"Al Ries and Jack Trout on Positioning:
The Battle for Your Mind", the book that launched the concept of positioning and caused a major paradigm shift in marketing thinking, define positioning as how you differentiate your product or service in the mind of your customer or prospect. It is where your product or service fits into the marketplace in relation to your competition based on the perception of your customers and prospects.
In this book, Al Ries and Jack Trout describe how positioning is used as a communication tool to reach target customers in a crowded marketplace. Jack Trout published an article on positioning in 1969, and regular use of the term dates back to 1972 when Ries and Trout published a series of articles in Advertising Age called “The Positioning Era”. Not long after, Madison Avenue advertising executives began to develop positioning slogans for their clients and positioning became a key aspect of marketing communications.
The average American consumer is exposed to $376 worth of advertising per day over 365 days. With this enormous volume of communication, the only way to score big is to be selective and concentrate on narrow targets through Positioning. It’s about how you position a product in the mind of your prospect.
Do you know how your product or service is positioned in the minds of your customers or prospects?
Your company's position in the market place evolves from the defining characteristics of its product or service; namely, pricing, quality, service, distribution and packaging. It is critical for you to define their market position. If you do not, your competitors will do it for you. Through the initial strategy process or a stand-alone market analysis, at Image Perspective, we seek to discover your unique positioning. Once it is defined, we exploit it to secure a memorable position in the mind of your customers or prospects.
When positioning your company, it is important to consider the following elements: the attributes that differentiate your product or service in the market place, your competition and the demographics of your target market.
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
- 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
- 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.