Summary of Positioning: The Battle For Your Mind

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Positioning: The Battle For Your Mind book summary

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Yes, this is the renowned marketing classic, revered for bringing to light the now ubiquitous strategy of positioning. If you’re in business, you probably have at least a fuzzy notion of what the term means. If you’re in marketing, you probably hear the word used at least five times a day. (Seriously, try counting.) But in terms of defining positioning and explaining how to use it as a foundation for your strategy, nobody has done a better job than Al Ries and Jack Trout in this original. Of course, the book does have a slightly historical flavor to it now, since the most contemporary business examples cited arrive from the 1970s and 1980s. While a lot has changed since then, a lot hasn’t. 

About the Authors

Well known marketing strategist Al Ries is chairman of Ries & Ries Focusing Consultants. The late marketing pioneer Jack Trout chaired Trout & Partners.  


Positioning establishes a product or idea in a person’s mind.

Positioning is an approach that seeks to guide the placement of your message in a prospective customer’s mind. Positioning is essential for communicating in an over-communicated society.

To stand out, your company must create a position inside the customer’s head. That position will be based not only on your company’s strengths and weaknesses, but also on those of your competitors.


Positioning is about standing out, in order to become the product of choice in the minds of prospective customers. The easiest way to get into someone’s mind is to be the first one there. If you can’t be first, then you must find a way to position yourself competitively against the actual first product, service, idea or person.

Positioning is used in all forms of business and personal communication, not just advertising or promotion. It’s just as essential in politics as it is in the most personal aspects of your life.

To cope with the deluge of messages that society produces, people rank information in their minds. This is easy with products. For example, in car rentals, most consumers would place...

Comment on this summary

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    A. J. 3 years ago
    Great refresher.

    Thank you.
  • Avatar
    K. S. 4 years ago
    Great and timeless book! Especially when marketers need to find new small market "Creneaus" in new and fragmented markets.
  • Avatar
    T. B. 9 years ago
    Just a classic. I read it whenever I have the feeling to get lost in to many ideas. Always helps me to get to the basics.

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