Strategic Marketing Trough Differentiation and Positioning
Strategic marketing has been defined by Ansoff and McDonell (1990) as the process of positioning the organization to its environment in a way that helps it obtain success and insures it against future obstacles (Ansoff & McDonell, 1990). This is an important element in achieving successful organizations despite the constantly changing environment and customers’ needs. As stated by Tomb & Seamons (2013), a company needs 4 steps of processes in order to create high customer value and achieve profitable customer relationships, segmentation, targeting, differentiation, and positioning. This process will help decides which customers they will serve through segmentation and targeting and how they do it through steps called differentiation and positioning. This paper focused on differentiation and positioning steps in marketing strategy.
Differentiation is a broad term and is described as creating a significant different in the company's market offering to give a superior customer value. In other words, differentiation is the ability for a company to show its special quality instead of being similar to its competitors thus losing its own color. Differentiation is really necessary when the market is competitive or saturated but there are still some underserved needs of the customers that need to be catered (Porter, 1985).
A perfect case to show a differentiation strategy is the introduction of iPhones by Apple. Apple established clear differentiation with their famous tagline “Think Different” in 2007 when iPhone was launched as a new business. Steve Jobs mentioned in 2007, “iPhone is a revolutionary and magical product that is literally five years ahead of any other mobile phones” (Kerris, 2007). Apple shows its distinct quality by offering features that other mobile phones do not have such as touchscreen technology with non-physical keyboard.
After the first launch of iPhone, Apple kept developing the iPhone's technology. As a result Apple has been conquering the market for mobile phones along with their other products as well until today. Banjarin (2012) states that one of the reasons Apple is became so successful is because their products are easy to use, especially iPhones, where the features are easy to learn and understand. Apple has made the ease of use the more important part of the phone than the product itself. Since the iPhone has been launched, it has made a big impact upon Apple’s financial situation. After six years of development, in the last quarter of 2013, Apple stated that 33.8 millions of iPhones had been sold and that the company earned $19.5 billion of profit (Apple, 2013). Apple has shown its successful differentiation strategy that none other can compete with because of its distinct technology and high quality as well as easy to use products.
After differentiation comes the positioning process. Positioning is arranging for a product to occupy a clear, distinctive and...