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Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind Paperback – January 3, 2001
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From the Publisher
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.
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.
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Positioning, not only to find a keyword for the product, to compose a slogan, but also to occupy a unique position in the mind of the prospective customer. This book uses a number of corporate cases, illustrating a company name at the beginning, a simple slogan, may be able to lay the foundation for the success of the product and the company. In short, positioning is not simply advertised, and the depth of the doorway is difficult to distinguish and is crucial. Why do you need to locate?
First of all, we are in the era of information explosion: the media channels are rich but the information is asymmetrical, the information is inflated, and the information of products and enterprises is easily submerged in the vast amount of information. Secondly, the first cause effect makes the brain more likely to pay attention to the first. The information of contact, the information defense mechanism makes the brain establish an insurmountable barrier in the first information and the non-first information, and the brain with limited information processing capability is trapped in the chaos of mass information manufacturing. Information is cumbersome and human brain limits make positioning so important. How to position it? Industry leaders have an inherent advantage in positioning. The first cause effect allows consumers to see only the leader of the first place. The position that leaders want to occupy the brains of consumers is simple: analyze market and consumer vacancies, fight for time to fill vacancies, and use value advantages and brand advantages to intercept opponents. However, the leader should be wary of: Do not blindly expand, do not casually expand the product. Once the position of goods and brands is formed in the minds of consumers, it is difficult to be changed. If the trade rushes, it is easy to shake the original positioning, so that consumers can confuse the original positioning and new positioning, the original positioning is broken, and the new positioning is not clear. Consumers are likely to switch to other brands. The author suggests that if you want to expand your product, you must establish a new position with a new name, separate from the original product, and attract new customers.
Share the classic arguments in the book with you:
1. The best way to deal with an over-extended society is to simplify the information as much as possible.
2. The main factor in establishing leadership is to get ahead of people's minds.
3. The biggest mistake the company makes is trying to satisfy everyone's needs, that is, everyone's satisfaction trap.
4. If someone forces you to drink a cup of H2O, your reaction may not be good, but if someone invites you to drink a glass of water, you may feel good. That's right, the difference between the two is not in the mouth, but in the mind.
5. If you want to make a new product successful, you should set a new ladder for it. New ladder, new name. It's that simple.
6. Complexity is the enemy of positioning, simple is the true meaning of positioning
Still some very applicable ideas for positioning your product or service in the minds of people already overloaded with advertising stimuli. Must read for anyone in a marketing role.
I wish I could go back in time after having read this book -- Positioning gave me numerous epiphanies related to companies I have started or worked for. Positioning is a must-read for anyone who works in marketing or business, especially those launching a new product or struggling to hit stride with an existing product.
The book hammers home the point that the only reality that matters with is the perception of your customers. It's the prospect's world-view and interpretation of your product that counts, not yours. And although this book contains outdated examples as it was published over 30 years ago, I didn't feel that this detracted from the core content. Rather, the authors' prophetic and timeless concepts helped reinforce their arguments. Overall, this book helped me move along the path towards critically understanding and evaluating positioning strategies.
My primary criticism of this book is that while Ries and Trout provide a highly practical explanation of how and when to use line extensions, I did not feel as well-armed with practical methodologies for positioning in general. Other than semantic differential, no research strategies or exercises were provided for defining the positioning of an entity. I was somewhat able to fill this gap with material I found online published by Roger Straus. In particular I would recommend looking up Straus's "triangular" strategy, which incorporates rational, affective and relational positioning, to be a great supplement to Positioning.
Top international reviews
A few years ago I came up with a brilliant idea for promoting my business which generated huge response and became a talking point within my field. I dropped the idea because I felt that it had run its course but I sort of regret doing so because in the context of positioning it was second to none. Fortunately, i have a couple more brilliant ideas up my sleeve which I'm working on and reading this book has certainly helped shaped my intuitive approach into something more tangible.
I enjoyed reading it but I find some parts of the theories too unscientific and the methodology hard to blindly accept. But - I def think about brands, naming, etc. more carefully now so I def recommend this book.
For SMEs not workable, but nevertheless I would receommend anyone in advertising or marketing to obtain it as a "must read."