Positioning Book Summary - Positioning Book explained in key points
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Positioning summary

Al Ries and Jack Trout

The Battle for your Mind: How to be seen and heard in the overcrowded marketplace

4.1 (161 ratings)
12 mins

Brief summary

Positioning by Al Ries and Jack Trout is a marketing classic that highlights the importance of creating a unique and compelling position in the minds of customers. The book emphasizes the need to focus on a specific target audience and differentiate your brand from competitors to stand out in the market.

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    Positioning
    Summary of 6 key ideas

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    We’re so overwhelmed with information that our brains filter out most brands we encounter. 

    Due to the increased prevalence of media and advertisements, we’re constantly overloaded with information, leading us to filter and block out most information we encounter.

    The reality is that we’re exposed to an over-communication of information. 

    Consider that, since the rise of the media, the exposure of US citizens to marketing and advertising has increased exponentially. The United States consumes 57 percent of the world’s advertising and the average US family watches around 7.5 hours of television daily, meaning they see countless ads every day. 

    In fact, even before we leave the house, we’re bombarded with over a thousand words on the backs of cereal boxes telling us about what we’re eating. 

    It’s no surprise that this barrage of information and advertising needs to be filtered somehow. So, as a way to cope with all this, we automatically rank brands and products and place them on a metaphorical ladder in our mind. 

    What does that mean? Well, the brand with the most effective marketing strategy takes the top spot on our ladder, making us want to buy only from them. We relegate all other brands to the lower rungs, meaning that we’re unlikely to spend money on their products. 

    Two brands that have been highly successful in taking our top spots in their field are the mobile phone operating systems Android and iOS. They were so good at marketing that most of us are familiar with only these two operating systems. As a result, Android and iOS together make up almost the entire mobile operating system market. 

    So what can we take away from all this?

    Well, if you want to be noticed in what has become an overcrowded marketplace, your strategy needs to stand out against all other advertisers. Otherwise customers will simply forget about your product.

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    What is Positioning about?

    Positioning has become one of the most renowned, best-selling books about marketing strategies in the last few decades. It describes a revolutionary marketing concept developed by the authors in the 1970s after it became clear that classic advertising was no longer effective due to an increase in media and competition. Positioning focuses on how to position your product in the market to become an industry leader.

    Positioning Review

    Positioning (1981) is a must-read book that offers invaluable insights into the art of differentiation and how to stand out in a crowded marketplace. Here's why this book is worth your time:

    • It provides a practical framework for creating a unique position and establishing a strong brand identity.
    • With numerous real-life examples and case studies, it demonstrates the power of effective positioning in driving business success.
    • Through its clear and concise explanations, the book keeps readers engaged and ensures that the topic of positioning is far from boring.

    Best quote from Positioning

    As a nation we have fallen in love with the concept of communication. We dont always appreciate the damage being done by our over-communicated society.

    —Al Ries and Jack Trout
    example alt text

    Who should read Positioning?

    • Anyone who wants to read one of the most influential books on marketing
    • Anyone who wants to create and market a product successfully
    • Anyone interested in the function of modern advertising and how it’s portrayed to the customer

    About the Author

    Al Ries and Jack Trout are the co-founders of the marketing company Trout & Partners. Together they coined the term “positioning” as a way to utilize a position in the marketplace to sell a product. Ries first worked in advertising at General Motors and has published multiple books including The 22 Immutable Laws of Branding. Trout and Ries also co-wrote the marketing classic Marketing Warfare.

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    Positioning FAQs 

    What is the main message of Positioning?

    The main message of Positioning is how to create a unique place in customers' minds for your product or service.

    How long does it take to read Positioning?

    The reading time for Positioning varies, but it typically takes a few hours. The Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is Positioning a good book? Is it worth reading?

    Positioning is worth reading because it provides a valuable framework for marketing and positioning strategies.

    Who is the author of Positioning?

    The authors of Positioning are Al Ries and Jack Trout.

    What to read after Positioning?

    If you're wondering what to read next after Positioning, here are some recommendations we suggest:
    • The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing by Al Ries and Jack Trout
    • Made to Stick by Chip Heath and Dan Heath
    • Purple Cow by Seth Godin
    • The 22 Immutable Laws of Branding by Al Ries and Laura Ries
    • Blue Ocean Shift by W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne
    • Mindset by Carol Dweck
    • Slow Productivity by Cal Newport
    • The Long Tail by Chris Anderson
    • Mentorship Unlocked by Janice Omadeke
    • The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell