A very important topic in marketing today is that of Repositioning, sometimes also referred to as Brand Repositioning. The main objective is to basically pump new life into a declining/mature brand by attempting to change preconceived opinions and carve out a new distinctive space in the minds of its target market(s).  I find the practice of repositioning extremely interesting because as an observer (whether consumer or professional analyst) you can really see the wheels of marketing/branding in action. You can see firms trying to steer the ship in another direction so to speak, as they try to boost up an older brand and/or change its current image.

Taking a look at today’s marketing environment we can see that a number of brands have or are currently trying to reposition themselves. For instance, a few recent examples of brands who have attempted to reposition themselves that come to mind are Buick, Domino’s Pizza, and Cadillac. In the case of Buick and Cadillac, those brands are attempting to reposition themselves to seem more current, stylish, and hipper in order to appeal to younger consumers. A very good example of this repositioning at work is Buick’s commercial showing consumers’ surprised reactions to its newly redesigned vehicles: http://www.ispot.tv/ad/7UbT/buick-summer-sell-down-unexpected. Additionally, as a further effort to enhance their images, both Buick and Cadillac are even adding built in Wi-Fi to many of their new cars, which turns the vehicles into a hotspot with 4G LTE Internet connection speeds.

Regarding Domino’s, while still not considered gourmet pizza by any stretch, the company was able to turn around its lagging image and sales by initiating a new commitment and focus on quality. The company also completely overhauled its pizza recipe, from dough to sauce to toppings. In addition, the brand launched a creative advertising campaign, which included the “Pizza Turnaround” documentary-style commercial, in order to spread the word to consumers about the changes it was making. Together these initiatives helped to reposition the brand’s image. Additionally, Domino’s has tried to keep this momentum going by embracing technology in its pizza ordering and delivery process, introducing such features as the “Pizza Tracker”, as well as “Dom” the voice ordering assistant mobile app, and most recently the ability to order pizzas by way of text message, smart watches, smart TV’s, and even Twitter:  https://vimeo.com/139141726.

So what do you think about repositioning? Any thoughts on the brands I mentioned and whether or not they’re doing a good, bad or indifferent job in their efforts? Also, any examples of brands that you can think of (either recently or historically) that you’ve noticed trying to reposition themselves? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.

*Images: Buick Avenir Concept (Buick.com, 2016); Cadillac Elmiraj Concept (media.cadilla.com, 2016).

John Gironda, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor of Marketing in the H. Wayne Huizenga College of Business and Entrepreneurship at Nova Southeastern University. His teaching and research interests include digital and social media marketing, consumer behavior, marketing strategy, advertising, personal selling, and sales management. He can be reached at: jgironda@nova.edu;  http://www.business.nova.edu/about/faculty-bio.html?jgironda