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28 Feb 2019


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Position your business

  • Start with the mind of prospect.
  • Changing mind is an extremely difficult task. It is much easier to work with what’s already there.
  • You will get the answer of “what position do we own? ” from the market, not from the marketing manager
  • Don’t be narrow-minded look at the big picture, not the details. as Sabena’s problems is not Sabena, but Belgium a country, 7ups problem is not the prospect’s attitude towards lime drinks but the Share of mind occupied by cola campaign. Most of the products today are like 7up before the uncola campaign.
  • What you must do is to find a way into the prospect’s mind by hooking your product, service or concept to what is already there.
  • Richard Merrill – cold remedy- against Contac and Dristan. They leave those two to fight it out in the day light hours and Richards chose to preempt “night more cold remedy” position for Nyquil.
  • Better to establish a unique position as a specialist, not as a jack of all trades.(Niche)
  • Prospects don’t buy, they choose.
  • Chess- think from the point of view of your completers too.
  • To create a viable position, you must reposition another brand or even entire category of product.
  • Do you have enough time (P & G is such a formidable competitor. When bets on a new product it will slide $50 million the table and say “your bet”. ) If you don’t spend enough to get above the noise, you allow the P & G of this world to take your concept away from you. With a given numbers of dollars it is better to over spend in one city than to under Spend in several cities.
  • To cope with change and time it is important to take a long range point. Determined your basic position and then stick to it. Most successful companies rarely change a winning formula. How many years have you seen those Marlboro man riding into the sunset.
  • Owning a position in the mind is like owning a valuable place of real state once you give it up, you might find it’s impossible to get it back again.(Line extension is like penalty corner)
  • Mach your positive to your strategy “Avis is only no. 2 in rent-a-cars, so why go with us? We try harder” it sounds like an ad or the presentation of marketing Strategy in truth it is both.


Positioning yourself & your career

  • Try & win (Make mistakes)Your reputation will probably be better within the company if you try many times & succeed sometimes People still remember tycobb who stole 96 bases out of 134 trles (70%) but they forgot Max carey who stole 51 bases out of 53 (96%)
  • Confusion is the enemy of successful positioning.
  • Trying harder is rarely the pathway to success, try smarter is the better way (Sandip Maheswari).
  • The only sure way to success is to find you a horse to ride. Success in life is based on what others can do for you then what you can do for yourself. Believe in team work. (6th habit synergy, Steve Jobs)


You must keep your eyes open and find yourself a horse to do the job for you.

  1. your company – you can’t do it yourself if your company is going nowhere, get yourself a new one
  2. Your boss – Always try to work for the smarter, brightest most competent person you find. “I want to work with the best” if work at the biographies of successful people, it is amazing to find how many crawled up the ladder of success right behind someone else. From their first assignment in some menial job to their last as president or CEO of a major company
  3. Third is your network
  4. Fourth is an idea – “Nothing, not all the armies of the world, can stop an idea whose time has come” To ride the idea horse, you must be willing to expose yourself to ridicule and controversy you must be willing to go against the tide. Never be afraid of conflict, where would be Churchill have been without Adolph Hitler?
  5. Fifth is faith – faith in others and their ideas. [Mc Donald brothers had an idea, but no faith so they sold their idea & name to Ray Kroc.]
  6. Yourself – The winnings jockeys are not necessarily the lightest, the smartest or the strongest the best jockey doesn’t win the race. The jockey that wins the race is usually the one with the best horse.

Playing the positioning

  • You must understand the role of words

The word Volkswagen doesn’t hold the concept of a medium-size luxury Car. So you discard that sugar bowl and use another, “Audi” which holds the concept better. You don’t insist that because it’s made in Volkswagen factory is must be a Volkswagen. Mental rigidity is a barrier to successful positioning.

  • You must select the words which trigger the meaning you want to establish
  • Language is currency of the mind (If you want to be really fluent in foreign language, you must learn to think in that language).
  • Most people are “Unsane” not completely sane no insane. They are somewhere in between

Insane- try to make the world of reality at what’s in their heads. They think they are napoleon

Sane- try constantly analyze the world of reality and then change what’s inside this head.

Unsane- make up their mind and then find the facts to verify their opinion.

  • You must be careful of change

Years ago a successful product might lives years or more before fading away. Today a product’s life cycle is much shorter. Sometimes it can be measured in months instead of years. New product, services, markets, and even new media are constantly being born.

To cope with the change you have to take a long range point of view to determine your basic business and stick with it. (Change the direction of a large company is like trying to turn an air craft carrier. It takes a mile before anytime happens. And if it was a wrong turn, getting back on course taken is even longer)

  • You must have a vision – there is no sense in building a position based on a technology that is too narrow, a product that’s becoming obsolete or a name that’s defective.
  • You will have to be able to see what works and what doesn’t (when tide is rising everything seems to be working when tide is filling, nothing seems to be working).
  • You need courage

From Hershey in chocolate, to hertz, the common thread is not marketing skills it is seizing the initiatives.

Establishing a leadership position depend not only luck and timing but also on a willingness to pour it on, when others stand back & wait.

  • You must try to eliminate all ego from decision making process. (It is no accident that positioning book is written by two people). Only in a give & take atmosphere can ideas be refined & perfected.
  • You need simplicity in a straightforward way Nyquil “night mare cold remedy” “moist & meaty gains burgers. The canned dog food without the can” “Bubble yem, number yem in bubble gum” “Hertz rent-a-cars” “Raisins from California. Nature’s candy”
  • The big winners in business & in life are those people who have found open position near the center of the spectrum not at the edge.
  • Positioning success but sales failure

“Rolls – Royces thinking” R-R = 1000 cars in America, Cadillac = more than 300000, Gulf between them is enormous.

Successful brand = unique position + a broad appeal

  • You must be willing to sacrifice
  • You need patience
  1. Geographic roll-out
  2. Demographic roll-out [Philip Morris built Marlboro into the no. 1 cigarettes on college campus long before it become the 1 brand nationwide]
  • Chronologic roll-out [the Pepsi generation]
  1. Distribution-The wella line was first sold through beauty salons. Then they were sold through drugstore and supermarkets.
  • You need a global outlook [IBM has 60% of germen computer market and earns more than 50% of its profit outside the U.S.] [U.S. rubber that made many products not made of rubber changing the name to Uniroyal created a new corporate identity that could be used worldwide].

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