When we left you, in part two of this series, our marketer was teetering--like Pauline in the old serials--perilously on the positioning precipice between corporate and product positions.

Time to push her.

In this installment, I'd like to touch on two things.

1. How do you tell when you should adopt a corporate or a product position for any given market or market segment. 2. And how do you know when it's time to shift a position from one to the other?

Product or Corporate?

To identify whether to define a corporate or product position for each segment, define the point of the relationship that segment has with you.

For some companies the relationship is entirely with the product. A good example is S C Johnson. Since they are privately owned, the relationship is solely with Ziploc, Pledge and Windex. Product positions all the way (except perhaps with their employees).

For other companies, the relationship is entirely with the company. Traditional examples include companies like Archer Daniels Midland and BASF, whose business function is as a holding company. Here, it's all corporate.

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image of Michael Fischler

Michael Fischler is founder and principal coach and consultant of Markitek (markitek.com), which for over a decade has provided marketing consulting and coaching services to companies around the world, from startups and SMEs to giants like Kodak and Pirelli. You can contact him by clicking here.