Most helpful positive review
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One of the most influential marketing books ever written
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.