Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind by Al Ries

A classic book from Al Ries (hey that’s even written on the title) and an important concept – one that many of today’s marketers might find rather obvious, but it still worth a read particularly if you’re in large corporate marketing as it covers line extensions, naming of products, product dilution etc.

Seven of my favourite quotes from Positioning: The battle for your mind
(directly from the book)

  1. The architect of the image era was David Ogilvy. As he said in his famous speech on the subject, “Every advertisement is a long-term investment in the image of a brand.”
  2. “But what does it mean to own a position in the mind? Simply this: The brand name becomes a surrogate or substitute for the generic name.”
  3. “You can position anything. A person, a product, a politician. Even a company.”
  4. “One of the top 10 ski resorts in the world” is a classic positioning strategy. It takes advantage of the mind’s tendency to “make a list” when trying to cope with complexity. “The seven wonders of the world” is one of the earliest examples of this approach.
  5. “In your own career, it’s easy to make the same mistake. If you try to be all things to all people, you wind up with nothing. Better to narrow the focus of your expertise. To establish a unique position as a specialist, not as a jack-of-all-trades generalist.”
  6. “The essence of positioning is sacrifice. You must be willing to give up something in order to establish that unique position.”
  7. “The secret to establishing a successful position is to keep two things in balance: (1) A unique position with (2) an appeal that’s not too narrow.”

If you like this sort of stuff, then also check out 22 Immutable Laws of Branding which is also by Mr Ries and co authored with his daughter (thought that was sweet).

Happy reading

C x

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