World Cup 2018: The Battle for Your Mind

The term ‘Positioning‘ was coined in 1969 by Al Ries and Jack Trout in the paper “Positioning is a game people play in today’s me-too market place”. It was then expanded into their ground-breaking first book, “Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind”.

Positioning is something (perception) that happens in the minds of the target market. It is the aggregate perception the market has of a particular company, product or service in relation to their perceptions of the competitors in the same category. It will happen whether or not a company’s management is proactive, reactive or passive about the on-going process of evolving a position. But a company can positively influence the perceptions through enlightened strategic actions.

In marketing, positioning has come to mean the process by which marketers try to create an image or identity in the minds of their target market for its product, brand, or organization. It is the ‘relative competitive comparison’ their product occupies in a given market as perceived by the target market.

– Source: Internet

 Aside the entertainment and physical health value, of the FIFA World Cup, often simply called the World Cup, offers a very veritable window for brand positioning. Put in another way, the World Cup offers a very strong window of opportunities for brands to compete for the share of mind of the mammoth crowd of global football fans for the four weeks duration of the global football fiesta.

Since the inaugural outing of this global tournament in 1930, except in 1942 and 1946 when the tourney was not held because of the second World War, the tournament has remained a great attraction for brands and brands owners in connecting with their teeming consumers irrespective of race, creed or religion.

Indeed, the 2018 FIFA World Cup slated to hold in Russia will no doubt offer less in creating requisite connecting link between the brands and football fans across the globe in a fun and excitement filled 31days of the fiesta. For the brand owners, lapping on this tournament helps them to deliberately and strategically plan their brand building efforts on symbolic levels of consumer consciousness, where meanings and associations even of individual words-really hold weight.

Brand positioning experts are of the view that “a market positioning strategy is built on business data and seeks to compose the precise chain of words to balance concepts of differentiation, distinction and similarity in a unified brand narrative. It is a long term effort to solidify the identity of a company, and its products or services, in a unique space within the minds of the target audience”.

In popularizing the positioning theory, Trout and co-author Al Ries in their bestselling title,“Positioning: The Battle for your Mind, in 1981 hinted at the fact that “positioning strategy as an organized system for finding a window in the customer’s mind, based on the idea that communication can only take place at the right time and under the right circumstances”.

What more can be added? There is no doubting the fact that the truism in the theoretical concept as propounded by the duo has been the age-long wisdom behind the history of World Cup by brands and their handlers. For a fact, The Coca-Cola company is one of the longest standing partners of FIFA, with a formal association since 1974 and an official sponsorship of FIFA World Cup that began in 1978. Coca-Cola has had stadium advertising at every FIFA World Cup since 1950.

FIFA and The Coca-Cola company extended their long time partnership until 2030. The renewed commitment by Coca-Cola in the non-alcoholic beverages cash and in-kind products and services in support of the broad spectrum of FIFA – organized events around the globe, including the FIFA World Cup, FIFA Women’s World Cup, FIFA U-20 World Cup, FIFA U-17etc.

For the 2018 World Cup, from June 14th till July 15th 2018 when Russia will be hosting the 2018 World Cup, no fewer than 32 nations, including debutants Panama and Iceland, will crisis – cross 11 Russian cities to compete for the highly coveted trophy. As the events gather momentum, no fewer than 8 global brands have thrown their weight behind the round leather game. A cursory review of these brands are shown below.




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