Monday, May 21, 2007

Where to have a PoD for your Brand!

Whenever we talk about positioning a brand, the first two concepts that come to our mind are Points-of-Parity (PoPs) and Points-of-Difference (PoDs). In order to have a distinct differentiated offering, having PoDs at the right level in the Brand Hierarchy is important.

A marketer can differentaite his brand vis-à-vis the competitors at three levels:
  1. Brand Attributes/Features
  2. Brand Benefits
  3. Brand Value

It is essential to have the PoDs sustainable. Special attributes or features that a brand claims can be easily copied by the competitors more often than not. It is tougher, but still possible for competitors to match the benefits that a brand offers. But once a brand has created a distinct value in the minds of the consumers, the competitors cannot follow that route.

Colgate Motion is the battery-operated toothbrush that Colgate has launched. If it focuses on its special bristles or the ergonomically designed handle, Oral-B can come out with its toothbrush with the same features anytime. If Colgate Motion tries to differentiate on the benefit of giving “Superior Cleaning”, Oral-B can match that in some time too. But if Colgate Motion differentiates itself on the Brand Value level as a product that is highly-recommended by dentists, no competitor will be able to replace the trust and respect that the brand will enjoy because of the value it will derive from dentist-endorsements. The trust, once developed in the values a brand stands for, is very difficult to break or replace.

Therefore, whenever you want to find PoDs for your brands or products, look for them at the Brand Value level.

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