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Paper Specifics 

Jack Trout and Al Ries brought the concept of positioning into the marketing mainstream with their book, Positioning, the Battle for Your Mind, published in 1980 and since updated several times. (I highly recommend that any of you who are actually interested in a career in marketing should get a copy of the book and read it carefully.) In brief, they define positioning as the mental short list that a consumer has in her mind when she starts to think about shopping for something. Your brand should have a position somewhere on that list, as close to the top of it as possible. If you are not on the list at all, your brand will probably not be considered.

That mental shortlist will typically be about 5 to 7 items long and often shorter, almost never longer. For example, when consumers start thinking about buying a new car, they don’t think of the dozens of possibilities out there, they think about choices with which they are already familiar and which stand out from the crowd.

The authors argue that it is the job of marketers to make their brands seem different from competitors and different in ways that the intended target audience will see as important and preferable.

“Positioning” then becomes a process of figuring out a short summary about the brand to make it memorable and likable. Often, this is summarized in a single phrase or sentence, like BMW’s “Ultimate Driving Machine” or Disney’s “Where dreams come true.”

Such statements often take the form of what advertising people call a “tagline” or “slogan.” But this is not always the case. Sometimes brands use multiple approaches to create a brand image that communicates a message to set it apart from competitors. For example, Volvo is widely perceived as a very safe car that will protect people inside the car even when there is a bad accident. Recently, Subaru has also started to use the same idea, and I would argue that this makes Subaru look somewhat like a “me too” brand, one that is “Johnny come lately” to a category that Volvo established years ago.

Deliverable

 

For this paper what you need to do is to discuss Tesla positioning and the tactics/actions it uses to get this positioning to “stick” in someone’s mind.  

EXPECTATIONS:  Length is 5 to 9 pages excluding title page, executive summary (on a page by itself), reference list, and any appendices. Follow APA formatting. Do not include a table of contents. 

Note that the grading rubric states that using correct APA formatting is worth 10% of the total grade on your paper, so if you do a poor job with this, it could easily cost you a letter grade on the assignment. Therefore, effort is required to adhere to APA standards.

To clarify what an Executive Summary is, be sure to read this article:

Also, click on the attached that you must read and which you should probably print out for yourself. Note that the paper is not just a sample, it also explains how to use elements of APA style.  On top of that, here on Canvas under resources, there is a list of APA help documents as well, please be sure to read over all of the resources within that section to help you write your paper.  In addition, be sure to utilize the writing tutor to help show you how to improve your paper.  Make those changes BEFORE submitting your paper for a final grade.

General Guidelines

Please be sure to address the following requirements when completing your papers:

  •  The cover page and reference page/s are not included in the above-stated page requirement. These should be in addition to page requirements.
  •  Papers need to be formatted in proper APA 7th Edition style.
  •  Each paper requires a minimum of at least three outside peer-reviewed sources for your references (unless stated otherwise in the guidance above).

o   Acceptable/credible sources include: Academic journals and books, industry journals,  and the class textbook.   To include additional types of sources, please review the Guidelines for finding and utilizing required references for your paper, shared below.

  •  Using your textbook is highly recommended to demonstrate that you have read the required material and/or are connecting new thoughts to the course text/learnings.

Guidelines for finding and utilizing required references for your paper:

For a formal research paper, you are required to locate, understand, and integrate a certain number of peer reviewed journal articles and/or published books, as these are considered reliable and valid sources of information by academics and industry.  The best source of these articles is to search through your CiAM Library (LIRN).  However, if you find a website you would really like to share in your paper, you can do so if it is NOT counted as one of your reliable/valid articles/books (i.e., goes above and beyond the required amount of reliable/valid sources), and if it is NOT the basis/foundation of your paper.  Otherwise, there is no way to demonstrate that:  1.  You have done true research and have given the appropriate level of thought to your paper; and 2. There is no way to validate that the information you have received off of the internet has been fact checked. 

Here are some guidelines on how to think about this process:

  1.  Using Wikipedia:  This internet source is very popular, and although there may be some great articles found there, there is no formal process (at this point) for what is posted to be fact checked.  Meaning, what you find there is not always true.  However, if you read an interesting article, you can go to their references, check on who they researched, then go to that ORIGINAL work (locate it in our library), and then read through that article and reference that article (not Wikipedia).  If you want to cite Wikipedia, you may do so if it follows the guidelines shared above (i.e., is NOT the basis of your paper, and is just a supplemental share going above and beyond the minimum required reliable/valid works).  You may also simply visit Wikipedia just to get more general information on a subject before you start your formal research process).

2.   General informational websites and business websites:  These follow the same rules as shared above.

Tesla Marketing Positioning
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