WHAT IS RE-POSITIONING? A company or product is new and people already formed judgments about it. In other word, the company or product already has an image either good or bad or in between. Many companies are not aware of their exact image but it is important if that image can be identified. If a company does not know where it is now, then that product or company unlikely to get to where it wants to go. RE-POSITIONING BRANDS As markets and customer needs evolve; brands can lose customers to new competitors.
In addition, brands can become diluted as product or service offerings become commodities. When a brand loses meaning and relevance to target customer, a new brand promise should be defined so the brand can be repositioned. TYPES OF BRAND RE-POSITIONING Brand Re-positioning Brand re-positioning is changing the positioning of a brand. A particular positioning statement may not work with a brand. Brand re-positioning is undertaken in order to increase a brand competitive position and therefore increase sales volume by seizing market share from rival products.
When re-positioning companies can change aspects of the product, change the brand’s target market or both. There are four types of re-positioning options for develop a new product in market. I. Image Re-positioning This option takes when both the product and the target market remain unchanged. The aim is to change the image of the product in its current target market. For example product Adidas were seen as reliable but dull in early 1990s. The company created an image of ‘street credibility’ in an attempt to reposition the brand to appeal to the customer in the sports shoe market.
During the 1990s, Tango the Britvic soft drink has been transformed from a minor UK brand into a brand showing dynamic growth. This has been achieved by creating an anarchic image for the products through a major promotional re launch that was aimed to appeal to consumers in the critical 16-24 age of group. II. Market Re-positioning The product remains unchanged but the product repositioned to appeal to a new market segment. For example, Lucozade is a brand of carbonated glucose drink was originally targeted as a product for individuals suffering from illness, particularly children.
Now it has been repositioned as an isotonic drink aimed at young adults undertaking sporting activities. III. Product Re-positioning Product re-positioning is materially changed but is still aimed to appeal to the existing target market. Product positioning is closely related to market segment focus. Product positioning involves creating a unique, consistent, and recognized customer perception about a firm’s offering and image. A product or service may be positioned on the basis of an attitude or benefit, use or application, user, class, price, or level of quality.
It targets a product for specific market segments and product needs at specific prices. The same product can be positioned in many different ways. IV. Total Re-positioning This option involves both a change of target market and accompanying product modifications. For example, Skoda has managed under Volkswagen’s ownership to reposition itself totally. The product quality and design has changed significantly and the brand now has credibility with new, more affluent consumers. This has also allowed the brand to expand its sales outside its Eastern European heartland.
REASONS TO CONSIDER BRAND RE-POSITIONING 1. The brand has a negative image This can easily happen and often is not the company’s fault. Damage can be done by maverick individuals as in the notorious cases of poisoning of the products such as Tylenol and Perrier. It can also be an effect of government policy. For example, if a company builds a highway and forecasts year ahead the toll charges for the government, the public may know nothing about any intended road price increases until the government announces them at a much later date.
This announcement may be handled badly by the government, perhaps being made during recessionary times when disposable income is reduced. Although it is not within the control of the company collecting the toll, it still reflects badly on the company. Public relation is usually the fire-fighting answer, but forward looking companies use advertising and public relation strategically to think ahead about potential problems. This is sometimes scenario planning or issues management. The company looks ahead for a certain length of time.
It can be months with fast moving consumer goods or a couple of decades with conglomerates. An example of how a company thought about its brand image in this way is seen in Telekom Malaysia’s sponsorship of the 1998 Malaysian Everest climb. Many things could have happened including the injury and death of the climbers. But a comprehensive set of guidelines was prepared for staff covering responses to possible questions the company would be asked in both positive and negative scenarios. On the other hand Coca-Cola did not seem to react quickly enough when the European scare surfaced in mid-1999.
They suggesting that it might not have planned what to say in such unlikely circumstances and now it has a major re-positioning job to do. 2. The brand has a blurred or fuzzy image When this happen, people do not feel strongly about image one way or the other way or have mixed perceptions about it. This is quite likely to happen when a brand has not been positioned properly. Perceptual mapping would probably reveal that the brand is very close to other brands in terms of customer preferences and has little to differentiate it.
A re-positioning exercise would need to be carried out to get the brand into a space away from the other brands. This may involve changes to product or packaging. 3. Competition has moved close or taken over brand position This is constant threat facing any successful brand because everyone wants to emulate success. It sometimes takes companies by surprise as Japan brand Lexus did to BMW in the U. Ss this is a constant hazard in the consumer goods category. Companies have to be prepared to constantly innovate with existing products and bring out new products to surround the category space.
FedEx, one of the world’s leading courier companies upon finding out that all other Asian courier companies had positioned themselves around the benefit of speed as it had done moved away with a very large advertising campaign and suggesting that whatever the adverse circumstances, FedEx would deliver. It has not lost the speed benefit because this product related. It has instead added a dimension of corporate personality to strengthen overall company image hence differentiating it from the rest of the crowd. 4. The company embarks on new strategic direction
When a company embarks on a new strategic direction move into a new industry or introduces a brand that is remote from the core business, brands with an already powerful image faces less of a problem this might bring. However, weak brands will find it essential to reposition it to convince the target audience of its credibility. For example, Coca-Cola feels confident enough to bring out its own brand of clothing. There are limits to brand extensions. If the brand name is not too elastic, a totally new brand name may be necessary. 5. The company introduces new brand personality
When a company introduces new brand values or personality characteristics it needs to undertake re-positioning. Privatization and deregulation have forced many government institutions to change their practices, values and their cultures. This is a significant challenge as consumer perceptions are deeply entrenched and re-positioning requires considerable persistence repetition backed up by a totally different brand culture and customer experience. Similarly, re-packaging a brand requires re-positioning. 6. The company addresses a new target audience
Moving to a new market segment in addition to the existing ones is always tempting for the brand development. The danger lies in alienating the brand’s existing customer base. Example presented by Toyota, which said it is considering joining the Formula One racing by 2003. It is trying to revitalize its image to appeal more to the youth, a segment that tends to buy more innovative products such as those produced by Honda. By joining Formula One it hopes to send a message to young people about the fun of driving and position Toyota as technically up to date. 7. The sales are declining.
This is the basic reason why Marlboro considered re-positioning in the 1950’s. If the absolute sales start to drop, you need to take a step back and figure out the cause. If you think that you are offering your service or goods at its best, but it still does not continue to attract customers, it could be that your brand needs to be refreshed, if not represented differently. 8. New competitors have a better value proposition. In that case, rest assured that your initial position will be destabilized. If customers see that other brands offer better than yours, they tend to shift.
Hence, company option is to either step up or get left behind. 9. Customers think that your brand is outdated and not established. Being an older brand does not necessarily put you at a higher position. Customers may see your brand as outdated or irrelevant. What you need to work on is how you can really ‘establish’ your brand. You know your brand is established when customers trust and go back to it again and again. In other words, established brand produces loyal customers. 10. Your products and services have evolved drastically. Over time, companies change and expand.
You may have added new products, refined old ones, or expanded the line. This would help you stay relevant and fresh. However, if you have changed your products or offerings over a long stretch of time, chances are, the branding strategy that you started with does not reflect the brand anymore. It might be out of sync already. You may need to change it to mirror what the brand stand for now. HOW TO REPOSITION BRAND FOR HIGHER MEANING? To be successful at re-positioning your brand, you have to create higher meaning and aim higher. Aiming higher requires outward thinking and learning from the marketplace.
Some companies have been engaged with a variety of consumer products brands whose managers are seeking new opportunities to grow their brand’s value. In all these engagements, I have noticed a common thread among all of them which was consumers no longer care about them because they have lost their compelling meaning in the consumer’s mind. Once a consumer’s mind is made up about a brand, it’s next to impossible to change it. The decisions facing brand managers and marketing executives regarding how they deal with our ever-evolving market landscape usually comes down to three options: i. ontinue to invest in the existing brand meaning ii. create a sub-brand iii. invent a completely new brand All of these options have advantages and disadvantages, more so if the brand is also facing dramatic challenges in distribution. The driver underpinning all these options is change. Brands are dynamic. They have their cycles and they run their course. What is hard for managers to grasp is when to move on. This is particularly true if the brand was once a leader. Market success always creates size, power and a false sense of security.
Over time, this creates an unrealistic view of the external reality, and a lack of urgency to correct course in maintaining relevancy among consumers. Brand managers naturally become inwardly focused and they tend to miss seeing new opportunities or competitive threats. Complacency becomes the norm and the brand’s compelling meaning in the minds of consumers gets blurred and sales drop. If the companies are faced with reinventing brand, the problem that they faced most likely is obvious. Somehow many people believe a good idea has to be clever, mysterious or layered in complexity. The best ideas for re-positioning brands are simple.
If the core idea behind the brand’s meaning is not simple and obvious, it would not stand a chance in the over-crowded slush pile of a marketplace in which the brand must reside. Simple ideas are self-evident, which is why they work so well. Positioning is the art of sacrifice. A brand can only stand for one compelling, radical differentiating selling idea. The trouble with simple ideas is they have no appeal to the imagination and are easily over-looked. We are naturally drawn to the more clever and ingenious ideas. Resist this temptation. The company needs to aim higher thinking toward the simple, obvious differentiating idea hat elevates the brand to a new meaning people really care about. RE-POSITIONING STRATEGIES TO ACHIEVE COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE It is high time we re-examine the way re-positioning of brand is done in this ever changing market place. Uncertainty and trends have placed companies in a race against time. Gone are the days when work for every segment of consumers like a charm. The life and soul of the market place today is focusing and engaging specific target market. Major paradigm of strategic re-positioning is now introduction of small scale change with budget.
Value based system is the money spinner that competitors have been using to bring companies down. Strategic re-positioning and exploitation of brand advantage is the only cash cow that can be used to counter them. The re-positioning strategy below will keep the company aware from the failure. 1. Reposition brand internally. Internal brand building is an emerging trend in marketing that is used to solidify the position of a brand in an organization. Brand based internal communication will communicate new strategic position of a brand to employees of an organization.
Major home improvement companies like Home Depot, and Lowes are example of companies with strong internal communication. Engagement will foster strategic intent of re-positioning in to the training experience and job activities of employee. Organization alliance with brand re-positioning activities will enable company to achieve increased customer referral expanded sale portfolio, and customer service efficiency. 2. Carry out consumer analysis The essence of carrying out consumer analysis is to identify prospects, customers and target group in order to position brand correctly.
Success will go an extra mile if new product development can focus consumer’s need and wants. New brand profile should correlate with consumer behavior and value. New product development manager have to make sure that they meet and exceed consumer expectation in order to make them loyal to brand. And lastly company should engage brand in the mind of consumers consistently in order to create a lasting emotional affinity. 3. Competitive analysis Competitive analysis is the assessment of the strength and weakness of your rival. Company does not underestimate the power of their competitors.
Emergence of technologies has made it easy for them to gain insight in to the future before anyone does. New product development should create an uncontested market space by making sure their marketing mix is innovative in nature. They can differentiate the position of their brand by instilling a distinct feature in price, promotion, distribution and the product itself. 4. Fine tune to advertising strategy Companies like Verizon, gap, apple, Microsoft and MacDonald have fine-tuned their advertising strategy to “consumer needs” tactics. Appealing message will create brand awareness and increased sales to them.
By using a medium that will clearly communicate new brand position and features to existing customers and prospects. They have to employ message that has specific objective in order to add value, success, quality, excitement, substance, and equity to the positioning of their brand. Besides that, advertising objectives should be derived assessment of market situation, price position, competition, and channel of distribution. 5. Create good relationship with trade partner and channel members Trade partner and channel members are people that ensures product or brand gets to the hands of final consumers.
Intermediaries have very strong ties to brands. Good strategic partnership and relationship with channel members are very important in ensuring that new brand position is communicated to consumers. They can also supply sales force and marketing communications necessary persuade consumers to go beyond buying a product. Companies like Dell Computer, FedEx, and Charles Schwab have a very great system that have enabled them achieve a very powerful competitive advantage. 6. Reassess It is always good to carry out assessment of brand position continuously to ensure relevance in the market.
This strategy will eliminate risk and problem from piling up. It is done by carrying out internal and external analysis of brand rating within employees, customers and prospect. The result of the analysis will enable them to know the strength and weakness of brand position. Furthermore, data collected will enable you map out informed strategy to reposition their brand all over again. PROFITABLE WAYS TO REPOSITION A BRAND The reason is because brand re-positioning strategy is applicable to wide range of real business problems and marketing issues.
Brand re-positioning is the only effective strategy that can generate feasible solution to problems based on current needs of the market. Therefore, it is imperative organizations understand specific ways to reposition a brand. Below are illustrations of ways to reposition a product or services. i. To make brand relevant One way to reposition a product or service in the mind of target market is to make it relevance. Brand relevance can be defined as the alignment of brand’s identity, attribute and personality with the needs of target group.
The reason behind making brand relevant constantly is because of changing needs of the society and profusion of alternatives. Brand relevance entails keeping brand current and significant in the mind of target group. It also encompass ensuring that brand resonate and connect to consumers emotionally. ii. To enhance brand identity Another way to reposition a brand is to enhance its identity in the market place. Brand identity is the visible element of a brand such as colors, logo, design, symbol and name that distinguishes a product or services in the mind of consumer.
Identity enhancement is done especially if there is no consistency between brand interfaces and consumers. Redefinition of identity is also done when two or more company is merging together. Brand identity is strategic or substance oriented in nature. Brand identity begins with analysis of marketing environment and ends with using research data to create relevant brand portfolio. iii. To enhance brand personality Organizations reposition brand personality especially when they need to solidify customer loyalty and engagement.
According to David Aaker, author of the book “Building strong brand” “brand personality can also be defined as the set of human characteristics associated with a given brand”. It is also the personification of intangible and tangible traits of a brand. Brand personality projects beliefs and core value of product or services. It is a framework that creates passion and affinity for consumers. Types of brand personalities include trustworthiness, sincerity, strong, reliable, consistency, sophistication, and emotional. iv. To enhance brand experience
Another way to reposition a brand is to enhance consumers experience in order to gain long term competitive advantage. Brand experience encompasses aligning product or services to end-user mood, needs, desires, and behavior. It also involves using stimuli to invoke feelings, sensation and responses. A memorable and unforgettable experience is created by being insightful, remarkable, valuable, dynamic, relevance and accessible enough to unravel gaps and deliver satisfaction incessantly. Customer’s physical & emotional expectations are enhanced by creating great experience at all faucet of interaction. . To enhance brand essence Periodically, organizations enhance the essence of their brand by associating brand with meaningful and relevant substance. Brand essence is a pathway for adding value and equity to a product or services continuously. The concept of brand essences is also defined as a phrase or statement that contains emotional connection or impression about product or services experience. It is the DNA or core characteristic that distinguishes a brand from other alternatives. Illustrations of traits associated with brand essence include unique, relevance, scalable, and sustainable. i. To enhance brand image/reputation Another Way to reposition the image of a brand is through its appeal, fame, and value. Business dictionary defines brand image as the “impression in the consumer’s mind of a brand total personality”. Brand image can be also defined as what a brand stand for or set of specific belief about brand in the mind of consumers. It deals with readjusting the perception of consumers on brand. It is tactical or appearance oriented in nature. Various ways to enhance brand image is through advertising, promotion, word of mouth, customer service and other touch points. ii. To adjust brand association Re-positioning of brand association is done by organizations to increase product or service appeal to core target group. Business dictionary defined brand association as the “extent to which a particular brand calls to mind the attribute of a general product category”. It can also be defined as the meaning, attributes, image associated with a brand in the mind of consumers. Associating brand with enchanting features can solidify loyalty and turn consumers to evangelist or advocates.
Various brand association include customers contact, advertisements, character, word of mouth, celebrity, category, geography, end-users, slogan, intangibles, products, extensions, and displays. viii. To emphasize on brand attribute Sporadically, factors like unstable market, short product life cycle, technological advancement, and alternative can make the attribute of a product or services irrelevant. Re-positioning of brand attribute is done by emphasizing on attribute that matter most to consumers or target group. Brand Attributes is defined as the properties or characteristics of a product or services.
It can also be defined as the emotional as well as functional association consumers confer to a brand. Types of attribute include cost, friendly, authentic, innovative, prestige, and reliability. ix. Brand differentiation Organization indulges in differentiation strategy when they need to establish a strong identity in the mind of consumers. Business dictionary defined brand differentiation as the “result of effort to make a product or service stand out as a provider of unique value to customers in comparisons with its competitors”.
Chosen point of differentiation need to be significant to target market, not used by competitors and supported by organizational resources. Types of differentiation include components, performance, experience, market leader, convenient, innovation, pioneer, essential, expertise, and responsiveness. WHY BRAND RE-POSITIONING COULD BE THE BEST SOLUTION THROUGH WEBSITE? When you have been working on a brand for a long time, it can be depressing to find out that it is not having the positive effect that you hoped.
Examining the brand equity for the website can sometimes reveal that there is virtually no difference between marketing your company with the brand, and promoting it without. This usually means that your current brand is missing the mark, and you are just not connecting with your customers. In order to create a better equity, and retain more customers while bringing in new traffic, you should seriously consider brand re-positioning for your website. Re-positioning a brand means changing the angle or design of your current brand marketing campaign, or even simply discarding your brand and starting again.
On a website, which needs to be constantly changing in order to keep up with modern trends, it can actually be a good idea to reposition your brand every so often. This keeps the website fresh for your clients, and can also attract and retain customers who would not be otherwise connected, while also allowing you to fine-tweak the Brand Promise or other elements which affect the levels of brand equity. There are a number of reasons why you should consider brand re-positioning for your website. If you are just not attracting the sales that you had at the beginning, then changing the brand can bring back former customers.
You would also need to focus upon promoting different elements of your products or services to keep the interest, but this can be a positive side effect of brand re-positioning. Another reason may be that brand you have chosen does not really match your website, and you are therefore losing customers. For example if you are promoting a brand of shoes with puppies and kittens on, then you would not want a brand image that more resembles a heavy metal poster. Your customers base their opinions of your values upon your branding, so the item and the brand need to be a close, if not completely perfect, match.
A brand which clashes with your website or the item or service offered for sale simply has to go, and changing the logo, colors and appearance of your brand can be the incentive that some websites need to completely overhaul the way that they operate which was by leading to new initiatives that generate more income for the owners. Brand re-positioning can also be a step designed to help the owner of the website with brand management, keeping the brand to a set design, and making it clearly different from other types of brand which are very similar to your own.
If a rival company has put out a product with a virtually identical brand to your own, then you can cut down their stealing of your clients by changing the appearance of your brand. This type of brand re-positioning can also ensure that you keep up-to-date with your opposition, and don’t become the traditional website, as this can put off some buyers. There are also several different types of effects which can result from brand re-positioning. For example, you may find that changing the look and feel of your brand can make your company more relevant to the customer.
If you offer a service, then you may find that your regular customers increase their levels of use, because re-positioning the brand has opened up potential uses that the customer had not previously thought of. It may also serve to make the customer take your product more seriously. Sometimes when a website has been used for a long while, clients can feel a bit bored about your site, and re-positioning can make them think again about your products. Re-positioning can also ensure that your brand keeps up with changing market conditions that would otherwise have resulted in a drop in sales.
By constantly re-positioning the brand in the market, websites can keep themselves one step ahead of the competition, and keep up with current trends. Making sure that you don’t fall behind ensures that you retain customers and keep bringing in new ones. In the more modern era of the social network site, companies also rebrand in response to changing customer demands. Some websites may need re-positioning in order to keep the interest of ‘followers’, because it gives them something to notify their fans about, and so keep the company in the user’s memory.
Others may hear direct complaints about their current brand, and this can lead them to reposition their brand in the market, hoping to ease customer dissatisfaction with a particular part of the brand’s products. Although you may not have experienced any opposition as yet, re-positioning is a good idea even for a very small company with social networking contacts, and in order to ensure that effective branding is installed, working with a company such as www. expertsbranding. com can ensure that you keep your brand contemporary and consistent even after it has been repositioned.
SUCCESSFUL BRAND RE-POSITIONING There are three key factors in successfully planning for and delivering on brand positioning. There are of course many examples of this not going to plan and in fact companies having to back-track on their new promise to a more pragmatic place. The three components to success or consideration on this topic to be: i. Planning new positioning so that it fits within the existing reference points of the target market. Some company much like the creation of social media personas and communities and not trying to create a new identity or personality or place for the brand.
That is too far away from the existing perception of that brand in its category and market position. ii. Ensuring that the audience will grant you permission to re-position. This stage essentially encourages the brand to again consider current customer sentiment. The question is they looking for the brand to evolve and change, or are they comfortable with where it is or not even aware of the current positioning. Essentially efforts are wasted if the audience are not likely or be receptive. iii.
Finally, and I think critically, the last component is ensuring the organization delivers on the new brand promise. This seems logical, but the best examples of brand re-positioning are where brands start transforming internally and fundamentally – brand of course needs to behave like it wants to be seen. No one likes a big talker with no follow through. EXAMPLES OF RE-POSITIONING BRAND SUNKIST In this digital age where music and the virtual world dominate most of the younger generation’s daily lives, marketers have to change and adapt their strategies to reach their target market.
Recently, the American soda brand Sunkist has initiated a brand re-positioning. They are now aimed at trend savvy teens and young adults. Sunkist’s brand manager said that they just can’t rely on traditional marketing. The brand’s mother company, the Dr Pepper Snapple Group, is now utilizing YouTube, MySpace and Facebook platforms to promote their products. The company has also partnered with MySpace to promote its project. Sunkist has also created four new videos featuring young break dancers out at night.
Many brands and companies are now using digital communication mediums and social media tools for a more relevant communication strategy that is in line with their target markets’ interests and ways of life such as LG, Unilever, and Nutella. In an era when people are switching from television to computers and mobile phones, companies cannot only use traditional advertisement channels and must find new ways to reach their customers. Today, the proliferation of online platforms seems to be a great opportunity for marketers to enter this new age of communication.
There is no doubt that Sunkist’s new strategy will help the brand increase its global awareness and successfully reach their consumers. Today, the young generation is more health conscious and probably less willing to buy drinks containing huge amounts of sugar. Sunkist did their market research before launching the new campaign to ensure their brand re-positioning is a success. JOHNSON AND JOHNSON Liquid petroleum is low-value, mass-produced and has a wide variety of uses; there is huge potential for mass marketing.
The market name for this substance has been long known as Mineral Oil, used primarily for health and medical uses. But US pharmaceutical and fast-moving-consumer-goods manufacturer Johnson and Johnson bridged the gap between the initial R&D and the market-ready innovation by defining a baby-care niche: Johnson’s Baby Oil was born. This extended their ‘baby’ product range, which later also included ‘No more tears shampoo’. These products demonstrate the benefits and drawbacks of a ‘Focus’ strategy as the consequential brand re-positioning shows, operating in a niche has its limitations.
The branding of their baby oil and shampoo has highly effective in defining their niche: happy babies in above-the-line advertising, pink packaging and a trusted producer sends out all the right connotations; mothers know that these products will never harm their babies. As a result of this, Johnson and Johnson can differentiate themselves from the competition by which is the essence of what a brand should aim to do that seduces a female-orientated target market to ignore generic competitors. This may have been key to uccess as Micheal Porter’s Five Forces demonstrates, Johnson and Johnson has less power than their customers, the supermarkets, who are also trying to sell their own-brand alternatives. Hence, branding to create a niche is a competition-driven objective. However, while it was a competitive strategy, nowadays the products are marketed to a wider, mass market and the ‘baby’ niche, which limited sales, has been ditched to pursue a new sales growth aim. This is essentially re-positioning a brand.
The baby oil and shampoo, it is argued, if soft and gentle enough even for babies, then surely new consumers can be attracted to use the product, which mirrors a form of market development. Predictably, more customers equates to more sales and therefore greater revenue; also, by increasing demand Johnson and Johnson can benefit from internal economies of scale to reduce average unit costs, which boosts profit margins. But this is easier said than done: very good marketing was needed to successful reposition their products.
Ironically, therefore, the secret behind successful brand re-positioning is not to change the branding to match the new consumer, but change the consumer’s perceived ‘needs’ to match the brand. REFFERENCES Brandsource. (2009, June 8). Retrieved 4 3, 2012, from Sunkist Brand Re-positioning: http://www. labbrand. com/brand-source/sunkist-brand-re-positioning Johnson and Johnson – Brand Re-positioning. (2010, August 4). Retrieved April 3, 2012, from Johnson and Johnson – Brand Re-positioning: http://manifestedmarketing. com/tag/johnson-and-johnson/ Derrick, E. (2011, September 9). The Blake Project.
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