Brand Positioning with Pop

A clearly defined and articulated brand position is a must, no way around it! Most industries are characterized by intense competition, maturing markets, and cautious consumers. Given these challenges, it is imperative to develop an identity that conveys a brand’s distinctive point of difference. Successful positioning can drive growth and build brand momentum; failure to send a consistent positioning message can make a brand stagnant and negatively impact brand image.

A great example of a brand that has used positioning to grow its business in a weak economy is Popeye’s, the quick service chicken restaurant. Popeye’s has outperformed the chicken QSR category overall for nine consecutive quarters. One of the keys to Popeye’s success has been a positioning strategy that connects the brand with its Louisiana roots. The culinary heritage of Louisiana is a meaningful connection for a restaurant brand, and Popeye’s menu and advertising campaigns have delivered consistently on the Louisiana theme. In contrast, category king KFC moved into grilled chicken and is unclear about what its point of difference is. Now, Popeye’s is going after KFC by touting its chicken beat KFC in taste tests.

Popeye’s has “outmarketed” KFC on multiple fronts. Its advertising is more likable, its social media efforts are more effective, and front line customer service is more consistent. All of these marketing tactics tie in with brand positioning. It is unrealistic for consumers to remember everything about your brand, but what is the one thing you want them to associate with you? For Popeye’s, that one thing is “Louisiana” and the positive food associations that go along with the state. When a position is real and relevant, as is the case for Popeye’s, brand positioning can be a powerful marketing asset.

Advertising Age - "Power of Louisiana, Social Media Help Popeye's Stand Out in Chicken Fight"

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