KFNX BLOG: What’s Your Marketing Position?

“Because the purpose of business is to create a customer, the business enterprise has two–and only two–basic functions: marketing and innovation. Marketing and innovation produce results; all the rest are costs. Marketing is the distinguishing, unique function of the business.” – Peter Drucker

 “Good marketing makes the company look smart. Great marketing makes the customer feel smart.” – Joe Chernov


I had written a blog earlier this year about business education and how it is an ongoing process. Many successful executives are avid readers, and always want to learn more about how to run a business better. One of the books mentioned was the marketing classic, Positioning – The battle for Your Mind by Al Ries and Jack Trout (published in 1981).


Here are the key points from the book:

  • Positioning as defined by the authors is more than the product and more about how the product or brand is viewed in the mind of the customer
  • Customers are bombarded with so much media from TV, radio, and print, etc. that it is hard to get a message to them about your service, so customers identify with what they see repeatedly
  • Your marketing has to be unique to 'position' your product at the top of the mind of potential customers
  • 'Get Into the Mind' of your customers is an important point to have your customers identify with your product and continue to purchase it 
  • Customers remember the top brand often and then the second, but rarely beyond that (example Coke, Pepsi, then ?)
  • If you cannot be the first brand, then 'position' yourself as the alternative second brand, as trying to knock off the market leader is difficult
  • If you have the top brand position, leave it, and then introduce new product lines which is easier than adjusting the current brand marketing
  • When taking on another brand, just compete in one area (price or quality) instead of claiming your product does everything
  • 'Re-position' the competition, if you cannot overtake them, by pointing out flaws in their so called #1 product
  • Name is important and it is good for the company or product name to be descriptive of what it does. On an opposite note, companies with generic names or just initials can work against them in marketing
  • Line Extension products can fail when the main brand is so recognized. If a company is known for its cleaning product, creating cleaning supplies products like sponges to go with it may just distract and confuse the main brand
  • 'Positioning' of a product is very powerful and hard to change once it is established and companies need to think carefully how they market products


We all are busy with our work, so here is a good summary link for the Positioning book in more detail: http://www.quickmba.com/marketing/ries-trout/positioning/

If you do not have the time to read their work, you can check YouTube. This video: Jack Trout on Positioning gives a good summary of Trout and Ries work. You will also see other videos recommendations on the right for more content and ideas.


Both Ries and Trout wrote many books and articles on marketing together and separately. There are 2 books I would also like to list that are good to review and almost as important as Positioning: 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing (Click this link for a Summary) and 22 Immutable Laws of Branding (Click this link for a Summary). Both are quick reads and more like marketing reference handbooks.

Though they do not work together anymore, each continues to consult and write on marketing with their individual firms if you want more information: Trout and Partners, Ries and Ries Focus Consulting.

Good luck with your own marketing.


More Business and Marketing Resources:

Business Book Recommendations

Quotes on Marketing

Recommended – 50 Best Marketing Books

Classic Marketing Books Lists - https://www.google.com/#q=classic+marketing+books








Please enter the word you see in the image below:

Remember my personal information

Notify me of follow-up comments?