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Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind, 20th Anniversary Edition Hardcover – January 18, 2001
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From the Back Cover
"...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
"One of the most important communication books I've ever read. I recommend it highly!"
Spencer Johnson, MD, co-author of The One Minute Manager
It shook up the world of marketing with all the force of a 20-megaton bomb, and now, two decades later, Positioning is still as fresh and, perhaps, even more relevant, for advertisers in the New Economy. To commemorate the 20th anniversary of the classic book that changed an industry, McGraw-Hill has reunited mavens of marketing Al Ries and Jack Trout to make available to another generation of advertisers the book that forever changed the way advertising is done.
The 20th Anniversary Edition features commentary from the authors that offers fresh insight into why "positioning" a product in a prospective customer's mind is still the most important strategy in business. Ries and Trout look back over two decades of campaigns, offering penetrating analyses of some of the most phenomenal successes and unbelievable failures in advertising history.
The first book to deal with the problems of communicating to a skeptical, over-communicated public, Positioning describes a revolutionary approach to creating a "position" in a prospective customer's mind that reflects a company's own strengths and weaknesses as well as those of its competitors. Writing in their trademark witty, fast-paced style, Ries and Trout explain how to position an industry leader so that it gets into people's minds and stays there, how to position a follower so that it can occupy a space not claimed by the leader, and how to avoid letting a second product ride on the coattails of an established one.
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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Top Customer Reviews
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.
* 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.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
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.
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
But many ideas are getting a bit dated. That being said, if you haven't read anything by Jack Trout or Al Ries then this book, or one of the aforementioned books, is essential reading for marketing and brand managers. An updated book would be High Intensity Marketing by Idris Mootee, an ex-Mckinsey guy. I also like George Day, the Wharton professor who wrote a few good books in postioning.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Book is old now but gives some good ideas with good back up examplesPublished 2 days ago by Amazon Customer
I'm a programmer looking to learn more about the business aspect of the apps I build. This was a great, but tedious read. The content is detailed and very well supported. Read morePublished 22 days ago by Mauricia Ragland
Strong concepts and challenges the way of conventional thought when it comes to branding and marketing ... Definitely worth a read ...Published 1 month ago by Kevin Licorish
An easy read book with a lot of very simple principles, I think this is the way to see the world, keep it simple s....!Published 1 month ago by jose antonio gomez
This book does remind you of the importance of research and how brands (sorry companies who can perforce themselves as brands in that moment) can forget about their points of... Read morePublished 1 month ago by chayfols
I learned the importance of positioning my product and designing my marketing strategies around this position. Read morePublished 2 months ago by J. P.
Provides very practical way to think about how your products or services are perceived in the market. A little outdated but hey, it's a classic.Published 2 months ago by H L Davis