What Is Repositioning? – Meaning, Reasons, & Example


What if I told you that Java failed during its initial days?

The language was originally designed for interactive television but was too advanced for the digital cable television industry in 1991.

Its positioning was faulty. The founders realised it quite early and ‘repositioned’ the brand to serve web browsers in 1996, and the rest is history.

This is just one example of repositioning. The list is never ending –

  • Colgate started off by selling soap, candles, and starch. It later repositioned itself as a toothpaste brand.
  • Nintendo was started as a playing card company in 1889 before becoming the video game pioneer as we know it today.
  • And of course, Google started off as just a search engine before it repositioned itself as an internet giant.

So, what exactly is repositioning and why do companies reposition themselves? Well, here’s a guide to explain everything.

What Is Repositioning?

Repositioning refers to the process of altering the existing space a brand occupies in the brains of the customers.

In simple terms, it is a process of changing how the target market perceives the brand or its offering with respect to its –

  • Features, and
  • Competitors.

With repositioning, the business tries to change the way the customer view the brand without always altering the bond between the customer and the business. It involves changing the brand’s promise and personality with an updated or refreshed –

Reasons For Repositioning

A brand would want to change the customer perception because of innumerable industry related, brand related, future related, competition related, and customer related reasons. Some of them are –

Increased Competition

Often times, increased competition in the market results in the lack of perceived differentiation of the brand compared to its competitors. This requires the brand to reposition itself in order to highlight its particular advantages.

Faulty Existing Positioning

There are cases when a brand is –

  • Under-positioned: The existing positioning is too weak or vague to make customers associate emotions, traits, feelings, and sentiments with it.
  • Over-positioned: The existing positioning is too narrowly defined which restricts its growth.

Either condition is bad for the brand and requires it to reposition itself.

Evolved Products

When the business invests in a substantial product improvement, it is likely to offer additional benefits and cater to a wide audience. This often requires the brand to reposition itself.

Changes In Macro Environment

The macro environment of the business includes factors that are not in its hands, like –

  • Industry level changes,
  • Changes in government policies,
  • Economic conditions,
  • Technological advances, etc.

These changes often force the business to reposition its brand(s).

Failed Extensions

Brand extension (also called brand stretching) is a marketing strategy where the company makes use of its existing established brand name for a new product or a new product category.

Sometimes, these brand extensions fail, affecting the existing brand image negatively. This requires the brand to reposition itself to change the perception.

Future Plans

The future plans of the business also act as triggers to make it reposition its brand.

  • Acquisition Plans: The brand has plans to acquire and expand, or being acquired by a bigger business.
  • Opportunity Capitalisation: The brand sees an opportunity that can be more profitable in future.
  • Threat Aversion: The brand is expecting some threats in the future that require it to change its positioning strategy.

Importance Of Repositioning

Survival of a brand with a faulty positioning is hard, for a simple reason that the target customers are not able to associate emotions, traits, feelings, and sentiments with a mispositioned brand. This makes repositioning really important.

Moreover, with time, as the brand grows, as the industry grows, and as the competition grows, repositioning becomes more important as it helps the brand occupy a different (and more profitable) place in the minds of the customers.

It refreshes the customers’ perception of the brand and gives the brand almost a new start in the market.

Rebranding And Repositioning

Rebranding and repositioning, even though mistaken to be the same, are considerably different processes.

Rebranding is just changing and updating the brand identity elements like brand name, logo, tagline, messaging, and associations.

Repositioning, however, requires the brand to update its promise, personality, and its marketing mix. It involves changing everything required to alter the existing perception of the brand in the minds of the customers.

If we consider a brand to be a person, rebranding is when the brand loses its weight, changes its hairstyle, updates its wardrobe, and even changes its name. Repositioning, however, is when the brands changes its values, attitude, personality, behaviour or anything that’s required to change the current perception of the brand. Repositioning can also involve the change of brand identity to support the new perception. 

Repositioning Examples

Repositioning isn’t a new practice. It has been in existence since the 18th century when King Friedrich II repositioned potatoes to be daily food.

Since then innumerable companies have repositioned themselves. Here are some notable examples –  

McDonald’s Repositioning

Ever since it was launched, McDonald’s positioned itself as a family-friendly low-cost restaurant. Till the early 2010s, the company lacked digital innovation and was known for applying the one-size-fits-all approach to all its outlets. It also received a lot of criticism for having had a menu that had a bad impact on the body. And the brand also had bad relations with its employees.

This made the brand to be less trusted and made the customers try other alternatives.

This made McDonald’s draft a strategy to reposition itself. This is how it went –

  • The company repositioned itself as a modern, progressive burger company and changed its philosophy from “billions served” to “billions heard.”
  • It included various digital kiosks within the stores and unveiled a program called “Create your Taste” where customers could build their own burgers using digital kiosks.
  • It even launched a mobile application to enhance the digital customer experience.
  • All this was supported with aggressive marketing to target the ‘younger audience’.

The company also executed a repositioning strategy in the late 2010s where it launched a completely new format for McDonald’s franchises. This format is called the “to-go” location, which is a stripped-down version of McDonald’s dedicated to takeout orders. This new format doesn’t include tables and chairs but is full of touch screens for customers to order. And since the ordering is done only digitally, all of the human employees work on fulfilling the orders, which results in faster order processing. Even the menu is streamlined only favourite items like fries, chicken nuggets and the classic Big Mac.

Starbucks Repositioning

Starbucks failed when it tried to penetrate the coffee industry in Australia in the early 2000s. The company launched its first store in 2000 and tried to penetrate by taking its existing brand promise of ‘coffee as a service’ to an existing matured market.

Starbucks didn’t fit the Australian’s tastes. The company charged more than the local cafes and served sweeter coffee options than the locals preferred.

As a result, the company saw its losses go up to $ 105 million in the first seven years and had to close 70 percent of its underperforming locations by 2008.

Here’s why it didn’t work out for the brand –

  • The market was already saturated and the company offered nothing new – in-store furnishings, magazines, music and wi-fi were already provided by the other local brands.
  • The actual brand value proposition was built on friendliness but the company spaced away from it by focusing more on generating steady customer turnover. The employees used automatic machines and were so busy with work that they hardly conversed with the customers or provided them with a different experience.
  • And Starbucks followed the same menu and strategies in Australia that it followed for other countries, ignoring what actually was desired in the market. It even followed its no advertising strategy which backfired.

This called for repositioning. So in 2014, when the Withers family (who own the 7-Eleven stores) bought the Australian license for Starbucks, they repositioned the brand to be more ‘Australian’. The menu was changed according to the Australian tastes, the coffee was made more of an experience, and stores were reopened strategically with the focus shifted to cater to the tourist population than the locals.

Go On, Tell Us What You Think!

Did we miss something? Come on! Tell us what you think about our article on repositioning in the comments section.


Outsourcing for Startups: Reasons to Make Use of It – Student Assembly of the State University of New York

Outsourcing for Startups: Reasons to Make Use of It  Student Assembly of the State University of New York
“startups when:1d” – Google News

10 Reasons Why Micro-Influencer Campaigns Interest Gen Z (and How They Can Boost Your Business)

Targeting a young audience? Micro-influencers just may be the answer. Aiming to capture this audience (those born after 1995) can be lucrative, as Gen Z now accounts for around 40 percent of all consumer shopping. The best part is that Gen Z is fairly easy and cheap to market to — if you know how.

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Below, we explain why Generation Z will ignore your traditional advertising efforts and your attention-grabbing ads, and what you can do to capture this audience.

  1. Gen Z is technology-focused

Also known as iGen, this generation has grown up with a steady stream of technology.

While baby boomers might be technophobes and millennials are tech-savvy, Generation Z are the experts when it comes to social media and the internet. As such, they’ve been exposed to a lot of online trends, including micro-influencers. As a general rule of thumb, members of Gen Z are quick to adapt to technological and virtual change, making them the perfect audience for digital campaigns.

What does this mean for your business?

You’ll need to keep up with technological advancements and get to grips with the fast-paced nature of Gen Z. When advertising your business, you’ll need to suss out technology early in the game before a new platform becomes old news.

  1. They take notice of influencers

Influencer marketing seems to be more effective than traditional advertising when it comes to young audiences. In particular, Gen Z women find that influencer content sticks in their minds, with one in four Gen Z-aged women claiming this is how they typically learn about new products.

Even though male peers are less likely to name influencers as their primary source of information, this entire generation laps up more commercial content on social platforms than anyone else, regardless of gender.

It’s safe to say you should spend a healthy portion of your marketing budget on social media. Try to limit your traditional advertising spend to reflect the taste and preferences of this age group.

  1. Gen Z seeks diverse audiences

According to Business Insider, Generation Z is “the youngest, most ethnically-diverse, and largest generation in American history,” explaining why this group prefers minority representation.

It’s no surprise that members of Gen Z will choose to pay attention to influencers who reflect the eclectic mix of their peers. Major influencers with mass appeal aren’t as appealing to Gen Z, who prefer personalities with a smaller slice of the pie.

While Gen Z might all recognize Kylie Jenner, they’re less likely than millennials to watch her content. These teens instead subscribe to more accounts than other generations, favoring choice over fangirling.

This is exactly why working with micro-influencers can prove so effective. Once you’ve allocated a healthy spend to influencer marketing, avoid putting all your eggs in one basket. Instead, spread your sponsorship funding across multiple, lesser-known accounts, and you’ll find that you have a better reach despite their smaller audience sizes.

  1. Gen Z hates advertising

Traditional advertising doesn’t get far with this demographic — neither does any form of outright advertising.

In short, this generation hates to feel sold to and mentally shuts off if exposed to blatant adverts. Thus, marketers need to get creative to reach Gen Z, namely making their campaigns subtler and less promotional.

Micro-influencer content often fits this bill. Rather than watching a commercial, this generation likes to listen to a peer review or watch a how-to demonstration. Brand-led content is ineffective, meaning your messaging needs to come through another medium.

Above all, Generation Z respects the independence of influencer content. Micro-influencer campaigns often feel like disguised ads. Each campaign feels completely different from the other, allowing your product to be the chameleon that consumers are curious about. 

Related: How to Team Up With the Right Micro-Influencer

  1. Generation Z thrives off active relationships 

Need another reason why Gen Z hates ads? They can’t interact with them.

Major influencers might be too busy to chat with their large fanbase, but micro-influencers (those with audiences of around 50K followers) have a much more manageable following, allowing them to interact with users in real-time.

For Gen Z, this chance to engage feels both valuable and reciprocal. Importantly for Generation Z, micro-influencers can take specific feedback points and apply them to their content.

While this serves as another reason to invest in multiple small-scale social campaigns, it can also prove a lesson for your brand’s internal marketing.

As Gen Z values interaction, it’s a great idea to start investing in job roles that focus on social communication. Make tasks like responding to social comments and creating interactive content a top priority.  

  1. Authentic content entertains Generation Z

For Generation Z, the mundane parts of everyday life that feel authentic are the most entertaining. When micro-influencers create content like this, the results are diverse.

While millennials might have been riding a brand sponsorship wave, Gen Z has missed the boat, preferring less luxurious content formats. As such, you’ll want to steer away from polished advertisements and conventional social formats.

Instead, Generation Z audiences will respond well to more meaningful, authentic content. Share conversations with your internal team, ask real people questions on the street, and cast a diverse crew for any high-end promo you might be planning.

  1. Micro-influencers are more trusted than celebs…

… at least in the eyes of Generation Z.

A recent study reveals that 52 percent of Gen Z trusts the influencers they follow on social media, while only 44 percent of this demographic trust their favorite celebrities and athletes.

This information illustrates Generation Z’s reliance on social media and indicates major influencers who cross the celebrity threshold aren’t seen to be as trustworthy as smaller influencer accounts.

You won’t impress Generation Z with celebrity endorsements and name dropping. This fact makes this lucrative customer segment a fairly affordable market to attract, as it requires more imagination than investment to work.

In other words, you’ll need to put little in to get a lot back.

  1. Generation Z flocks to micro-influencer hotspots

Gen Z tends to pay attention to functionalities within platforms like Twitter and IGTV, for example.

While most of us might incessantly refresh our Instagram explore page, Generation Z is always looking for upcoming talent in more unexpected places.

How can you find out where Gen Z is currently exploring? You’ll need to keep your finger on the social media platform pulse. Try to actively follow Gen Z accounts and micro-influencers to understand their latest migration patterns.

  1. Gen Z is migrating to new platforms

As well as flocking to micro-influencer hotspots, Generation Z is actively creating them by populating new platforms like TikTok. This video sharing platform has quickly amassed 500 million global users each month, with 66 percent of its users under 30.

Platforms like TikTok are allowing micro-influencer marketing to grow by creating a level playing field for all influencers to start growing audiences and gaining exposure.

While trying to make it big on Instagram might feel like fighting a losing battle, gaining traction on TikTok may not be. There’s no advanced algorithm that pushes known accounts to the top. Instead, Generation Z uses platforms like this to beat social giants and take back control of minority visibility. User-generated content is particularly popular with this crowd.

As a brand, you should spend time on elements of content rather than a finished product. Think stickers, filters and even hashtags that individuals can use to promote your brand on their behalf.

  1. Gen Z prefers short content

Major influencers post long-form content regularly. But this just isn’t Generation Z’s vibe. This generation would rather watch eight-second clips of content from a variety of small sources.

Put simply, Generation Z is a mobile-first generation that has never used desktops as a primary device. As a result, their tolerance for long-form content is much lower, meaning smaller chunks from smaller sources is their favorite way to consume content.

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What does this mean for my business?

If your business is repositioning its focus to Generation Z, you’ll need to focus on three things:

  • Technology: Your focus must be on technology and specifically how Gen Z likes to use it. We used Instagram as an example still populated with members of Generation Z, yet different functions like IGTV tend to engage this age group versus the average user.
  • A new pace: Content quickly becomes outdated, and project times are much shorter. You can’t afford to spend time scrutinizing your long-term strategy or being precious about production value. Soon, the entire scene might change anyway.
  • Different values: If you’re not part of Generation Z, it might be hard to wrap your head around the generation’s focus. Try to adapt to these newfound values and understand the need for shorter, more realistic content.

Do you have a business with a Generation Z target audience? Learn how to team up with the right micro-influencer for your next winning campaign.

The post 10 Reasons Why Micro-Influencer Campaigns Interest Gen Z (and How They Can Boost Your Business) appeared first on StartupNation.


5 Reasons Two Founders As A Team Are Better Than One

Bill-Gates-Steve-BallmerIt seems like every entrepreneur I meet these days is quick to proclaim themselves a visionary, expecting that will give more credibility to their startup idea, and improve their odds with investors. In reality, I’m one of the majority of investors who believe that startup success is more about the execution than the idea. Thus, unless the visionary highlights a cofounder who can take the vision and execute, I assume the worst.

It’s true that gifted visionaries bring many good things to an organization, including big picture ideas, seeing around corners, and a hunter mentality. Yet they also come with a set of shortcomings. These were outlined well, with some good recommendations for overcoming them, in the classic book, “Rocket Fuel,” by Gino Wickman and Mark C. Winters, both with a wealth of experience in this domain.

My bottom-line recommendation and theirs is that every visionary entrepreneur needs to be matched with a cofounder or key team member who has the required execution attributes. Let’s take a hard look at the key potential weaknesses of a visionary, and the value of an execution-oriented partner, which the authors call an integrator:

  1. Staying focused and following through. Visionaries tend to get bored easily. To spice things up, they start creating new ideas and direction, which gets everyone excited. This may cause a wonderful 90-day spike in performance, but in the end often sabotages their original vision. Many projects get started but few are completed, and momentum is lost.

    To compensate, every visionary entrepreneur needs to find a partner who gets great satisfaction from results, and loves the discipline of making things happen on a day-to-day basis. This person is the glue that can hold the people, processes, systems, priorities, and strategy of a developing startup together.

  2. Too many ideas and an unrealistic optimism. Most true visionary entrepreneurs have unusual energy, creativity, enthusiasm, and a propensity for taking risks. This can be disruptive, as they love to break the mold. They often show little empathy for the negative impact this can have on capacity, resources, people, and profitability.

    Again, the solution is a partner who is the voice of reason, who filters all of the visionary’s ideas, and helps eliminate hurdles, stumbling blocks, and barriers for the whole leadership team. Titles for this role in a startup are not fixed, but usually show up as president, COO, or chief architect.

  3. Cause organizational whiplash. Due to founder visibility, the team is so tuned in to the visionary and current direction that every turn to the right to pursue a new idea turns the whole team to the right. The organization can’t keep up the pace of change, and soon loses motivation, productivity, and all sense of where they are headed.

    Every organization needs a steady counter-force that is focused on directional clarity, and great at making sure people are communicating within the organization. Good integrators are fanatical about problem resolution and making decisions. When the team is at odds or confused, they need this steady force to keep them on track with the business plan.

  4. Don’t manage details and hold people accountable. Visionaries typically don’t like running the day-to-day of the business on a long-term basis, and aren’t good at following through. Even communicating the vision itself can be quite a challenge, since it’s so crystal clear in their head that they can’t imagine having to repeat or clarify for others.

    Balance here comes again from the operational expert, who is very good at leading, managing, and holding people accountable. They enjoy being accountable for profit and loss, and for the execution of the business plan. When a major initiative is undertaken, they will anticipate the ripple of implications across the organization.

  5. Tends to hire helpers and not develop talent. Idea people are so bright that they don’t see the need to leverage the capabilities of others, or hire people smarter than they are in any given domain. They are usually too self-centered to see the need for developing skills and leadership in the other members of the team, or building a succession plan.

Here also the solution usually is a partner with prior experience, who has learned how and when to hire real help, and implement metrics and processes to measure results. They enjoy the coaching and development role, and are able to match work assignments to people’s strengths, promoting both people and company growth.

Of course, many will argue that the visionary entrepreneurs can simply fix their shortcomings, and thus save resources by satisfying both roles. But in my experience, very few entrepreneurs have the bandwidth to make this work, and the adapted entrepreneur ends up doing both jobs poorly.

I’m a proponent of capitalizing on your strengths, rather than focusing on fixing your weaknesses. If your strength is being a visionary, use that vision to attract a complementary partner, and make it a win-win opportunity for both of you.

Marty Zwilling
Startup Professionals Musings