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Dr Prafulla Y Agnihotri replies to readers’ queries in Pitch’s new segment – ‘Pitch Q&A’

27-December-2010
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Dr Prafulla Y Agnihotri replies to readers’ queries in Pitch’s new segment – ‘Pitch Q&A’

I am a marketing manager with a reputed consumer durable brand. How should I position a new consumer durable brand that is basically targeted at low-income group? My target group is both in rural and in urban areas, should I go for dual positioning? This is one of the questions that Pitch, the marketing monthly from the exchange4media Group, keeps getting.

To fill the need, Pitch has roped in Dr Prafulla Y Agnihotri, Professor of Marketing, IIMC & Co-author of the book ‘Principles of Marketing: A south Asian Perspective’ with Philip Kotler, to answer the questions of readers and marketers in Pitch’s new segment: ‘Pitch Q&A’.

Answering to the above question by Puneet Das from Mumbai, Agnihotri says, “Since the basis of segmentation used for the brand is based on income and lifestyle of consumers – in both rural as well as urban markets – there isn’t any need for a dual positioning.”

He is of the view that dual positioning is not always necessary while targeting consumers in rural and urban areas simultaneously. However, “considering the competitive positioning and the space available for the brand to be different today and also to grow in future, check for its uniqueness and the importance of the positioning attribute to your target market,” Agnihotri adds.

A renowned marketing thought leader, Dr Agnihotri carries 10 years of varied industry experience and over 14 years of experience in academics. He holds a Master’s degree in Management Studies and a Doctorate in Inter¬national Marketing strategy; teaches courses in Marketing Management, International Marketing, Services Marketing, and Strategic Brand Management. He is also a visiting faculty at Euromed Marseille, Marseille-Provence, France, and CERAM, Sophia Antipolis, France.

Another question that intrigues marketers, particularly entrepreneurs, is should they have different brand names for products catering to different genders. One such question is of Rachna Tiwarey from Bangalore, who deals with a men’s wear brand. The company wants to extend its portfolio to include women’s wear and kids’ and is unsure if it should try and extend salience of the existing brand name.

Agnihotri is against having a new brand name for the extended portfolio. “Since the men’s wear is well-known and is well established, extension of the existing brand name will offer same benefits to the new categories. It would give the new offerings instant recognition and faster acceptance. At the same time, it will significantly save the advertising expenditure needed to establish the new brand.”

So in that scenario, how does one bring about changes in the communication? Agnihotri answers, “If you are extending the brand name, then you may like to continue to promote the new categories on the same themes as you have been doing for the existing men’s wear category. Of course, needless to say that you may change the models to represent the new target markets.”

Readers and marketers can reach out to Dr Agnihotri through Pitch and address their queries to him at pitchqna@pitchonnet.com. Two best questions, selected by Dr Agnihotri will get a six-month free subscription of Pitch.

 

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