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Product positioning in marketing: Wal-Mart versus Target

The concept of positioning is extremely important in marketing. Your customers define your position according to the text, it "is the place the product occupies in the consumer's mind relative to competing products." Thus, a company can influence its product positioning, but it can't really control it.

There are many discount stores in the United States today. A couple of decades ago, discount stores were where the poor and working class families shopped. Today, virtually everyone brags about the bargain they got at WalMart or Target. But are these two stores really all that similar? Think about how you feel about the two stores and what you think of when you picture them.

Typically, WalMart is considered to be the place where large families on tight budgets shop. Target, on the other hand, is a place for those with much higher incomes. It even has a nickname, pronounced "Tar-zhay," so that those who shop there feel more like they are shopping at an elite, upper class store.

1. Look at the ads for the two stores. Who do you think each is targeting? How are they segmenting their markets?
2. Go to the two stores' Web sites (http://www.target.com and http://www.walmart.com). What is the look and feel of each? Does this help you understand how they might define their target segments? What about the product selection listed on each? Does that help define their target segments?
3. Draw a perceptual positioning map for discount stores. Include Wal-Mart, Target and several others that are available in your area. What axis would you use to describe these stores' important buying dimensions?
4. How has each store chosen to communicate its chosen position?

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Thank you for selecting OTAs at BrainMass to assist you. Attached (2003:.doc + 2007:.docx) is working draft for maximum comprehension, and you should now have the tools to aid you in customizing your work, using your own words, where applicable. Note that this posting was FULLY addressed in my words only, and links may have been supplied in case you need to do further research on topics.

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Michelle Lee, MBA, PhD (IP)
OTA 105909

*** N.B. [As stated on Brainmass.com]: "We cannot do assignments for students. If ...

Solution Summary

This solution discusses the difference between Walmart and Target and draws a perceptual positioning map for both.