Company Positioning Life-cycle (Past, Present, Future) to Retain Buyer Mindshare

Marketing strategy is built on – Segmentation, Targeting and Positioning. Additionally, Product Life-cycle (PLC) and Market life-cycle (MLC) concepts are key to the marketing strategy. These concepts are covered by many texts including my favorite, Marketing Management by Kotler.

As the enterprise goes through different products and sometimes different markets, the company positioning itself also reflects these cycles. It is as if there is a “Positioning Life-Cycle” in addition to the PLC and MLC. Positioning, as defined by Al Ries and Jack Trout (Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind) is the creative exercise done with an existing product to position the product in the mind of the prospect.

The most glaring recent example of a company positioning change is when Apple Computers dropped “Computers” from its name to become just Apple, Inc.  Interestingly, this name change came more than 6 years after Apple entered the music market with its iPod digital audio player (October 23, 2001).

Many companies small and big are constantly undergoing positioning changes and occasionally one can see multiple, but not incoherent positioning statements at the same time – reflecting the company’s past, present and the future. Visionary, innovative, leading companies are likely to share their vision through the “intended” positioning with the view that if you buy our solutions, we will be there with you for the long-haul. Obviously, prospects and buyers can make some educated guesses about such company’s product roadmaps and in that sense, the company’s product life-cycles will be driven by the company positioning life-cycle.

Here’s an example of a company positioning life-cycle for Genesys Telecommunications Labs and Apple as they progress from the past into the future. The goal of the positioning is to capitalize on buyer mindshare already won and to consistently retain the mindshare.

Company Positoning Life-cycle - Past, Present, Future - see references below

Company Positoning Life-cycle - Past, Present, Future - see references below

References:

  1. Genesyslab.com – home page
  2. Genesys Telecommunications Labs – press release
  3. Genesys Telecommunications Labs – About Us
  4. Apple – iPad press release

Additional References:

Creating the Perception of a Product – Positioning, Trout & Ries on ValueBasedManagement.net

231 Comments

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