Brand Positioning – The Droid Problem

In Branding Evaluation by Distility2760 Comments

With their “Droid Does” campaign, Motorolla is using the “Repositioning the Competition” strategy, using the iPhone’s entrenched brand status as the way to get sticky in our minds. It is the same strategy used when Avis fought Hertz with their classic ““We’re number two. We try harder” brand strategy. Key difference here is that the positioning is narrowly focused on the uber geek, male, early adopter.

It is great to see this gutsy positioning, but will it work?

To Succeed, Positioning Must be Three Things: Unique, Relevant and Compelling

The Droid positioning is unique – no doubt about it. The hardware, software, and styling all stand apart. The aggressive, robotic branding is world’s away from any competitor. Actually, it is the first superphone commercial that some attitude a la Apple’s landmark 1984 television advertisement directed by Ridley Scott. The contrast is actually delicious. Apple branded itself as the human, destroying the machine. Droid is branded as the machine.

The Droid positioning is relevant – superphones are the new PCs, and consumers want choice, especially if they are with Verizon.

But is the positioning compelling? I’m an early adopter and don’t find any of the things “Droid Does” to be a compelling reason to desire this new device. Higher resolution screen? Nice to have? Yes. Need to have? No. Multi-tasking? The same. And so on.

Where the strategy does succeed, is in manipulating me quite successfully into thinking that the Droid must be the number two choice. Suddenly, Blackberry, Palm, Windows, and the other brands out there seem a lot less relevant, a lot less unique, and far less compelling.