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4.2 out of 5 stars35
4.2 out of 5 stars
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on 15 March 2011
I've worked in Marketing, Branding and Advertising for more than 20 years. I have to say that this book remains the most important marketing text I have read in all that time. Some years have passed since the book was first written and much has changed in the world of marketing since then. Even so the principles explained by the authors remains sound although the examples are in some cases dated.

What makes the book so good? The fundamental problem that the authors' approach was designed to overcome was the fact that we live in an increasingly over-commuicated marketplace. if that was a problem in the 1980s, it is an even bigger one today. With so many firms blasting consumers with selling messages, how an earth do you stand out from the crowd? Ries and Trout suggest that the answer is to position your brand. What this involves is attaching a focused thought to your product that communicates a unique benefit relative to other brands in the same category. Easier said than done.

In explaining their concept and illustrating it with brilliant examples the book cleverly shows how marketing is a fusion of art and science. It is about creativity rooted in a fact-based understanding of your customers. When you apply the simple rules that govern how to position a brand, like the law of focus, and so on, you will succeed in generating breakthrough ideas that help your own a powerful thought in the minds of your target audience.

When 'Positioning: the battle for your mind' was written, advertising was very much the 'killer app' of marketing and the internet didn't exist. Today, advertising is only one of a range of marketing tools and very much plays second fiddle to other levers of customer conversion. The beauty of positioning is that it works across all elements of the marketing mix. Which is why it remains such an important technique today.

Ries and Trout have a very fluent and engaging style, as you'd expect from brilliant communicators. This book will whet your appetite for more of their work. You will enjoy and learn from everything they've written. This, however, remains the most seminal output of their successful association. It can be read in an afternoon, but it will see you through a lifetime's career in marketing. I've made a lot of money thanks to these guys, so the least i could do was thank them through this review.
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on 18 January 2005
I'd recommend this book to every Marketer. It may be becoming dated - and perhaps even unfashionable - but the underlying 'law' of Positioning is one every Product Manager should learn: there's little point fighting a marketing battle if yours is a me-too brand.
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on 31 May 2007
The authors write very clearly about the blindingly obvious. But like many obvious concepts businesses forget to apply them. The beginning of the book sets the scene nicely by saying that before the 4 P's (product, place, price and promotion) comes positioning. Once you have decided on the position you would like to own then the 4 P's all fall into place. Probably the best business book I have read.
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on 8 February 2001
Although the book was written several years ago now, it is just as relevant in 2001, perhaps even more so. Society is even more over-communicated with the advent of the Web, handhelds, mobile phones, cable TV etc. The good thing about the book is it isn't all theory, quite the opposite in fact. The author uses many concrete examples of how positioning has worked in the real world. No matter what industry your company operates in and whether yours is a profit led or charitable organisation, I'm sure this book will be of tremendous benefit.
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on 8 August 2010
A fascinating read for everyone considering to launch a product, service or idea alike. Very accessible to even a most novice reader like myself. Quite dated in its examples, but the insights (though not the only one in the field I'm sure) still make valuable sense.
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on 27 February 2015
Allowing for the fact that most of the examples given are for USA companies, hardly surprising since the authors are in USA, this book should be compulsory reading for anyone who doesn't understand why their business isn't getting the response they think they deserve.

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.
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on 27 October 2014
Disappointing. Everything in this book is familiar to anyone who took Marketing 101. Buy it out of nostalgia, but little else. Seriously dated case studies and examples and doesn't hold up to many new more exciting on ideas on branding and positioning existing on the internet today.
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on 2 July 2013
An interesting book which has been revised by the authors to show where their predictions were right and where they were wrong. Of course in the latter cases it was often "because management didn't listen, or follow the advice". Covers a wide range of well-known, and lesser-known brands.

Highlights some branding errors which are laughably stupid, but possibly insufficient recognition is given to quite how much luck is involved in the succees, or failure, of a brand strategy?

Overall well worth reading - and very thought provoking.
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on 18 April 2016
I bought this book to help my business understand the importance of market positioning, and I have to say that this is probably one of the most important business marketing books I have ever read. In a world filled with tons of products and companies consumers are simply overwhelmed with choice. The only way to truly stand out in a crowded marketplace, which is what Al Ries refers to throughout this book, is to establish a position in your consumers mind. He also gives you helpful tips on how being the number 2 or 3 brand in a category can be a good thing if the top spot is already occupied.
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on 14 July 2000
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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