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The New Positioning - Minds Can’t Cope!
by Jack Trout


Marketing people and people’s minds are often in conflict, according to Jack Trout. In The New Positioning he presented ‘the final word’ on “positioning” in a very clear, simple and entertaining read. It's no longer new - but fortunately it still provides the "clearest path."

“Positioning” is not what you do to the product. 
It’s what you do to the mind. 

But how do you get into a crowded mind effectively?

The Learning ... minds can’t cope.

Minds are limited.

The self defense mechanism against sheer volume of information is selectivity. Perceptions are selective and memory is highly selective. The keys - the links between interest and memory, emotions and memory, experience and memory, slice of life, and important news.

Minds hate confusion.

Jack Trout reveals the ultimate secret to the success of being remembered!

Keep it simple!

Perhaps the real problem is with the complex mentality of the marketers trying just a little too hard to be clever. Think bite-size, think simple - focus on one powerful attribute and drive it home.

Minds are insecure.

If people don’t know what they want - why ask them? Trout suggests they buy what they think they should have. The implications? - use testimonials, polls and panels. And how about heritage as an attribute to reduce perceived risk and provide a sense of continuity?

Minds don’t change.

Minds are very very hard to change. So reclaim old ideas for a long term identity and endurance. “There may be a franchise there that even neglect couldn’t destroy.”

Minds can lose focus.

That clear perception in the mind is now badly out of focus. Avoid line extensions. The mind has a clear picture of what a brand or name is. The specialist or the well focused competitor will win.

How to create a clearer path?

The complex minds of business leaders and marketers are often their worst enemies. Even though it is generally agreed that the most effective strategies are simple, and usually are the most obvious in hindsight, the obvious will always be too simple - not exciting - not clever enough. Jack Trout’s advice is that most positioning is basic common sense. The problem is that most marketers don’t trust common sense as much as they trust complex research. “Don’t be afraid to embrace the obvious.” and “line up with the perceptions in the mind, not go against them.” 

And finally ... a priceless quote with timeless advice.

If you don’t have a simple, differentiating idea to drive your company or brand, you’d better have a great price.



The New Positioning, by Jack Trout, McGraw-Hill, New York, 1996.

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