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Publisher's Summary

The first book to deal with the problems of communicating to a skeptical, media-blitzed public, Positioning describes a revolutionary approach to creating a "position" in a prospective customer's mind, one that reflects a company's own strengths and weaknesses as well as those of its competitors. Writing in their trademark witty, fast-paced style, advertising gurus Ries and Trout explain how to:
  • Make and position an industry leader so that its name and message wheedles its way into the collective subconscious of your market and stays there
  • Position a follower so that it can occupy a niche not claimed by the leader
  • Avoid letting a second product ride on the coattails of an established one

    Positioning also shows you how to:

  • Use leading ad agency techniques to capture the biggest market share and become a household name
  • Build your strategy around your competition's weaknesses
  • Reposition a strong competitor and create a weak spot
  • Use your present position to its best advantage
  • Choose the best name for your product
  • Determine when, and why, less is more
  • Analyze recent trends that effect your positioning

    Ries and Trout provide many valuable case histories and penetrating analyses of some of the most phenomenal successes and failures in advertising history. Revised to reflect significant developments in the five years since its original publication, Positioning is required listening for anyone in business today.

  • ©2001 McGraw-Hill (P)2004 AMI

    Critic Reviews

    "One of the most important communication books I've ever read. I highly recommend it!" (Spencer Johnson, author of Who Moved My Cheese?)

    What members say

    Average Customer Ratings

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    • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    • Joseph
    • Portland, OR, USA
    • 07-08-08

    Great stuff ... if it was 1975

    This is a dated marketing book talking about the "new world" of marketing. Unfortunately, this new world has already come and gone, much like disco music which filled the airwaves when the book was written.

    If you want a book on the success of product marketing using products that don't exist anymore, this is the book for you.

    Also, I found this book very light on content with long rambling stories without any payoff.

    I'm not sure how it's received so many good reviews. I wish Audible would change the 2001/2006 release date to the first release date - 1981, I believe.

    33 of 38 people found this review helpful

    • Overall
      4 out of 5 stars

    SO disappointed!

    I expected great things from the famous Ries and Trout. Yes, the concept of positioning is profound and centrally important. Thanks guys. But the book is very disappointing. Much talk about big corporations... "You've got to be first in your sector and you must capture #1. Or if you are #2, here's how to position yourself in relation to #1." The stories were interesting at first, but I got a bit tired of listening to the triumphs and sorrows of the Fortune 100. Not very applicable to our business or our clients.

    One might think maybe there's nothing to say once the concept is articulated, but I don't believe it. I am sure many profound lessons for small and medium business could be given. It is sad they aren't.

    Or one might propose the examples of the Fortune 100 apply to everyone. But they don't. If you can't be national on international #1 or 2, there are going to be many differences in how one thinks about and uses positioning. Who better to get those lessons from?

    So, sirs, got time for an updated version? Positioning from 2009 on, and for all the businesses that can't be #1 or 2?






    9 of 10 people found this review helpful

    • Overall
      2 out of 5 stars
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      2 out of 5 stars

    Boring, outdated but with a bit of decent advice

    Would you try another book from Al Ries and Jack Trout and/or Grover Gardner?

    Given the dated nature of this book I wouldn't likely try another book by these authors. The narrator was fine but the content was so dated that it was hard to connect with the points being made.

    What does Grover Gardner bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    He has a calming voice which was likely the best part of this audiobook.

    Any additional comments?

    The book boils down to:

    Be 1st in the mind
    Reinforce that you are the "it" or "the real thing" aka 1st.
    Pick a hole in the market and fill it.
    Don't use line extension for long-term success.

    The examples are often funny though not intentionally, one being that Nyquil having gave up the daytime market. Obviously they came out with a daytime product after the book was written.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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      4 out of 5 stars

    Excellent info from a "classical" perspective

    Positioning basics, part of the marketing Canon. Should read for anyone who cares about marketing and positioning. Not the right choice if you're looking for tactical advice in the modern advertising or communications landscape.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

    • Overall
      5 out of 5 stars
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    Excellent book and highly recommended!

    Folks who think that this book is outdated or incomplete already lost their marketplace positioning. A book is precise, clear and very much complete.

    • Overall
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      3 out of 5 stars

    Painfully outdated, but some timeless truths

    The first half of this book is filled with uselessly outdated references and examples. I almost decided to quit listening.

    The second half gets into the meat of positioning, which is more interesting and useful. Could be summarised in a few paragraphs however to the following:

    You have to own a position in the customers mind. You do this by ruthlessly focusing on owning a single core attribute. You can’t be everything to everyone. You have to have the courage to choose an angle that no-one else currently owns, and roll with it.

    That’s pretty much it.

    • Overall
      4 out of 5 stars
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      4 out of 5 stars

    Timeless Fundamentals, Outdated Examples

    The fundamentals are timeless but the examples, such as big tobacco and Packard, seemed outdated. My favorite part of this book was the narrator because it reminded me of a 1960's new-hire training video.

    • Overall
      5 out of 5 stars

    Nothing less than Excellent

    My mind got opened up, it was a bit of enlightenment moment for me. Highly recommended for any manager

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    100% Red Meat!

    As a small business owner I found it extremely useful/interesting, and this is a must-read for every executive at Fortune 500 Co!

    • Overall
      4 out of 5 stars
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      5 out of 5 stars

    Great but incomplete

    The book is amazing but this audiobook redacted some parts
    Not sure why.
    i recommend listening with the physical book in hand if possible.

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    • CHRISTOPHER
    • 05-11-16

    A classic revisited

    Recommended reading for anyone who started in marketing during the digital age and probably never learned the basics of brand strategy

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

    • Overall
      3 out of 5 stars
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    • Robert
    • 07-20-18

    this would have been excellent 20 years ago

    great principles but all the examples and case studies are from 20 years ago. the world has moved on and these examples are becoming difficult to relate to.

    • Overall
      4 out of 5 stars
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    • Phill
    • 01-19-18

    A few simple examples.

    Takes a few simple examples and then repeats them with examples for clarity. A good book that's ideal for non marketing / sales people who need to be both of these roles.

    • Overall
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    • John
    • 01-16-15

    Some really great info

    The book changed how I think about branding and positioning !
    I found the narrator a bit drony but that's Prob because I am english and he is very American

    • Overall
      5 out of 5 stars
    • Dany
    • 12-23-12

    Recommended if you ever want to market anything

    If you're building a company or have the intention to do so - read this book. It will help you very much on the marketing aspect.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    • Bernardo Coelho
    • 10-25-17

    Direct approach with great insights

    The book is simple and clear, cutting to the chase of positioning a company. It develops the proven case-studies creating a brilliant reasoning towards a better understanding of the receptor of each message.
    It definitely provides valuable information regarding the important aspects to be considered when branding not only companies, but every aspect of your life.