Book Review, PR/Marketing
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[Book Review] Positioning: The battle for your mind.


Today I read this book– “Positioning: The battle for your mind” by Al Ries and Jack Trout. It’s a great book and I wished I’d read it 5 years earlier.

Here are my key learnings from this book:

  • The mind tends to only accept new knowledge if and only if it relates to prior knowledge, feelings or experience. People usually want to believe in whatever they want to believe in, and feel good about it.
  • The essence of positioning is to therefore accept these perceptions as reality AND subsequently restructure these perceptions to create the position you desire.
  • This book is definitely for the outside-in thinking process. Verifiable reality is irrelevant, and the authors argue against the inside-out thinking process.

[Outside-in thinking process]

  • This process is defined as one whereby you make business decisions based on what’s best for your customers. Why? Because you listen to your customers, and you understand them and the jobs they are trying to do.
  • Ask yourself: what are people thinking? What do they want to believe?
  • Then go in the same direction and reframe/ restructure this perceptions into a direction that is good for you/ your brand.
  • Never go against the tide or be disagreeable.

[Inside-out thinking process]

  • Defined as a process whereby the customer’s needs, jobs, and perspectives do not matter. What matters is your standards and what you or your “art” regard as “high quality”. You make decisions because you think it’s what’s best for the business – not for customers. Or you think you know what’s best for customers.
  • This is argued to be disastrous because simply, you are doing the business for yourself and not your customers. It’s an incredibly selfish and self-centred process.
  • Therefore, doing things this way would only hurt your business in the long run, because there is no consideration for the customers.


  • The average person is hardly open-minded, and they cannot stand being told in the face that they are wrong. If you tell someone they are wrong and they should use your product, they usually will start to hate you.
  • Due to information overload in our modern society, it is always wise to over-simplify.
  • Less is always more, oversimplification is good, and repeat that super simple phrase X1000.
  • Perception is more important than reality. Nobody gives a shit about how hard you work, or what the reality really is. They however, give a lot of hoots about how they personally feel.
  • Truth/ reality is irrelevant. Perception is everything.


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