A Book Review: Positioning by Al Ries and Jack Trout

Topics: Marketing, Brand management, Product differentiation Pages: 12 (3592 words) Published: November 10, 2012

Table of Contents

POSITIONING: A well-defined concept3



Classic “multibrand” Strategy (p49, p97)4
Broadening the name, product application and/or usage (p50)5 Cherchez le creneau (p54)5
Reposition the Competition (p61)6
Reverse line extension Strategy (p112)7


Cadbury – India7
Zipcar’s Statement9
Lifebouy’s 107-Year Heritage10

Your Ready. Your Set. But are you in the right Position?11



POSITIONING: A well-defined concept

Positioning is a concept in marketing which was first introduced by Jack Trout ( "Industrial Marketing" Magazine- June/1969) and then popularized by Al Ries and Jack Trout in their bestseller book "Positioning - The Battle for Your Mind". Positioning is one of the important elements in corporate and brand image management; it is the process of creating a perception in the consumer’s mind regarding the nature of a company and its products relative to the competitors. Positioning is created by variables such as the quality of products, priced charged, methods of distribution and image and it is based on two elements: (1) the product’s standing relative to the competition and (2) how the product is perceived by consumers. Effective positioning can be achieved in seven different ways: a. Attribute – product trait or characteristic that sets it apart from other products b. using competitors to establish position by contrasting the company’s product against others c. Use or Application positioning involves creating a memorable set of uses for a product d. Price-Quality relationship (ex. emphasizing high quality with low price) e. Product user positioning strategy distinguishes a brand or product clearly specifying who might use it f. by Product Class

g. as Cultural Symbol
Basic approach of positioning as discussed in the book is not to create something new and different, but to manipulate what’s already up there in the mind, to retie the connections that already exist.


As part of Foreword to Marketing Classic of Philip Kotler, Ph.D, Marketing is a constantly changing discipline and positioning is one of those revolutionary changes that keep the marketing field alive, interesting, exciting and fascinating. It is a powerful tool for creating and maintaining real differentiation in the marketplace. Brand’s position is never fixed; it can be changed because market evolves over time. It is important to marketers to get the idea of applying the concept of positioning because it plays a significant role on finding that niche in order for their product and/or service to occupy a space in consumer’s mind. Understanding how consumers view a product is important to successful positioning. Brand positioning is a critical part of image and brand-name management. Since consumers have an extensive set of purchasing options they can try products with specific advantages and attributes that makes it vital for companies such as Procter and Gamble, Sara Lee Corporation and Campbell Soup to position their product because it helps prevent cannibalism among various brands within a product category. Effective positioning, by whatever tactic chosen, increases sales and strengthens the long-term positions of both individual products and the total organization.


Classic “multibrand” Strategy (p49, p97)

Separate names rather than house names strategy
Procter and Gamble is well-known in using this strategy wherein they carefully position each products they have so that it would occupies a unique niche in the mind of their consumers (ex. Tide “heavy-duty laundry detergent”, Head & Shoulders “anti-dandruff shampoo”). This strategy protects each product from one another whenever one of the...
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