Using experiential marketing to leverage the small and medium-sized enterprises’ brand repositioning



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It is easily discernible from theories that experiential marketing spawns frequent brand diagnosis, repositioning and revitalisation. However, the question as to how it can be used to leverage the repositioning and revitalisation of the usually struggling small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs’) products is an area that has not been explored in most of the contemporary studies on how to improve SMEs’ market performance.


Aim: This research explores how experiential marketing can be effectively utilised to facilitate the repositioning and revitalisation of the usually struggling SMEs’ products.


Setting: The study was based on the SMEs in the Gauteng and Western Cape provinces in South Africa. Method: The study used an inductive–exploratory–qualitative research paradigm to explore the opinions of 30 SMEs’ marketing managers on the values and challenges of using experiential marketing to undertake relevant brand diagnosis, repositioning and revitalisation. It is through such analysis that the study aimed to discern how experiential marketing can be effectively used to facilitate the repositioning and revitalisation of the usually struggling SMEs’ products.


Results: However, most of the SMEs were only found to use experiential marketing to leverage not only their promotion and marketing capabilities, as well as sales and profitability maximisation, but also the minimisation of the costs of marketing. Such approach was found to limit SMEs’ capabilities to proactively undertake brand diagnosis to identify the inhibitors of a brand’s effective market performance that must be addressed to turn around the performance of their struggling products or business concepts.


Conclusion: Considering that not much research has been conducted in this area, the study concludes with the experiential marketing framework that explicates how experiential marketing leverages brand diagnosis, repositioning and revitalisation.


Boniface Okanga

(Department of Business Management, University of Johannesburg)

The Southern African Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business Management 2018;10(1):e1-e20 DOI


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