Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind

Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind
by Al Ries and Jack Trout
Pub. Date: December 2000, McGraw-Hill
ISBN 0-07-137358-6
213 Pages
Review Written: 8/16/06
Success Rating :5

Why I Read this Book:
I have always been fascinated with why companies do well with products and why others do not. This book by Ries and Trout explains some great fundamentals.



This is a classic written by some of the experts in the industry, Al Ries and Jack Trout. Ries has gone on to write a number of other positioning and branding related books, some of which are detailed elsewhere on this site. The topic of this book relates to positioning a product in the mind of a consumer. This is a fundamental concept that many business fail to capitalize on and in turn suffer great consequences.

Positioning is a very easy read for most anyone. It does a great job of avoiding technical jargon and gets straight to the point. I once completed an honors project on this powerful business concept and it has paid huge dividends in what I have been able to bring to relevant situations in the years following. One of the wonderful things about positioning is that it can make or break companies but it also can do the same for an individual. We think about our personal positioning every day whether it be in the clothes we wear, the words we use or the things we do. This is a concept that is not discussed in depth, in the book but it has been a valuable real-life application for me. This concept is discussed in greater detail in the Personal Branding section of ReadingForYourSuccess.com.

As far as I am concerned, it is difficult for a book to really get a point across without some real-life examples. This book is no exception. Included are great examples of positioning successes with numerous companies and products such as Avis, Xerox, Aspirin, Pringle’s and Listerine. The list goes on and Trout touch on many business and positioning fundamentals that many companies fail to give emphasis. The value of a strong, clear and understandable name is at the top of the list. Avoiding acronyms, knowing when to and when not to include new products under the same name, the power of being first, and what product price often tells your customers are all positioning techniques with which anyone interested in starting or understanding a business should be well versed.

This book has provided me with a great base for my business knowledge and understanding. Relating it to businesses with which I have worked has been invaluable. I have heard CEOs of $100 million corporations refer to this book as one of the most valuable books they have read. Once you occupy a position in the mind of someone else, it is very difficult to change. I hope you learn what will make that position the strongest it can be. Enjoy.

Valuable Quotes:

“The basic approach of positioning is not to create something new and different, but to manipulate what’s already up there in the mind, to retie the connections that already exist.”
—Ries and Trout

“The easiest way to get into a person’s mind is to be first.”
—Ries and Trout

“You can’t be first with a new idea or concept unless you are willing to stick your neck out.”
—Ries and Trout

-Reading for Your Success