Friday, May 27, 2016

Book Summary: Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind by Al Ries and Jack Trout (Through a technology marketing perspective)

One of my favorite books is The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. In the book, the main character goes on a journey and multiple times along the journey he stops and gets pretty comfortable in a certain location or job, but each time he gets comfortable he eventually proactively abandons the comfort and continues on his journey to achieve bigger and better things.

I really enjoy Product Marketing a lot. I think it’s great fit for my skill set, but I just changed roles to the LinkedIn Sales Solutions Marketing Communications team. I’m following the principles from the Alchemist, abandoning what’s comfortable in an effort to grow and challenge myself. As part of that process, I asked my new manager if she recommend any books to help me in my new role. She recommended the marketing classic Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind by Al Ries and Jack Trout

Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind Paperback – December 13, 2000 by Al Ries  (Author), Jack Trout  (Author), Philip Kotler (Foreword)


Here is a summary, notes and thoughts reading the book. My thoughts from a tech marketing perspective are in italics.

The authors make the point the society is over communicated. It’s harder than ever to change people’s mind, especially through a weak medium like advertising. The book was clearly written before the internet age, so it struck me that if it was a big problem when it was written, it’s a HUGE problem now.

Often, we look to the product for positioning, but in reality we should be thinking about what is already inside the prospect's mind. To succeed in positioning it’s got to be simple and related to what’s already in the customer’s mind or what they believe.

In positioning, there is huge first-mover advantage. In my opinion in technology, it’s not who is first, but the first to critical mass. Apple did not create the smartphone, but were the first to get critical mass. Facebook was not the first social network. Though, you might argue that MySpace had critical mass…..

It’s really hard to displace the leader who holds the number one position in the mind of the consumer. I think this is just as true in technology, it takes a long time or massively disruptive tech. Look at Microsoft. It is still the leader in so many categories, even with often inferior products.

If you’re going to do it, you must relate to the leader. The famous example is from Avis.

Typically, it’s a mistake to challenge the leader head on. Even Google with its almost infinite amount of money and brainpower could not take on Facebook head on with Google+.

Advice for market leaders
-Market leaders should not boast. This makes me think all of the chest pounding that happens after a Gartner Magic Quadrant or Forrester Wave comes out.

-Use a multi-brand strategy for new products. This is easier in a CPG company where the products are not related. At LinkedIn for example, we have products for recruiters, marketers and salespeople all built off the same social network, so it’s much harder to have a completely separate brand because they are all part of the same foundational network.
-Embrace new technologies. Duh.

Advice for followers
-Narrow your appeal. The first company that came to mind was Instagram, they only did pictures and that enabled them to not only compete, but eventually get bought by Facebook.

-Find a hole where you can be first. (Volkswagen “Think small” campaign”

Repositioning the competition
-Make people see the competitor in a different light. Salesforce did this effectively with the no-software campaign. It helped position Oracle as old and slow.

Naming
-Descriptive name is best. Zendesk is an interesting example. Alluding to a happy helpdesk.

-Names that will not limit expansion. The challenges of this I experienced first hand at Salesforce when I was marketing the Service Cloud. Company would say, I don’t need a sales product because of the name Salesforce. In hindsight we should have leaned exclusively on the product name instead of trying to leverage the company’s name.

-For non-product, names hard to oppose. “Clean Air Act”

-Don’t use initials for a name.

-Better to make a new name, then get a free ride on another brand. A brand can only occupy one position. This is challenge for us at LinkedIn.

Lastly, here are a few questions you should think about long and hard if you’re thinking of creating some new positioning.

What to our prospects already believe?

Am I a leader or follower? Be honest…

Where are the positioning gaps in our industry, what could we own?

Enjoy!

Here are two other summaries I found very helpful. One from QuickMBA and the other from Professor Mathur on Slideshare.

17 comments:

  1. Good post and I like it very much. By the way, anybody try this increase app downloads? I do not how to use.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Easily Boost Your ClickBank Banner Traffic And Commissions

    Bannerizer makes it easy for you to promote ClickBank products by banners, simply visit Bannerizer, and get the banner codes for your chosen ClickBank products or use the Universal ClickBank Banner Rotator Tool to promote all of the ClickBank products.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Yes i am totally agreed with this article and i just want say that this article is very nice and very informative article.I will make sure to be reading your blog more. You made a good point but I can't help but wonder, what about the other side? !!!!!!Thanks cfa level 1 summary notes

    ReplyDelete
  4. This book has made me realize that I shouldn’t just market for marketing sake. I should put in the effort to ask myself how do I want to rank in the position of my prospect. Skills and smart examples are put into use to bring that point home.

    Hannah
    Hail Claims Lawyers

    ReplyDelete
  5. bespoke packaging boxes At Bespoke Packaging UK we strongly believe in the interests of bespoke packaging, which has multiple benefits.

    ReplyDelete
  6. You can contact us at Buy Assignment Uk - Assignmentdone.co.uk . We even offer free revisions at if the client is not happy.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Your page has a very useful information and i will also share this with my friends. But do you know about the Hostgator web service I just tried it for a purpose and I say that it is worth.

    ReplyDelete
  8. This is a great article thanks for sharing this informative information. I will visit your blog regularly for some latest post. I will visit your blog regularly for Some latest post. acim free resources

    ReplyDelete
  9. the product for positioning, but in reality. Essay Help we should be thinking. To succeed in positioning it’s got to be simple.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Digital marketing agencies should always be upfront with what they can do and what they are capable of. It gives clients assurance on how they are committed and equipped in helping brands amplify their online presence. digital marketing in seo

    ReplyDelete
  11. Watch and Download world's famous drama series Kurulus Osman in English on link below
    👇
    Kurulus Osman in English

    📢Get free .com domain name and start your own website
    Free .com domain name

    Crypto trading online course
    Join on link below
    Crypto quantum leap

    📒 Read Home doctor book online
    Then you will be a doctor for your family
    Home Doctor Book

    💰Create own NFTs and earn 1000$
    Complete guide
    Create NFT

    Join online YouTube course
    And be a professional YouTuber
    Tube Mastery and Monetization by matt

    🦷Steel Bite Pro
    Best product for
    Teeth pain, cavities,teeth whitening and other oral health issues with money back guarantee
    Steel Bite Pro

    ReplyDelete