Is this seat taken? Not for long.


The battle for a seat in the mind of the customer.

Al Ries and Jack Trout in their book titled “Positioning – The Battle for your Mind”, provide several examples of how companies increased their market share by repositioning their larger competitor’s in the customers mind. 

1.Tylenol repositioned aspirin, the leading pain reliever.

“For the millions who should not take aspirin,” said Tylenol’s ads. “If your stomach is easily upset or you have an ulcer or you suffer from asthma, allergies, or iron-deficiency anemia, it would make good sense to check with your doctor before you take aspirin."
“Aspirin can irritate the stomach lining,” continued the Tylenol ad, “trigger asthmatic or allergic reactions, cause small amounts of hidden gastrointestinal bleeding.”
“Fortunately, there is Tylenol.”
Sixty words before any mention of Tylenol. Tylenol sales took off. Today, Tylenol is No.1. A simple but effective repositioning strategy did the job against an institution like aspirin.

Tylenol repositioning Aspirin

2. Scope did the same thing with Listerine:

One of Procter & Gamble‘s most powerful programs was the one that really launched Scope mouthwash. P&G used two words to reposition Listerine, “Medicine breath.” Who wants their breath to smell like a hospital?

Scope repositioning Listerine

3. Wise shed some light on truths about Pringle’s potato chips:

What happened to Pringle’s potato chips? Introduced with a $15 million fanfare from Proctor & Gamble, the “new-fangled” potato chips rapidly gobbled up 18 percent of the market.

The the old-fangled brand Wise potato chips struck back with a classic repositioning strategy.

They read the two labels on television. “In Wise, you find: Potatoes. Vegetable oil. Salt. In Pringle’s, you find: Dehydrated potatoes. Mono- and diglycerides. Ascorbic, acid. Butylated hydroxyl-anisole.”

Sales of Pringle’s came tumbling down. From a respectable 18 percent of the potato chip market to 10 percent. A far cry from P & G’s goal of 25 percent.

Wise repositioning Pringles

Do you have a large competitor in your market? Are they standing in your way?

Morty Silber, CEO

Mad Strategies Inc.
a Wizard of Ads Partner

Morty SilberComment