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A Genie's Wisdom

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A Genie's Wisdom

A Fable of How a CEO Learned to be a Marketing Genius


15 min read
10 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

Learning all about marketing doesn’t take three wishes. One wish will do, if you wish for this genie.

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Editorial Rating



  • Well Structured
  • Concrete Examples


Are you mystified by marketing? If you are, fear not. Author and marketing authority Jack Trout - the man who "positioned" positioning in the minds of marketers - has planted a genie in a mysterious computer (the new age version of a bottle on the beach) and given him the task of answering core marketing questions. In this fictional tale - which attempts to emulate the success of fables such as Who Moved My Cheese and Fish, but falls short - Trout takes readers through the very basics, from defining the product's concept to what elements should be in a logo. Trout warns of seven marketing pitfalls to avoid. Using everyday language and the persistent but wealthy genie who explains it all, he breaks down the subject into small nuggets easily digested by even the least marketing-minded manager. While he does oversimplify, Trout contends that marketing is often made more complicated by the very people who profit from its complexity. Overall, suggests this how-to book to business people who are unfamiliar with the marketing process.


Poof! It's a Marketing Genie

Byram J. (B.J.) Bigdome, a finance executive, became CEO of United Widgets International after 23 years on the fast track. But B.J. didn't know how to market the company's products. One morning he found a new computer in his office, one that neither his secretary nor the technical department knew anything about. He turned it on and to his surprise a genie appeared.

This was no ordinary genie. No, this genie and his peers owned a global mutual fund that worked closely with senior executives to identify and resolve marketing issues. Once their advice was heeded, the genies then invested in these firms. The genie offered to help B.J. by answering ten marketing-related questions.

Every time B.J. was perplexed by a particular marketing issue, he only had to turn on the computer. The genie would be there, ready to share his wisdom.

Marketing 101

Problem: First, B.J. wanted to learn the fundamentals of marketing.

Genie's Wisdom: Marketing, said the genie, means taking a product from creator to consumer while making money. Not all products are a top priority, so figure out which offer the best return on investment. Use...

About the Author

Jack Trout is president of Trout & Partners, a U.S. marketing firm with offices in 13 countries. Trout popularized the idea of "positioning" products in the minds of customers. He is the author of numerous books on marketing, including Differentiate or Die: Survival in Our Era of Killer Competition and Big Trouble: Lessons Learned the Hard Way.

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