Company /Product/ Brand Repositioning
Repositioning is the process by which firms try to modify the identity of a brand or product in the minds of the consumer. The main objective is to differentiate the product in relation to competitive products. Repositioning goes beyond cosmetic changes in the product. It is deeper than just rebranding; it deals with right markets and right positioning (Drummond, et al, 2008). The factors that lead marketers in to repositioning their brands include competition from other firms, changing needs of consumers, emergence of new technology and new channels of production. However, the high marketing cost often fails to generate the desired results of repositioning. There are many strategies that can be used by Starbucks and its sister chain Seattle Best, in repositioning itself in the market.
Marketers often say that the reputation of a firm holds a brand (Doyle, 2008). In business, most consumers will relate more to the firm than the brand or product. Starbucks has made a reputation for itself over the years by making excellent coffee, selling coffee beans and coffee making machine. In 2003, it acquired Seattle’s Best but since then most consumers were not aware that the two brands were related (Kowitt, 2010). The first step to take is more psychological; the Starbucks’ marketers need to inform the public that Seattle’s Best is part of Starbucks. The consumers need to know that the same quality of coffee and the service that they will receive from Seattle’s Best is similar to that of Starbucks.
In the current world, advertisement is not enough. The marketers need to do a research to ask the consumers what they would like to see in Seattle’s Best. The company has to ensure that their plan will resonate with consumers. They should carefully look into an amalgamation of customers’ feelings. Once they have this combination, the markets can evaluate to see the best approach to use to obtain the strongest customer stance. The firm should ensure that they obtain the consumers’ permission for repositioning. This is because repositioning can affect the consumer. For example, if the firm changes its operational hours it might inconvenience some of their customers.
The Starbucks’ management may need to change the quality of service provided in Seattle’s Best; there is a need to improve the technology used, the design and even the location to reflect the standards of Starbucks. Additionally, the prices must also reflect the fact that it is the same brand. Most consumers relate price to the quality, the higher the price the higher the quality and vice versa (Drummond, et al, 2008). To make sure that consumers do not visualize Starbucks is better than Seattle’s Best, the pricing system should be reviewed. The aim is to unite both chains. Repositioning Starbucks may be the perfect opportunity for the management to set-up strategies to target the younger generation. The main difference between Starbucks and McDonald is the types of groups that frequent both chains. To create a competitive age against McDonald, Starbucks can try to reposition the company; the management can include this information in their plans.
In my opinion, Starbucks should merge its brand with Seattle’s Best and try to make the consumers to picture it as the same brand. Campaigns should be targeted towards merging the two chains in the mind of the consumers. Marketers should make certain that the consumers know that the same standard applies in all the chains. Moreover, this will ensure that consumers do not think that one coffee is better than another is. Customers will be able to walk into Seattle’s Best and Starbucks without discrimination and the revenues for both chains will increase significantly. Repositioning a company or product or brand will involve making tough choices on the market and the competitor’s reaction.
Kowitt, B. (2010, May 15). Can Starbuck still be Seattle’s best if it grows by hyping Seattle’s Best. Fortune. Retrieved from
Doyle, P. (2008). Value-based marketing: Marketing strategies for corporate growth and shareholder value. Chichester, UK: John Wiley & Sons.
Drummond, G., Ensor, J. & Ashford, R. (2008). Strategic marketing: Planning and control. Amsterdam: Butterworth-Heinemann/Elsevier.