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Brand Positioning- your brand's invincibility secret

Welcome to another episode of Right on Track, from GroCurv.com. GroCurv is a marketplace for marketing services, helping fast growing young brands find and work with the right marketing partner. Through these podcasts, we share with you our learnings from hundreds of projects on the platform, so you can know what has worked well, and what could possibly work for you as well.

This week, we look at the idea of “brand positioning”. What is it and how is works and what’s a good way to start thinking of positioning for your brand.


Lets look at one definition of positioning

Positioning is the act of designing the company’s offering and image to occupy a distinctive place in the target consumer’s mind” says Philip Kotler , one of the original Gurus of marketing and strategy.

The key word here is distinctive:

Distinctive comes by doing something others don’t, something that is relevant to your consumers and has been experienced by your consumer. In fact positioning is not what you do to the product. Positioning is what you do to the mind of the consumer, so she thinks about your brand in a very intimate way.

This intimacy is created when functional and emotional benefits for a consumer come together.

So why is brand positioning important? And what happens when you have a strong position in the consumer’s mind.

Think Dettol Safety guaranteed. Right?

What happened to Savlon , a brand that has also been selling in the antiseptic space? No matter how hard it tried it couldn’t dislodge Dettol. It tried to work with a milder formula hoping to wean away customers who were uncomfortable with Dettol’s sting. But could it do it? No- because Dettol had established that antiseptics work better if they are stinging you.

Brand positioning therefore allows a company to create a defensive barrier for your brand.

  • It makes competition work harder to reach your customer.
  • It allows you to create new extensions, and work with the trust in new businesses.
  • It strengthens lifetime value of your customer.

So how do you go about creating a brand position?

A lot of this has to do with consumer research and competition research. You have to know your consumer and her needs- functional and emotional Her way of interpreting your competition. From this will emerge your opportunity for positioning.

Surf Xcel for example in the 80s made the housewife a thinking, smart decision maker. Something they learnt, all housewives aspire. They then built a story about how half kilo of surf is worth 1kg of any other powder.

Emotional marketing devoid of functional benefits rarely helps a brand for too long. So what emotions of the consumer can you tap into. To find a unique position, you must ignore conventional logic Ø Conventional logic says you find concept inside product § Not true; look inside prospect’s mind Ø You won’t find an “uncola” idea inside 7-up, but inside cola drinker’s head

Pears soap

Another example: Pears: Mujhey bhi mummy jaisa sundar bana do na.

Or the child looking through the pears soap. To signify purity like no other soap in the market. And that a mother’s beauty is unparalleled.


Liril- the freshness , not just from the lemon fragrance, but the model showering and looking so refreshed under the waterfall. That’s what people want from a bath…the feeling of rejuvenation.


Onida TV: neighbors envy, owner’s pride. Especially as color TVs were just coming in, they were a way of showing off in your social circles. Onida understood that.

Positioning elevates the discussion of your product to a very intimate level in the consumer mind. Triggering feelings of Safety/ Power/ Desire/ Confidence.

It is a tool to differentiate different brands by the consumer in their own way

Vicks: Vaporub:

Positioned along Mother's Love platform Ø Vaporub pioneered the concept of " Touch therapy" linking it to the rubbing of vaporub on the child's chest. The smart positioning and campaigns have ensured the brand retaining the top position in the market v as “the only thing more powerful than a mother’s touch

A good position fills the functional and emotional needs of the consumer in a way your competitor cannot. Spend time to understand these benefits that your consumer is still searching for. It’s some hard work at the beginning of your brand journey, but the rewards are immense.

While often it is the first mover who takes pole position, successful new entrants help the consumer see the category in a very different way and hence create distinction for themselves.

COLGATE and Pepsodent. Pepsodent shook the leader with its 99.9% germ free prmise.

Colgate came back with its Suraksha Chakra. These battles go on and on. They are dynamic, because the consumer is dynamic.


An evolving consumer will keep giving brands a chance to engage with them. That’s where marketing plays a powerful role in the positioning game.

  • How is your consumer evolving?
  • Is a new potentially larger consumer need and segment emerging.
  • What new conversations will connect with my new consumer. Is my brand ready to have those conversations or like Vicco Vajradanti, am I too stuck in the past?

Positioning has a unique ability to create immense value for your brand. Today, we see young brands immerse themselves in “performance marketing” on Facebook/ Instagram/ Google.

While this is important, in the absence of a strong position, the consumer you attract, will just as easily slip away to the competitor offering discounts or a new product feature. It’s a treadmill from which you cant get off.

Unless you have created a safe home, a distinct position in the minds of your consumer.

To learn more about how you can do this at an early stage of your brand, visit us on www.grocurv.com. Thanks for joining us, and until next week. Stay Right on Track.


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