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Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind [Paperback]

By Jack Trout (Author) & Al Ries (Joint Author)
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Item description for Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind by Jack Trout & Al Ries...

A dynamic new cover heralds the reissue of this bestselling business classic, which Spencer Johnson, M.D., co-author of The One Minute Manager praised as "One of the most important communication books I've ever read. I recommend it highly!" Reissue.

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Warner Books
Pages   213
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 6.77" Width: 4.18" Height: 0.68"
Weight:   0.27 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Jan 31, 1987
Publisher   Warner Books
ISBN  0446347949  
ISBN13  9780446347945  
UPC  070993005993  

Availability  0 units.

More About Jack Trout & Al Ries

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Jack Trout is president of Trout & Partners, a worldwide marketing firm with headquarters in Connecticut and offices in 13 countries. With Al Ries, he coauthored the marketing classic Positioning and the bestsellers Marketing Warfare and The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing. Trout's books have been translated into 16 languages, including the BusinessWeek bestseller The New Positioning. You can visit his Web site at
Steve Rivkin is a naming expert with Trout & Partners and coauthor of three books with Jack Trout. He is founder of Rivkin & Associates LLC, a marketing and communications consultancy in Glen Rock, N.J. Visit Steve at

Jack Trout currently resides in Greenwich, in the state of Connecticut.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Business & Investing > General
2Books > Subjects > Business & Investing > Marketing & Sales > Advertising
3Books > Subjects > Business & Investing > Marketing & Sales > Marketing > General

Reviews - What do customers think about Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind?

Excellent Book  Apr 28, 2009
Al Ries and Jack Trout did a phenomenal job in explaining their positioning theory in great detail in only 243 pages. The information was clear, consistent, and easy to read. The use of examples throughout the book made understanding the concepts very easy and painless. The concept of positioning almost seems like common sense after reading Ries and Trout's book. The concept of brand leaders and followers seems so simple that it is amazing how some companies can ignore these rules. Every business student (not just marketing) should be required to read this book and put these ideas and theories to action. Entrepreneurs would also be another group who would benefit from reading this. Knowing how to position your product against the competition, effectively name your brand/product, and take the appropriate steps to implement positioning strategy is critical to success in the small business world, especially in the tough economy that we are currently facing.
Outdated  Mar 23, 2009

My mistake. Why I bought a marketing and positioning book written in the 70's and believed it would apply to today's world, for me as the owner of a small business, is hard for me to remember. The lessons described in this book simply either:
a) Do not apply to most businesses today
b) Would never apply to most medium size and no small businesses
c) Do not include reference to any current marketing tools such as websites, social networking, twitter, blogs, etc.
Again, it was my mistake for buying this book and not the author's in trying to make some additional income from old material.
Positioning vs. USP vs. Image Advertising vs. . . .   Feb 8, 2009
The cover of my old 1970s book has a picture of a chess board, and this symbol codifies the essence of the positioning concept: How do you differentiate your product from competing products in a way that is attractive to a customer?

Positioning was a break from Rossier Reeve's 1950s Unique Selling Proposition, which focuses on benefits of the product itself, and David Ogilvy's 1960s Image Advertising concept, which focuses on allusive images. Years later the concept of Value Propositions gained steam; it measures value as the difference between cost and benefits.

Nowadays the more emotional concept of branding is popular, along with the idea of interactive connections with consumers (e.g., think about the value of this site book reviews as a differentiator). And for new to-this-world offerings, I've often found it's best to plainly describe what it does. Additionally, many focus on the "Elevator Statement," which is really just a forced simplicity of your positioning statement.

The problem with Positioning is that singular product differences are often too small to matter; suspicion about claims is high; the ability of advertising to achieve effective reach and frequency is enormously expensive nowadays; and many products are bought on emotion. Still, positioning can work well if you are first, the unqualified best, the biggest, or the only one in a market. The concept is also useful as a way of thinking about a product and market.

The book is written in the manner of advertising, so it's a quick and easy read. There is also a good list of questions to help you focus your position:

1. What position do you own?
2. What position do you want to own?
3. Whom must you outgun?
4: Do you have enough money?
5. Can you stick it out?
6. Do you match your position?

The positioning concept is a good contribution to marketing, as are the others mentioned above. It is, however, a bit outdated, and overly muscular. And Al Ries leans on war as a metaphor for marketing. But you could just as easily state that the best marketing is about love.

Here are a few related contemporary marketing books to investigate. The ones most specifically aligned with Positioning include Jumpstart Your Business Brain and Relationship Marketing.

Primalbranding: Create Zealots for Your Brand, Your Company, and Your Future
Relationship Marketing: Successful Strategies For The Age Of The Customer
Radical Marketing: From Harvard to Harley, Lessons from Ten That Broke the Rules and Made It Big
Jump Start Your Business Brain: Scientific Ideas and Advice That Will Immediately Double Your Business Success Rate
Whether you're expereienced in marketing or not, if you haven't read this book then you're a step behind  Nov 21, 2008
This book was given to me by my dad, the king of business books and the fastest, most prolific reader I know. This guy blows through almost 1,000 pages a month on top of all the magazines, newspapers, and online sources he devours. Though our reading tastes aren't completely aligned, when he recommends a book, I typically read it (or at least add it to The List in earnest).

This is the kind of book I don't read. Though I find the advertising industry slightly interesting, I mostly hate it and wish it would go away (despite having a hand in it). This book, however, really cuts through the crap and explains positioning and branding in a way I've never heard before. In terms of marketing and branding, I pretty much live by the concepts in this book. Oh, and it's about 30 years old. That's how good this book is.

The book shows you what successful companies have done to become that way and what other successful companies have done to screw it all up. With tons of examples and a very straight-forward writing style, this book will explain why certain products win and why others fail.

I read this book quickly and moved onto others by the same authors. They really know their stuff.
A must read for anyone working in marketing  Oct 15, 2008
This book is simply a must-read for anyone entering the world of marketing. It teaches the essence of one of the core concepts of marketing in an easy-to-grasp way, filled with many examples. Interestingly enough, most of the suggestions are against common-sense approach and after some time a reader gets into this "ahaaaa" state.
If there is one message from this book for me, it would be the following - positioning is about deciding what you will NOT be (or how you DON'T WON'T to be perceived). Being a marketer, I find this concept one of the most difficult in everyday work. Why? Because usually a marketer has many options to choose, each one of them having great impact in the long run and many of them being totally wrong. So the key challenge is - what to sacrifice?
On the negative side, one can argue that positioning is a bit obsolete concept. However, although some of the "new marketing rules" exist nowadays, I would still consider classic concept positioning as one of the keys of successful marketing strategy for any brand.
Bottom-line - read it, study it, subscribe to a podcast. You'll learn a lot.

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