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Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind Paperback – December 13, 2000


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 213 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill; 1 edition (December 13, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0071373586
  • ISBN-13: 978-0071373586
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.5 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (165 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,204 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

"One of the most important communication books I've ever read. I highly recommend it!"
­­Spencer Johnson, author of Who Moved My Cheese? and co-author of The One Minute Manager

"...Ries and Trout taught me everything I know about branding, marketing, and product management. When I had the idea of creating a very large thematic community on the Web, I first thought of Positioning...."
­­David Bohnett, Chairman and Founder of GeoCities

The first book to deal with the problems of communicating to a skeptical, media-blitzed public, Positioning describes a revolutionary approach to creating a "position" in a prospective customer's mind-one that reflects a company's own strengths and weaknesses as well as those of its competitors. Writing in their trademark witty, fast-paced style, advertising gurus Ries and Trout explain how to:

  • Make and position an industry leader so that its name and message wheedles its way into the collective subconscious of your market-and stays there
  • Position a follower so that it can occupy a niche not claimed by the leader
  • Avoid letting a second product ride on the coattails of an established one.

Positioning also shows you how to:

  • Use leading ad agency techniques to capture the biggest market share and become a household name
  • Build your strategy around your competition's weaknesses
  • Reposition a strong competitor and create a weak spot
  • Use your present position to its best advantage
  • Choose the best name for your product
  • Determine when-and why-less is more
  • Analyze recent trends that affect your positioning.

Ries and Trout provide many valuable case histories and penetrating analyses of some of the most phenomenal successes and failures in advertising history. Revised to reflect significant developments in the five years since its original publication, Positioning is required reading for anyone in business today.

About the Author

Al Ries is Chairman of Ries & Ries, Focusing Consultants. Jack Trout is Chairman of Trout & Partners. Al Ries and Jack Trout are undoubtedly the world's best-known marketing strategists.


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Customer Reviews

The book is well written, easy to read and has a lot of very useful information.
John Chancellor
It has everything it takes to introduce and elaborate the concept of positioning in the marketing today.
"florianivan"
If you are working in marketing communications field this book is a MUST read for you.
Rimoun Adel

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

71 of 76 people found the following review helpful By "dgrounds" on August 20, 2002
Format: Paperback
A classic in marketing how-tos, the authors explain the importance of offering something for sale that appeals to the buyer, not to the seller, creator, or manufacturer. The product is positioned relative to the consumer, and her needs and viewpoints of value. The basic theory is that you get into the mind of your consumer, and position your product accordingly. And on that point, almost anyone would have to agree.
You will not find the gory details in this book that you'll need to execute a marketing plan, though, but the general theme is examined, as well as various positioning examples (everything from Kleenex to Heinz Ketchup - or was that pickles?).
I was particularly disappointed about a lack of methodology to reach a positioning statement, other than some fairly broad "rules", lightly applied throughout the book. There were six questions at the end that were helpful, but did not constitute a rigorous method - well, any method really - to create a "position". If anything, I would have wished for the method that could be used to create positioning for a product, or to test a company's current positioning, rather than have as many examples of positioning failures.
Some of the author's examples seemed contradictory, and especially when the authors claimed that brand extension amounts to a virtual see-saw - one product steals the brand identity from another (Heinz Ketchup vs. Heinz Pickles - who is Heinz!?). From hindsight, it can be seen that some brand extensions have been extremely successful, while others aren't.
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34 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Krista Neher on February 2, 2011
Format: Paperback
If you are building a brand or a business you need to think about positioning and branding. What is it that you want to stand for that is unique and different in the market place? Positioning isn't just for big brands - it is for any brand (even your personal brand.

I would definitely recommend this book - it is well worth the read, but I would probably only give it 3.5 stars out of 5. The main reason is that the examples are WAY out of date (the book is 30 years old). The principles still apply today, however it is tough to follow a book that is referencing examples from when I was 2 years old.

I have also read another book by the same authors "The 22 Immutable Laws of Branding" and I liked this MUCH more.

So, bottom line: It is a good book, worth a read, solid principles, but out of date. This book is especially relevant if you work for a big company (most of the examples are big company examples), but the principles can also be applied to any business, or your personal brand.
Key Points:

* The position of your brand or business is in the eyes of your prospect or customer. It doesn't matter what you think your business or brand stands for or is about. They key is the perception that your customers have. "Positioning is how you differentiate yourself in the mind of the prospect. That is, you position the product in the mind of the prospect."
* Our society is overcommunicated. Even 30 years ago there were so many commercials that you had to really work to break through the noise. "We have become the world's first overcommunicated society. Each year we send more and receive less"
* It is difficult to change minds If your positioning strategy involves changing that people already think you will have a difficult time.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By David Quinn on March 4, 2004
Format: Paperback
Positioning is the idea that shook Madison Avenue to its core in the 1970s. Ries and Trout published what the high priests of Madison Avenue deemed as heresy. These two upstarts dared to take the voodoo out of marketing - and marketing has not been the same since.
Over the years I have given away countless dozens of Positioning. I have found two types of recipients: (1) Those who view it as a book on marketing, and (2) those who truly "get it."
Positioning is not actually about marketing, though that is its platform. It is about how the human mind works. The principals taught in this book apply across all of our lives - from how we are viewed by our friends to why we affiliate with a particular political party or other social cause. Learning how Positioning works is learning about life.
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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 3, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Positioning is a concept that has been coined by Ries and Trout in the late 1970s. Today (2000), Positioning has become one of the most commonly used marketing terms.
Like all other books by Trout and Ries, "Positioning" is straight-forward, common-sensical and easy to read. The book is full of real market example of positioning attempts that succeeded and failed.
This book belongs on the bookshelves of marketers just as much as the laws of trigonometry belong on the shelves of mathematicians
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 9, 1998
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
I discovered this book in 1994 and it changed my business life. It opened my eyes to a facet of marketing that is too often overlooked, and it's the most important facet. Positioning is more than branding, it's the key to success. Luckily, most companies don't do proper positioning, which is why there's always room for new companies to start up, get it right, and be very successful.
If you don't read this book, you're chances at success are like everyone elses: 1 in 10. Read and learn positioning, and the odds are with you. Simple as that.
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