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Marketing in an Era of Competition, Change, and Crisis


15 min read
10 take-aways
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What's inside?

The times, they are a-changin’. Transform with them by using repositioning strategies to keep your brand one step ahead.

Editorial Rating



“This turned out to be a difficult book to write because I’ve already written so much on the subject...Readers of my work might recognize some things I’ve mentioned in one of my 15 other books.” So reads the opening lines of marketing maven Jack Trout’s guide to repositioning. This defeatist introduction doesn’t exactly promise much in the way of ingenuity or innovation. However, when you peruse this book, a follow-up to the business classic Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind, it quickly becomes clear why Trout is in great demand as a speaker. The book reads like a marketing presentation. In a dynamic and engaging way, Trout, with the aid of marketing consultant Steve Rivkin, explains how repositioning can help you differentiate your brand from your competition, manage change and deal with crises. The book is filled with marketing war stories of successes and failures, with an occasional (if a tad egotistical) aside – such as, “If only they had taken my advice...” – thrown in. Although full of colorful real-life case studies, it is, at times, short on tactics and applicable advice. getAbstract recommends Trout’s previous bestseller to those who are new to marketing and this sequel to anyone who desires a refresher course.


Positioning and Repositioning

Positioning and repositioning are connected theories. In both cases you must understand how people see you and your firm. Positioning is “how you differentiate yourself in the mind of your prospect.” Repositioning, on the other hand, is “how you adjust perceptions, whether those perceptions are about you or about your competition.”

Humankind has produced more information in the last three decades than in the previous five millennia. More than 4,000 books are published every day. The World Wide Web grows by a million pages daily. These numbers keep expanding. Every day, the media bombards people with all kinds of messages through a growing number of vehicles. So how can you make your message stand out from the others? Breaking through this barrage of information is especially difficult because humans are averse to complexity and dislike confusion.

If you want people to remember your message, keep it simple. Focus on one compelling idea that differentiates your product from the competition and construct a simple message around that concept. For example, Volvo connects its brand to safety while BMW focuses on driving. Once people remember...

About the Authors

Jack Trout is co-author of the business bestseller Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind. He’s president of the consulting firm Trout & Partners. Steve Rivkin is founder of Rivkin & Associates, a marketing consultancy.

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