How do we position toys?
There is, unfortunately, no ideal method for measuring a product’s, in this case a toy’s, position in consumer consciousness. The choice of data collection and analysis methods must therefore always spring from the analyst’s or the researcher’s own weighing of the strengths and weaknesses of the individual methods when they are used to measure a product’s position.
A toy’s position is the person-at-play’s, the consumer’s, understanding of the toy’s image, formed from the toy’s subjective and objective aspects (attributes, signs) and the consumer’s attitude to the image of directly and generically similar/corresponding toys.
Positioning is therefore based on comprehension of how the person-at-play, the consumer, understands, collects and receives information, messages and signs about the toy and how these pieces of information are assimilated into the consumer’s consciousness.
This is because in a choice situation, the consumer has to evaluate the toy from the perspective of previous experience or possibly some kind of previous knowledge about this and other similar toys, and associations indicating imaginable uses for the toy.
Knowledge about all this is of course mandatory to an understanding of why a toy product is positioned in consumer consciousness. The desire to gain this knowledge has resulted in research into the connection between consumer psychology and product positioning. Most often traditional data collection and analytic methods have been employed - but more open qualitative methods can also be used. There is therefore a clear discrepancy between the definition of a toy’s position and the way in which this is measured.