3 Tips to Position a Product Like Don Draper

Lauren Sytsma's picture
Lauren Sytsma
Lauren Sytsma wrote:

1. Separate Yourself from the Competitors

In the classic marketing book, “Positioning: The Battle For Your Mind” by Al Ries and Jack Trout, the authors share that the easiest way to get into someone’s mind is to be the first. Don Draper would say that while this is true it doesn’t actually matter WHAT you own first, but to separate yourself from your competitors. For example, in the 60s marketing cigarettes became challenging when they discovered the product was dangerous & deadly. Draper re-positioned Camel cigarettes with the tagline “It’s Toasted.” But isn’t the tobacco in all brands of cigarettes toasted? No - the tobacco in Camel cigarettes is “toasted” and all the other brands are poisonous. 

2. Tell a Better Story

While being first and separating yourself from the competitors is important, it won’t be enough to succeed in the long run if it isn’t something people care about. For example, Coors Light has positioned itself as a colder beer than Bud Light; it’s #1 competitor. However, just saying that their beer is colder in a 30-second spot isn’t enough. They tell a story; the execs at Coors Light consulted with “experts” on cold technology and developed their own special brand of fridge to store their beer at the optimal cold temperature.

3. Reposition the Competition

Russia is known for producing high quality vodka. When Stolichnaya Vodka wanted to promote their Russian heritage they didn’t just promote the fact that their vodka is made in Russia. Instead, they exposed the fact that Smirnoff and their other competitors are made in America and not in Russia.

Does anyone have other product positioning tips to share?

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