6- What are Points of Parity (POP) and Points of Difference (POD)?

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“Welcome back this video. We are going to carry on our discussion on brand positioning. Positioning. Specifically the steps involved that may be adopted by a firm in establishing and brand positioning.

So you will recall from our discussion in our previous video that in this three step model. The first step involved determining a competitive frame of reference you know and which also it which included judging who might be the competitors you know for the brand that are given from might be developing in the present video. We are going to carry on this discussion move on to the second step. Which involves identifying optimal.

So called points of parity and points of difference in the third step. Which is creating bang mantra. You know this is something which we re going to relegate to a discussion in a in a follow up video you know after this one. So.

Let s focus our attention and on understanding. How might a firm optimally identified points of difference and points of parity. Now do this let us first understand what each of these terms. Mean now a point of difference is simply refers to attributes or benefits that consumers would strongly associate with a brand you know and these better be attributes and benefits that the consumers positively evaluate they should have a favorable positive evaluation towards these attributes and and crucially consumers have to believe that it cannot find the same extent you know the same level of quality or the same extent of this attribute or benefit in any other compare.

So this is best illustrated with the apple as an example so now apple is you know apple products the macintosh line of computers for example they re known for the high level of design and ease of use so strawberry design and ease of use you know would be crucial. Attributes and benefits that consumers associate with this very powerful brand and consumers do believe that any other brand of technology. Know of laptop or computer computing..


You know outside of apple would not offer the same level of ease of use and superior design that they associate with this prank. Now if you now i think along similar lines. It s not hard to understand what my points of parity be now these are attributes that are not necessarily unique to the plank and they may totally be shared in fact they are almost always shared with other brands that you know that appeared in the consideration set of consumers you know that that perform is targeting. So to understand this let s think of these two brands.

There is that all which is manufactured by rb rink. A defender and then there is the salon brand which is a johnson johnson manufactured brand and both these are essentially you know over the counter. Easy to apply easy to use antiseptic liquids right. You know they they are meant to cure and fix minor cuts and bruises that might happen to consumers in everyday life.

And so clearly the antiseptic property of whether it s at all or whether it s it s a blonde. You know are you know not unique to either of them. And these are these would come under points of parity for this so for that all to position itself relative to sab lon. You know it would need some specific point of difference.

Which you know it would want to play off on likewise for apple to position its line of of computers and computing devices against other competing brands you know such as sony or hp. You know it would need to have some specific you know points of difference. And we are going to discuss this points of parity and points of difference in a little more detail over the next few minutes. The next few minutes.

So let s go back to points of parity and understand this that look for points of parity. A sufficient number of consumers must believe that the brand is quote. Unquote good enough along this dimension..


So you know whether you take whether you take a macbook or whether you take any other like an hp or dell. You know line of computers you know if the objective is to just surf. The web. You know both devices both laptops are perfectly capable.

Then good enough you know to permit this and so in other words. There should be a zone or a range of tolerance or acceptance with all points of parity. So if we if we go back to you know the debt all example and think of its point of parity compared to its competitor. Sablan right.

Clearly the antiseptic properties of savlon and debt all. Both lie. Within an acceptable zone or range of tolerance for 4 in terms of antiseptic. You know cleansing so a couple of more words on points of parity.

So there are two types of points of parity dimensions. There is there are the so called category points of parity. These are the ones. Which are essential for a legitimate and credible offering and then there are sometimes you know competitive points of parity.

Where you know. Which a firm is designed to overcome any perceived weakness. You know of the brand and a few more words now argue on points of difference..


And this is actually pretty important so there are these three criteria that should you know that are important relevant for any attribute to function as a point of difference. So desirability deliverability and differentiability. So the point of difference for example. If i remind you of death all versus a blonde.

It s the stinging sensation that is accompanied by the application of debt on you know on any open cut or food. I think as everyday consumers you must have experienced this and if you ve you have a minor cut or wound on your body. And you apply some debt all on it it s going to sting right you know and in contrast. Sab.

Lon does not have that sting and so now the whole question is that good consumers perceive this attribute to be desirable can the firm deliver on it and is it differential differentiable compared to it s comparing its concluding dance and likewise. We can also think of points of difference between the macintosh apple line of computers you know other brands of computers you know such as a dell order or an hp or the sony you know that that is out there. So let s let s discuss these three dimensions with a little more care. So for a for a for an attribute to work as a point of point of difference it needs to be desirable from the consumers point of view.

That consumers must see the brand association as personally relevant to them so in the case of of computers. The incredible ease of use and and superior design of macintosh macbook. You know line of computers is personally relevant to a lot of consumers you know that consumers especially those who are technophobic value the ease of use you know. Which is associated.

Very powerfully you know with this brand second. It should be this point of difference should be deliverable by the company that means. The company should have the internal resource and the commitment feasibly and profitably maintain this brand association in the minds of consumers right so again if we consider the macbook macintosh line of computers made by apple you know it has to be feasible and profitable for apple..


You know to provide you know this superior design and ease of use in their computing devices. We can and and last. But not least it should be a dimension along which you know a point of pattern difference that should be differentiating from the competitors. That means your competitors should obviously not have it or it would defeat the whole purpose of it being a point of difference.

You know so clearly in the case of apple computers you know this point of difference of superior. You know design and ease of use is distinctive. And it is better or superior. Compared to those that are there in other other computing including devices so good.

I think that we are ready to wrap up this little discussion. So we ve recall that we ve been reviewing the three steps that are required in positioning in our previous video. We covered you know determining a comparative frame of reference in this video. We ll be focused our you know on identifying optimal points of parity and points of difference.

And we understood them from the lens of two examples. We looked at the get all brand relative to the you know sablin as a brand and last. But not the least. It was on which we ll cover in our next video will be on ” .


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“by Prof. Sameer Mathur”,

MBA, presentation skills, influence, persuasion, job search, networking

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