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The battle for your mind

Hi, welcome to bookey. Today we will unlock the book Positioning with you.

In 2001, Positioning was lauded as “the concept that has the greatest impact on American marketing” by American Marketing Association. In 2009, Positioning was awarded the first place in The Best Marketing Classic by Advertising Age. Some people say that, if you only read one marketing book in your life, then “Positioning” should be your first choice.

Why does the concept of “Positioning” have such a big impact on marketers? Before 1960s and 1970s, people's understanding on branding was basically equivalent to advertising the product's advantages. Businesses tell marketers about the advantages of their products, while the advertising companies find some ways to advertise these advantages. For such a traditional marketing idea, the most important battlefields are in the product department, factory and workshop.

But the authors of Positioning say that they are all wrong! If the battlefield of marketing is placed on the product features, it is just like "a wrong war, at the wrong place, at the wrong time". Because the real battlefield of marketing is not in the products, but in the customers' minds! What we are fighting for is not to advertise the highlights of the products, but to find out the highlights that your customers can remember! As such, the emergence of the positioning concept was like a wake up call that let everyone rethink, “what is the right marketing?”

Unfortunately, on June 5, 2017, one of the authors of Positioning, Jack Trout, died of illness in the United States. On that day, one of America’s most important business magazines, Advertising Age, published a special article in commemoration of Jack Trout, the legendary figure in marketing. But the "positioning" theory has been continuously studied and practiced.The two authors have used the positioning theory to serve some of the Fortune Global 500 companies, such as GM, IBM, Microsoft, Procter & Gamble, Burger King, and Citibank.

Take IBM as an example. In the 1980s, IBM had gone into trouble under the siege of competitors, such as Compaq, Dell and Apple in hardware, Microsoft and Oracle in software, and Intel in chip. In 1991, IBM lost 8.1 billion US dollars. Later, based on the characteristics of IBM's product line, Al Ries and Jack Trout helped IBM reposition its brand as an "Integrated Computing". As a result, IBM made a come-back in 2001, with a net profit of $7.7 billion.

Another classic case is how they helped Papa John's defeat Pizza Hut. Prior to this fierce business battle, Papa John's was a small business in trouble. In addition to its small size, its biggest problems were its long list of product line and complex products. In other words, Papa John's had failed to position its own company and products clearly. However, Papa John's has a unique way of making pizza. Unlike Pizza Hut's concentrated sauce, Papa John's sauce is made of naturally-ripened and freshly-packaged tomatoes. Moreover, they only use Italian cheese instead of mixed cheese, fresh flour instead of frozen flour, and pure water instead of tap water. Its production process is complicated and high-cost, but it makes healthy pizzas. This could absolutely be used as a clear strategic positioning, that is: the highest quality pizza. Through positioning marketing, nowadays Papa John's is already one of America's most successful pizza chains.

After hearing this, are you interested to know more about Positioning? Let's talk about the essence of this book in three parts.

Part One: What is Positioning All About?

Part Two: Choose a Positive Name for Your Product

Part Three: Three Methods for Positioning

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