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The lack of comprehensive strategic positioning models capable of being employed by managers and advertising executives has given the impetus for this research. This study deals with the actual process of managing the concept of positioning. Using multiple research methodology, a conceptual positioning framework that is the composite of two extant positioning frameworks is formulated. The framework is subsequently operationalized in plastic card organizations (i.e., credit card, charge card, store card, and debit card industries). From the findings, this article puts forward managerial guidelines and, in the process, reveals that plastic card organizations pursue two key positioning aims (profit and market share; profit and status) and, to an extent, “profit and cobranding.” The research also uncovers two main positioning objectives, namely, “functional” and “symbolic” employed by plastic card brands. Furthermore, the study finds that six card brands are managed within two broad life cycle stages (fortification and membership) while “deposition” and “fallow” are pursued by two card brands. “The Brand Name” strategy is the most popular positioning strategy utilized in the study setting. Discussion and managerial guidelines, conclusions, limitations, and recommendations for future research are also discussed.
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