Positioning is all about creating and maintaining perceptions about your business and offerings that differentiates you from the competition while how to make you the industry leader in your customers' mind.
Sounds easy, right?
As usual, Reis and Trout (who also authored The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing) saturate every bit of their innovative advice with real-world case studies.
While there is clearly some redundancy between 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing (which was written first), there is clear need to begin rethinking the way marketing is done based on those ideas from the first book, and that starts with the underlying messages the marketing attempts to promote.
The principals of this book are simple; however, like anything else, take much sacrifice to implement.
Not so easy.
And that is the problem I find most business owners have. For instance, I had a Law Firm last week come to me who wished to promote their DUI, Family Law, Malpractice, Criminal Defense and Intellectual Property Law Firm... in ONE ad.... by the way, they only had 3 lawyers...
Positioning your brand in your customers' mind takes sacrifice, which means you must find an appealing, and profitable niche, and dominate it, all while ignoring other niches, unlike our lawyer friends above
However, the only metric of your success is where your brand sits in your customers' mind.
After all, as the book points out, more money is spent on ads today than anytime in history. And yet, people don't remember any more brands than they ever have which means the competition has dramatically increased, but the reception has stayed exactly the same.
Here are a few of the most important concepts I feel this book lays out:
- Be first in your customer's mind. Who was the 4th President? Who was the 26th? Who was the 1st? Exactly! If you can be the first roofer in town who uses drones to inspect roofing and siding, it's better than being the 10th roofer in town who offers "lower prices."
- Line extension is when you extend your position to occupy other positions. Little Caesars tried this when they began offering other benefits instead 2 pizzas for the price of 1, which made them hugely successful in the first place. After a few years, they went from the #2 in the pizza industry to the 5th. Never sacrifice a well-embedded position for a new one. Your brand can't be in two places at once.
- The competition gives you plenty of options to choose from to be a leader in your industry. What you are trying to do is find a new area to play in. What you AREN'T trying to do is play in an areas already claimed. If your competition wants to offer low prices, you innovate your company or offerings a bit, and offer HIGH prices the way BMW did when they came onto the market at a time when all car makers were going for affordability.
More than anything, this book conveys the power of words, and advertising.
Hershey was the market leader in chocolate candy, and because of this position, they stubbornly refused to advertise. Today they're ranked 5th with about $7.4 billion in sales, while Nestle is #1 with $10.4 billion.
Wording is critical because words aren't just descriptive, they're TRIGGERS, and these triggers can either generate emotion, or boredom, uniqueness, or stagnancy.
By teaching you how to position your company within your market, this book does a great job in assisting you how to penetrate your customers' mind, to increase revenue, and DOMINATE the competition.
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