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Thursday, September 19, 2019

Big Brands, Big Trouble
by Jack Trout. John Wiley & Sons, 2001

The "Truth Will Out" Mistake

The failure to understand the simple truth that marketing is a battle of perceptions trips up thousands of would-be entrepreneurs every year.

Marketing people are preoccupied with doing research and 'getting the facts.' They analyze the situation to make sure the truth is on their side. Then they sail confidently into the marketing arena, secure in the knowledge that they have the best product and that ultimately the best product will win.

It's an illusion. There is no objective reality. There are no facts. There are no best products. All that exists in the world of marketing are the perceptions in the minds of the consumers or prospects. The perception is the reality. Everything else is an illusion. (page 7)


Today there are so many competitors that they quickly take your business if you make a mistake. Your chances of getting it back are slim unless someone else in turn makes a mistake. Hoping for competitors to make mistakes is like running a race with the hope that other racers will fall down. It isn't a very smart strategy.

"Even worse is the large number of participants in each race. Every category is haunted by what I call the 'tyranny of choice.' Consumers have so many choices that one false step brings not just one, but an army of competitors to take advantage of your misstep. And what's especially tragic is that you don't get that business back. It's gone." (page 2)


You can't win by pleasing the consumer. Forget the deals. What would please the consumer most is your giving the product away. On the other hand, a strategy that displeases one or more of your competitors is bound to be good for your business. (page 129)