Choose Your Own Adventure: Brand Positioning
By Chuck Murphy

Those of you who are over a certain age may remember the Choose your Own Adventure (CYOA) books. The books were really unique and creative and really fun to read. The idea behind them was that instead of reading a narrative as outlined by the author, you could progress through the book in a path that made the most sense to you. So you would read a few pages of the story, and then you would be presented with a choice, and depending on the choice you made, the story would progress differently.

The idea of my blog post today, was to play on that concept of CYOA to talk about some of the many great external resources available to delve more deeply into brand positioning. Much of the research we do is related to brand strategy decisions, and positioning decisions are part of our daily lives in many ways. Yet often, the concept of brand positioning can feel nebulous to people and can often be misinterpreted by people with different backgrounds and points of view.

  • If you are the type of person that likes to start at the beginning and really delve into the details, and you havePositionin by Al Ries and Jack Trout some time on your hands, then a good place to start is with the classic book by Al Ries and Jack Trout; Positioning. The book is a bit long in the tooth (late 1970s I think) and some of the examples are a bit dated, but the ideas hold true and the book is well written.
  • Or – maybe you are the type of person who appreciates the classics, but would prefer to start this journey with something a little more recent and that has examples and case studies you would be more apt to connect with. If that is the case, you can’t go wrong with almost anything written by David Aaker or Philip Kotler. And if you prefer video over a books, you can see Aaker here, and Kotler here.
  • Ok I hear you, you are busy and you don’t have time to read 30 year old books, but you like the idea of seeing the concept explained by one of the original thinkers in this area and you have an hour or so to watch a video. You are in luck, here is Jack Trout giving a talk on Positioning, and if you are ok with the slightly mediocre production value of the video, there is some excellent content here (again, a bit dated).
  • All right, I know, …who has an hour to watch a video. Are you the type of person who wants to quickly browse a slideshow that covers the main points of Ries and Trout’s book, well you are in luck, check this out.
  • Maybe you are the type of person who appreciates the classics, but would prefer to start this journey with something a little more recent and that has examples and case studies you would be more apt to connect with. If that is the case, you can’t go wrong with almost anything written by David Aaker or Philip Kotler. And if you prefer video over a books, you can see Aaker here, and Kotler here.
  • Ok, at this point you are almost surely an expert, but you want to make sure you are well rounded. Here are a few interesting additions to your knowledge base:

As always, let us know if you have any further recommendations or ideas around these topics. We always love to hear from you.

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