Congruence between Positioning and Brand Advertising

Charles Blankson
University of North Texas

Stavros P. Kalafatis
Kingston University Business School


Review of the literature shows growing interest and activities attached to the concept of positioning (Aaker and Shansby, 1982; Alden, Steenkamp, and Batra, 1999; Crawford, 1985; Dillon, Domzal, and Madden, 1986; Hooley and Greenley, 2005; Pechmann and Ratneshwar, 1991; Prince, 1990). The subject is considered as one of the key elements of modern marketing management (Hooley, Saunders, and Piercy, 1998; Kotler, 2000; Porter, 1996) and the foundation upon which marketing communications plans are formulated (Fill, 1999; Ries and Trout, 1986; Rossiter and Percy, 1997). Despite the importance ascribed to positioning, there appears to be a paucity of documented strategic positioning models that provide a comprehensive insight into the related activities concerning the operationalization of positioning (Rigger, 1995; Rossiter and Percy, 1997). The latter is exacerbated by the lack of managerial guidelines as to the management of positioning activities (Rigger, 1995). While attempts have been made by scholars to correct the omission, these have been conceptual and offer no operational and managerial guidelines (see Hooley, Saunders, and Piercy, 1998; Park, Jaworski, and MacInnis, 1986), despite the reported difficulties encountered in the application of the concept by managers and advertising executives (Piercy, 2005). As a result, the difficulties surrounding the application of the concept by managers and advertising executives (Rossiter and Percy, 1997; Schultz, 2006) that emanate from the lack of empirically grounded and coherent strategic positioning models has, no doubt, created apprehension about the concept in the literature (Pollay, 1985).