The weather forecast for the old, traditional ways of advertising is gloomy at best. And nowhere was this more clearly demonstrated than in the recent Atlanta study conduced by Daniel Starch & Staff.
According to Starch, about 25% of those noting a television commercial attributed it to the competition. With virtually no exceptions, high scoring commercials were the brand leaders in their category.
The also-rans didn't fare nearly as well. A David Janssen Excedrin commercial was associated with Anacin twice as often as Excedrin. A Pristeen commercial helped F.D.S., the brand leader, more than it did Pristeen.
This shattering turn of events is certainly 'positioning' at work in our over-communicated society. It appears that unless an advertisement is based on a unique idea or position, the message is often put in the mental slot reserved for the leader in the product category.
Clutter is surely part of the reason for the rise of 'misidentification.' But another, even more important factor is that times have changed. Today, you cannot advertise your product in
splendid isolation. Unless your advertising positions your product in relationship to its competition, your advertising is doomed to failure.
I wrote this in 1972 with my former partner Jack Trout. What has changed? Only the names.
Sponsored By: The Brand Positioning Workshop