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Positioning: The Battle For Your Mind

4.06  ·  Rating Details  ·  7,039 Ratings  ·  201 Reviews
This business classic deals with the problems of communicating to a skeptical, media-blitzed public.
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Published May 10th 2004 by American Media International (first published 1980)
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Milla Nezlina
Jun 04, 2011 Milla Nezlina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: business
The whole book can be boiled down to 2 key ideas:
- The brand that gets in the mind of the consumer first wins. Who makes the best soda? Coke! The best small cars? VW with its Beetle! The best round chips? Pringles! Tip: Find a narrow niche and hold it tight!
- Line extension is bad (Xerox producing computers in bad, Chevrolet making small cars is bad, even Pantene producing body foam is bad). Tip to companies: Never stray from the business where you are the leader!

I read the updated edition of
Eric Lin
May 09, 2013 Eric Lin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction, business
I don't read books about marketing. Ever. It was pretty interesting though, since the trends he describes can definitely be observed in action.

However, Ries raised a lot of red flags with how certain he sounded about his assessments. He says things like, "a better name for product X? *name he just came up with*". Sometimes, he makes these statements without much supporting evidence. Anyway, it wasn't a huge part of the book, but he sounded so sure about everything, and that really off-putting fo
Chris Herdt
Feb 03, 2008 Chris Herdt rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Chris by: Prof. Mike Rechtiene
This book feels like it was composed via cell phone text messages. Many of the paragraphs are a single sentence.

The main idea is that you cannot make in-roads in an existing market by attacking the top dog. The top dog, the market leader, will beat you every time. Instead, the authors argue that you have to position your product/company/person in the mind of the consumer, in relation to the market leader. And forcing your idealized position on the mind of the consumer won't work, so your positio
I read this book to help enhance the growth of my start-up ladies leisurewear brand, Broads. While this book had me engage in a lot of critical thinking about typical product placement and where I would like to see my line in five, ten, and even twenty years from now, I felt as if Positioning was a bit dated and put too much of an emphasis on companies with bold names. I was hoping to learn more about creating a solid position in a marketplace that is difficult to 'break' into.
Rum P. H. Shaker
Feb 19, 2015 Rum P. H. Shaker rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
True to this book's title Ries and Trout deliver their strategy and tactics for "positioning" the mind of consumer or prospect. Anyone can "position" anything from merchandise, service, company, or oneself. The book goes into heavy introduction about the entire concept of "positioning". It answers who, what, when, where, and most importantly why this concept is so important.

I like that the book is constructed in a textbook style, where PAR (Problem, Action, and Result) statements are given to s
Apr 22, 2010 JFN rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
In my job, there's some downtime. It's feast or famine writing. So our superiors have requested that in these periods of nothingness we delve into some reading with the goal of honing some sort of skills, i.e., professional development. Ok. Fine. Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind is one of the books on our list.

This is certainly not a book I would have ever picked up on my own, and I've yet to determine if it's made an impression on me. Hmmmmm. Well, yeah, I guess it has a little bit. Some p
Apr 15, 2014 Jenny rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, business
This is a good book in need of an update. I read it for a grad school class and while it was interesting in parts, it was very much undergraduate level (Marketing 101) information. The biggest issue I had with it is that every example is out of date. He mentions companies that have now closed down and talks about the great things that they are doing - for example, he talks about how Newsweek is a much better magazine name than Time and will surely be more successful because of it. Since we all k ...more
Jeff Kinsey
Dec 27, 2011 Jeff Kinsey rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Answer this: do more people have automotive batteries bought at JC Penney or Sears? You do know that the DieHard brand is from Sears, right?

This just made the "must read" book list for Main Street Startups. I bought it in May 1996. Studied it again at length in July 2010. And now again, December 2011.

Recently I did several presentations on the Four Ps of Marketing Mix and brought my attention back to this classic Ries & Trout text. The examples are simply engaging. If you are serious about y
Chad Warner
Oct 12, 2015 Chad Warner rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Chad by: Luke Grill
This book tells how to establish a position for your products and company in the minds of prospects. The authors say that the essence of positioning is to make your brand name stand for the generic (e.g., Kleenex).

I like the advice to start with the position you already have (what you’re already known for), and work to improve from there.

It’s mostly applicable to large companies with large advertising budgets, but most principles can apply to smaller businesses. It’s mostly applicable to product
Joshua Thomas
Mar 12, 2015 Joshua Thomas rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: business
Overall, this is a fantastic read with many golden nuggets throughout. Though clearly dated, the book's main points remain highly relevant to today's industries.

The Value of Positioning:

"To succeed in our over-communicated society, a company must create a position in the prospect's mind, a position that takes into consideration not only the company's own strengths and weaknesses, but those of its competitors, as well."

"Once a positioning strategy has been developed, it sets the direction for all
Sep 08, 2010 Randall rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It turns your head around, forcing you to think outside-in. It's not about what your product is, it's about how they perceive it. It's not what you say, it's how they get it.
From positioning a candy bar, a bank, a country or the church, the book presents the basic principles for doing it.
Examples are insightful although because it's a classic, they are a little old. Nevertheless a great book.
Ethan Frame
So basically, this book needs to be re-written/revised/rethought, or what have you, for the millennial era if it insists on staying relevant. This is not to say the book is bad, it's not - I rather enjoyed peering through the looking glass of some top dog advertisers from the early ad days.

I'm fortunate enough to have been familiar with the majority of anecdotal references made about companies, but this is where I feel the text falls short - so much of the book relies on these mini-stories of s
Aug 14, 2015 Santhosh rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Tomaž Hribernik
Mar 02, 2016 Tomaž Hribernik rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The battle between brands takes place in the prospects mind. This book is marketing classic where the authors showcase isights, strategies, example of both successful and unsuccessful positioning of services, brands, products such as Coke, Duracell, Xerox...they even go about how to position a country.
Эта как и другие книги Траута и Райса очень основательно проработана. Авторы молодцы и прописали в книге множество золотых правил и предупредили от всевозможных ошибок.

Хотя в некоторых моментах я лично не согласен и готов поспорить с авторами, но всё-таки в целом считаю эту книгу довольно хорошей.
Oct 02, 2014 Morgane rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: design
It's like an explanation of what the people in Mad Men actually do. Worthwhile read for anyone who has ever wondered why some ads/companies work, and others don't.
Max Nova
May 10, 2015 Max Nova rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: marketing
Ries and Trout's "Positioning" is a classic... I guess. To me, the book's decidedly old-school tone and constant references to defunct products made reading it a chore. The book's main claim is that people don't have any patience for what you're marketing to them, so your message must be simple and short yet differentiate you from your competitors. Although most of the topics covered were completely obvious, the book did contain some pearls, notably on the trap of line-extensions (diluting the b ...more
Nov 23, 2015 Karl rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great book that is still relevant

This book is a classic in the discipline of market positioning. As it was written in the 1970s with a very light update in the 80s, there are two difficulties for the reader:

(1) You have to imagine how the principles would fit in the Internet age. Not a difficult stretch of the imagination, but one that the reader has to make nonetheless.

(2) The examples are often so old that the meaning is somewhat lost.

In spite of these difficulties I have not yet found a bet
Apr 22, 2009 Vahid rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
شاهکاری که دیر ترجمه شد و البته خوب هم ترجمه نشد ولی هنوز هم یکی از کتابهای ماندگار مدیریت است ...more
Ramy Khodeir
Sep 27, 2012 Ramy Khodeir rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Trout try to share his own experiences on the practice of brand positioning
Jan 01, 2009 Michael rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
How to position your product or service in the mind of the customer.
Dec 27, 2011 Sky rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Mind Buggling experience as I battle with this book :)
Patrik Hallberg
Oct 30, 2015 Patrik Hallberg rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: business
Positioning is a marketing classic and an interesting read.

Normally you build a marketing plan around the “four Ps”—Product, Price, Place, and Promotion. Positioning is a revolutionary idea precisely because it cuts across the other four Ps. It informs each of the Ps and adds consistency to them.

If it works in advertising, most likely it will work in politics, religion, or any other activity that requires mass communication. But positioning is not what you do to a product. Positioning is what
Robert Postill
This is probably the first pure marketing book I've read and I'm not sure about it. There's definitely a point to the book and you'll find it an interesting ride. The message in the book is laid out in small, easily digested chapters. The book's pace is quick and the authors give the impression that they know their stuff. There are a couple of nit-picky points though. Firstly the book has a relatively small base of organisations from which it draws its source material. That's not to say the samp ...more
Chung Chin
I agree with other reviewers who commented that the book is in a need of an update - urgently.

I also didn't particularly enjoy the book because of:
1. The style of writing.
The staccato-styled writing is very distracting for me. Of course, I understand that this is a personal grouch.
2. Repetition on the importance of being first and a very good name.
What happens to those that are not first to market? While there's a section that explains how to position as a follower, I feel that the book is E
Omar Halabieh
Mar 17, 2012 Omar Halabieh rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a classic in the marketing field. The authors define positioning as "a new approach to communication...But positioning is not what you do to a product. Positioning is what you do to the mind of the prospect. That is, you position the product in the mind of the prospect."

The book then goes on to present the concept of positioning, and the associated challenges and opportunities. What sets this book apart is the plethora of examples that are provided from a variety of industries (both serv
yusuf habibi
Nov 14, 2012 yusuf habibi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: marketing
Al ries, beliau adalah penemu kata positioning dalam pemasaran. sebagai seorang praktisi pasar dan marketpreneur sejati buku ini cukup menarik untuk dibaca dan di amalkan :D. Apalagi sempat muncul pro dan kontra marketer saat buku ini terbit, buku ini memetakan cara berpikir yang freak dan cenderung aneh pada "saat itu", dan buku ini masih digunakan sampai saat ini, untuk landasan para new marketpreneur dan manager dalam memulai atau mempertahankan posisi pasar mereka.

positioning sendiri berarti
Dec 16, 2013 Puja rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was a curriculum requirement in my Integrated Marketing Communications program at Emerson College; it was discussed and treated with utmost importance in each Advertising class I had. A marketing classic, 'Positioning: The Battle for your mind' helped me understand the concept of branding even better, and for that I am thankful to my professor Bill Anderson.

So, what is positioning ? In the minds of the consumers there are different needs. And for each need there exists a solution out
Matt Bodien
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 03, 2013 James rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Positioning is an "old school" marketing classic. In the version I read, some of the examples seemed rather old, but the concepts covered in the book are still highly pertinent for today's marketers. There are lots of examples of positioning done well and just as many of positioning that went awry. One key point that was true even twenty years ago is that its a crowded marketplace, so it's very difficult for companies to get their messages out, even for corporations with lots of assets. The auth ...more
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Al Ries is a marketing professional and author. He is also the co-founder and chairman of the Atlanta-based consulting firm Ries & Ries with his partner and daughter, Laura Ries. Along with Jack Trout, Ries coined the term "positioning", as related to the field of marketing, and authored Positioning: The Battle For Your Mind, an industry standard on the subject.
Ries graduated from DePauw Unive
More about Al Ries...

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“The mind, as a defense against the volume of today’s communications, screens and rejects much of the information offered it. In general, the mind accepts only that which matches prior knowledge or experience.” 2 likes
“Mind-changing is the road to advertising disaster.” 2 likes
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