“words are triggers to meanings buried in the mind” – Trout and Ries
Positioning is occupying a place in the mind and has been brilliantly written about by Jack Trout and Al Ries (1). An example that illustrates the incredible power effective positioning has is George Bush.
George Bush’s position was the candidate for the Evangelical Christian voters. This meant that he occupied that place in their mind that he was the perfect candidate for them. Even if his actual policies and actions in office did not actually benefit them, they would considered him their candidate. Meaning they would experience cognitive dissonance and have trouble believing what was going on if this was the reality.
Positioning occurs in all facets of society, its power can be used to enhance life or for more nefarious purposes. Robert Greene (2) says that one must judge people by their actions and not their words, but this rule can apply to products and experiences as well. Especially in this age of media manipulation it is vital to remember that marketers (3) are aware of positioning and will use your own mind against you.
1. Trout and Ries wrote Positioning which is a great must read book:
2. Robert Greene is the author of the 48 Laws of Power, the Art of Seduction, the 33 Strategies of War, the 50th Law and Mastery, his works are life changing and are must reads.
3. Marketers aren’t as evil as everyone seem to think, but that doesn’t mean they should get a free pass either. Just remember that their job is to get you to buy things, experiences, ideas etc. And that even though they are trying to get you to buy something that’s not always bad. As Ries and Trout say, “No matter how good you are, you still have to cut through the noise”