Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Positioning Your Self - Learnings and key takaways from Positioning by Al Ries and Jack Trout

This is a submission from a close friend of mine and a marketing professional for the last 12 years. At present he is working with ESPN. Thank you Dips!

"Back in the innocent days" when I was doing my MBA I got hold of a book named "Positioning: The Battle for your mind" by Al Ries and Jack Trout.It was one of the best books I had ever read and got glued to it for hours.

Years after when I wrote my book www.itsdifferent.beshi I completely and solely used leranings from the same book.Let me put some numbers on board.On an average a poetry book written by an established poet is plus minus 500 whereas a poetry book by a newcomer is on an average less than 100.On the contrary the first edition of my book is almost exhausted (1000 plus) and is going for the second edition.Let me tell you it has not happend due to the literary qualty of my book.I strongly believe that in Kolkata only there are 1000 poets who pen down better works than me and believe me I am not being humble.

What did the trick, was quite simple.I just executed my learnings from this great book which I want to share with each one of you.Please remember that the takeaways can be applied in both personal as well as professional life whatever be your profession.(home-maker,doc,corporate,software professional and not only advertising and Marketing people).

Following are my applications which I have executed in the marketing of my book as well as in my professional life.

1. I never wanted my product to be a "me-too" one.That is why I named it www.its.different .beshi and positioned my work as a Convergence of poetry and photography and thus tried to create a hole in the mind of the prospect.If it was just another poetry book I am sure it would have been caught in a traffic-jam in the book-lover's (prospect) mental highway.

2. I tried to connect with prospect.This is because I felt that poetry (especially in Bengali) is much less popular compared to Music and prose as most of the prospects think one basic thing "Kobita or poetry is just not my cup of tea".I next did a why-why analysis and the answer was simple.Most of the poetries are so difficult to understand that it hardly connects with the prospect.That is why I tried to communicate an over-simplfied message using my over-simplified mind in our over-communicated society to the best of my limited ability.

3.Target-segment: I have tried to increase the size of target-segment just by connecting.It is true that my work may not appeal to the so-called intellectual crowd.But the fact remains that they were never my target segment.

4. Since it was my first book I had to use "Positioning of a Follower".Here if I had taken it head-on with the leader (Joy Goswami in this case) I would have made a cardinal mistake.

5.I used my name as Dips using the concept of "Phonetic Shorthand".

6. In my professional world my boss and I share the same name.I changed my name to Dips to clearly avoid the line-extention trap.

7.Have tried to ensure all my horses are right(Company,Boss,Idea,Friend,Faith).I am not quite sure of the sixth horse though which is myself.

This book has changed my way looking at a Game called Life both professionally and personally.I would humbly request you to buy this book .It is a Tata McGraw Hill publication and go for the 20th Anniversary Edition with comments by the authors."