Monday, June 13, 2005

Outside the Book - W.O.W.!

This week's Word of the Week (W.O.W.!) is positioning.

As quoted on, positioning "is the attempt to control the public's perception of a product or service as it relates to competitive products." Basically, positioning is how your customers (patrons) see you as compared with your competitors.

Don't believe positioning is important? Think about McDonald's most recent attempt to reposition itself as health-conscious in light of increasing scrutiny of its menu. The company reintroduced Ronald who now sports athletic gear and a trimmer physique. It has also added a new fresh fruit option to its menu.

Librarians can and do use repositioning too. Think about a common perception of the library as a stuffy, quiet place where patrons are continually sushed by cranky librarians. Now consider the many ways in which librarians combat this image by including coffee bars in libraries, adding group study spaces, participating in innovative outreach projects, etc.

In order to reposition libraries, librarians need make changes to two ingredients of their marketing mix: products (or services) and promotion (communication).

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