Sunday, April 17, 2011


The central point in advertisement / marketing is positioning. The purpose of position is to occupy a certain part of potential clients' mind.

Since Al Ries and Jack Trout argued importance of positioning in their book "Positioning", the importance is getting larger as our society sees deluge of information. Nowadays, consumers see too many advertisements. Their minds are like sponges fully soaked with water. It is not easy to add new water into it.

If you are an author, think about your clients’ bookshelf. They have a lot of books in their mind to fill the empty space. The author should think about what sort of book is missing in consumers’ bookshelf, or, in other words, what kind of book could be the one to be called “this is it!”.

How can we occupy consumer’s mind? The authors give us a simple answer: be the “First”. You know the highest mountain in Japan (Mt. Fuji), but less likely the second highest one. You may remember the most-selling book in the world (the Bible) but not the second. To occupy one’s mind, what you sell should be the first in something. If you think your product is not the first, maybe you will be able to find “first” in any particular fields, or sometimes you may be able to create the new field in which your product is the first.

The next point in positioning is naming. You should come up with the name that represents what it is. This is not the time when you can go with the name like Morgan Stanley, Harry Winston, etc. Look at the successful companies in this century: Google, Facebook, Twitter, Groupon, etc. They all represent what they are. By naming, tell your position in the market.

The name should also be unique. If you come up with new product, you need to put the unique name. A good example I think is “MacBook air”. If the name was “MacBook thinner”, it would not be sold like MacBook air.

The theory of positioning can be applied to every field. Successful countries need positioning, and successful politicians as well. Just follow the principle: position yourself in the field where you can be the first, and tell the world where you are.

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