Positioning The battle for your mind by Al Ries and Jack Trout is a must read for any marketer. The book has been there for 30 year now :)
Positioning is one of the concept that is stressed alot in marketing curiculum these days. This book gives a raw view on what the authors meant when they first conceptualized it. This is a holygrail, the concepts which have been explained, re-explained, built on by many others. Some of the key things that attracted me are below (For a new age student like me, at first glance it may look obvious :)).
Actually, there is no point in writing summary for a book like this!
- Positioning is creating a place in one's mind
- Once it is created, its very difficult to change
- If there is a strong competitior who has already created a differentiated position, its is next to impossible to change it; instead find the gap and fill it
- If your value proposition is unique, it doesn't matter whether you are first to market or not
- Name of the product should align with your positioning
- What worked for the leader may not work for you
and many more...
If you get the old copy of the book, you may not be able to comprehend the examples they are talking about since they are so old. The irony though is many brands they took as good examples are no more in business :)
Try getting the new copy with comments from the authors themselves. They have given comments on what they thought while selecting the brand and how the latest technological or cultural changes are applicable.
Some reviews available on net: