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Ricketts Heating: Positioning Errors to Avoid

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You have been asked to give a brief lecture on "Positioning Errors to Avoid" for a local Chamber of Commerce luncheon. Provide a brief summary of your lecture. In your lecture be sure to give specific examples, other than those indicated in the textbook, of known service companies avoiding or falling prey to "positioning errors".

Ricketts Heating and Air installs natural gas-fired central heating systems with timers. In the wintertime, if the owner of a system wants to have the house cooler when no one is there, but have it heated back up before anyone arrives home, he or she can use this timing system. How could Ricketts use service to differentiate its heating systems?

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Solution Summary

The solution provides a 7-Step process of positioning a product or brand with underlying points to demonstrate each concept.

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Positioning -> how well the product performs relatively to competitive offerings and to the needs of target audience. It refers to both the place a product or brand occupies in customers' minds relative to their needs and competing products or brands and to the marketer's decision making intended to create such a position -> differentiation.

The positioning decision is a strategic one, with implications not only for how the firm's goods or services should be designed, but also for developing the other elements of the marketing strategy. Positioning errors of service companies include that of KFC that tried to position fried chicken as a healthy food. This was strongly criticized.

Mostly customers buy because they consider one product better than the other or just cheaper than the other.
Differentiation is why people buy.
Creating both physical and perceptual differences is what effective positioning seeks to accomplish.

Physical positioning -> placing the product or brand based on physical features (amount of airbags in your car)

Perceptual positioning -> placing the product or brand by creating associations for the customer like safety, ...

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