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Al Ries

Patrick Lannigan — winter 2008/2009

Along with Al Ries, Jack Trout coined the term "positioning", as it relates to marketing of products and together they authored a book called: Positioning: The Battel for Your Mind.

In the early eighties, by chance, I picked up that book and it changed forever the way I think about the way products are marketed.

How Does Positioning Work

While the term "positioning" is used in everday marketing parlance may not be fully understood outside those circles. Luckily, there is an easy way to demonstrate how it works (and how the mind works). Let's say someone woke out of a comma that they've been in since 1969—and you wanted to tell them what a minivan was. How would you do it? Since that person would know what a van was you'd probably say "the minivan is like a van but it has seats and windows and is as comfortable to drive in as a car".

Here's another example. In the mid-to-late eighties someone tried to describe Oracle for me. Knowing that I was familiar with DB2 (an IBM database) they said "it's like DB2 for Unix". They nailed it. In five words they were able to position Oracle as it relates to things I already know.

Al Ries and Jack Trout Partnership


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This page was created and/or refreshed on April 12, 2017 @ 14:50:56
by Patrick Lannigan (or one of his cronies) in Markham, Ontario, Canada
The page subject is: Al Ries