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Winter 2002 CalBusiness  
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Keep it Simple, Marketer!


Reposition, in a Simplicity Marketing context, is directly positioning a brand on the promise of simplicity, or expanding a brand's positioning to reduce the number of brand relationships that a customer requires over time.

Major brands in both the consumer and business arenas found ways during the late nineties to successfully differentiate a basic brand promise by repositioning on simplicity - with products, services, and customer care to back up that promise. "Honda. We make it simple." crisply distilled into a relevant, credible, and differentiated brand position the Honda Motors reputation for straightforward dependability and user-friendly automotive design. Likewise, Hewlett-Packard epitomized Simplicity Marketing in a complex business technology category - large-scale computer storage - with the promise of "Stress-free storage. Guaranteed." Then, in 2000, Concert (the joint venture of British Telecom and AT&T) launched its "Simplicity" brand campaign with the tag line promising "Global communications simplified to the nth degree." These simplicity-centered, stress-reducing repositionings were especially compelling in the context of their audiences' stressographics, since busy families with children were a high-priority target market for Honda, and stress-choked CIOs and information technology managers were a target for Hewlett-Packard and Concert.

Another approach to Repositioning is reducing the number of brand relationships that a customer requires over time. This may involve extending an upscale brand downmarket (for example, the less expensive Mani suits from high-end fashion designer Giorgio Armani) or finding ways that products already used by the customer can satisfy additional related or unrelated needs (Tums antacid as a calcium supplement). A related strategy is reducing the number of sub-brands within a family of products. In the early 1990s, 3M's dental division went from more than 100 proprietary brand names to fewer than 20, significantly simplifying things for 3M's dentist customer base.

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Intro / Replace / Repackage / Reposition / Replenish

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