Where did you position your brand?

Dalibor Šumiga Behavioral marketing/Neuromarketing, Marketing


It’s an open secret that every marketing manager watches his competition.

It’s unusual that most of them copy their competition…

If you haven’t already, read the blog  “Why do all medication ads have a blue man?” 

In psychology, this phenomenon of copying is called the “bandwagon effect” – the tendency to accept attitudes and behavioral patterns just because we see others doing so.

There is a difference between good practices and excessive copying of the competition and the current best example of excessive copying and incorrect positioning is – influencer marketing.


Ella Dvornik, one of the most famous Croatian influencers, promotes a large number of products on her Instagram profile. Positive, cheerful, witty, a mother of two who has a likable life partner – she is certainly a lure for brands. Ella will recommend to you how to enlarge your breasts, which mobile phone is the best, which hotel is the best to spend your summer…

Since Ella is also a travel blogger, she is a welcome guest at many hotels. And many hotels hire her. It is to be assumed that the marketing managers of these hotels know that Ella was in another hotel yesterday and that she will be in another hotel again tomorrow, ie. that she will not spend the summer with them forever just because they once paid for her promoted post.


One of these hotels decided to go a step further and hire the likeable Ella to be the face for the recruitment campaign – the maid.

In the cute video, Ella gets up in the morning at the first sound of the alarm clock, puts on a uniform with her name on it and happily rides her bike to work at the hotel, greets all her colleagues at the reception and is really looking forward to the new working day.

The story is positive, but how realistic is it? Is it really possible that the target group targeting the hotel to make their future maids, cleaners, cooks or waitresses consider this video authentic? Is it possible that they will apply for the job because they are encouraged by a young, financially situated woman who they mostly think “does nothing and only posts pictures on the Internet”?

According to the reactions to the video, no…. Most of the reactions (about 90% of them when I last watched) are negative…


Here’s another example from the hotel industry…

A high-category hotel in the center of Zagreb has decided to launch the TikTok channel.

They hired a well-known Croatian TikToker and made an advertisement called “Annoying receptionist”.

There are several potential problems in this positioning:

01) video in Croatian

Most of my international clients, when they come to Zagreb, sleep in that hotel. They are foreigners, of high purchasing power, they do not speak Croatian and are not even close to the age group we call Generation Z.

If the hotel wants to get new reservations, it should target a very niche audience of wealthy kids who want to sleep in a traditional hotel in the center of Zagreb. I wonder how many of them are in the region, not only in Croatia…?


02) the name and theme of the video create the wrong associative network of the brand

The first video that the brand published on TikTok actually indirectly communicates that the staff of that hotel is – annoying.

Yes, the video is witty, but is it really wise to risk potentially positioning the brand as annoying in the first video?

It is certainly possible that brands in these examples profited from their positioning, but publicly available data don’t show this. Vanity metrics (likes, reviews) are not a measure of success if the end result is not an increase in inquiries and sales or if the investment was greater than obtained and the brand lift was not achieved or not even measured.


There are also great examples of good, in fact, top positioning.

If you are a marketing manager in the car industry, for sure your first reaction is “let’s go to an auto show”. It sounds logical – a lot of people go to car shows and everyone comes because they are car lovers. Your competition is there, too.

Rolls Royce and Maserati have decided to position their cars differently…

The fact is that the new Rolls Royce or Maserati is sure to grab the attention of the audience at the auto show. Everyone wants to be photographed next to their cars. It’s also a fact that most visitors can’t afford those cars.

That’s why Rolls Royce and Maserati decided to position their cars on boat and jet shows.

As the brilliant Rory Sutherland jokingly remarked: “When you watch planes and ships costing around €30 million all day, buying a car worth €1 million comes as impulsive shopping.” 

Load more (31)