product positioning strategy as critical for success in today's hyper-competitive marketplace where everybody's competing for the same shrinking budget and differentiation is hard to come by, marketers often think of price as their only lever.

And as I've said before, that's just incompetent marketing.

Anyway, when I wrote the post I invited readers to reply with product positioning success stories. You can learn a lot from other's successes and failures. I was surprised at the enthusiastic response. Here are five, including three write-ins from readers:

  • 7-Up.The famous positioning of 7-UP as the "Uncola" perfectly positioned that product for those who did not want to consume cola drinks. For those who do (a confirmed Coca-Cola fanatic), the positioning of 7-UP had no appeal. But that's fine, since I am not their prospective customer anyway (even though THEY might consider me a prospect).
    - Courtesy of Steven "sbhoward" Howard
  • Starbucks. I've been critical of Howard Schultz the turnaround CEO, but Howard Schultz the entrepreneur franchised "premium coffee," forever upgraded the "coffee shop" experience, and created one of the world's most powerful brands in the process.
  • Swatch. The most famous example I can think of is Swatch. Created as a defense against low priced Japanese quartz watches that swamped the market, instead of competing on price, [parent company] SMH positioned the product as the famous "fashion watch," thereby creating a whole new market, much larger in size than the original watch market.
    - Courtesy of Ricky " rdewerk" de Werk
  • Hyundai. Another fantastic example is Hyundai, a company that understands how to consistently move upstream through intelligent product positioning. Hyundai is increasingly creating havoc in the market for their competitors and finding ways to innovate, and develop value propositions that resonate with their customers and prospects.
    - Courtesy of Mikah "MikahDC" Sellers
Hmm, guess that's just four. Sorry about that. Can you come up with a fifth that isn't lifted from Blue Ocean Strategy or some other book?

You know what's harder and perhaps even more interesting than identifying product positioning successes? Product positioning failures. Got one?

Check out: Destroy the Competition With Positioning Strategy

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