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Brand Management

Ocean Side With Jack Trout


Jack Trout

Inspired. That’s how I left after a two hour visit with Jack Trout yesterday at his family’s beautiful winter home in Sarasota, Florida.
We have been talking over the past few month’s regarding Marketers For Charity but this was our first meeting. One I had been looking forward to since we set it up a few weeks back.

Most with a remote interest in marketing know of Jack’s work and his concept of Positioning. Developed over 30 years ago with his former partner Al Ries, it is widely recognized as the world’s #1 business strategy. One I have studied closely.

Now, I have been fortunate in my career to meet many celebrities, dignitaries and top executives. Admittedly, I was slightly curious to get an ego gauge on Jack. Success has proven to take people to their own orbit from time to time. My hope was that the guy smiling on the cover of Marketing Warfare with his eyes closed shared the same attitude as the guy I was about to meet.

When Jack met me in shorts, flip flops and a Florida shirt, I felt we could be headed for the kind of conversation I prefer – relaxed.

And that’s the way it was. We covered much ground talking about politics, how to fix wars, companies that need help, companies we would like to help, executives, colleagues, acquaintances, agencies, books, authors, speakers, branding techniques and social media.

What really impressed me was that he listened as much as he talked. It’s surprising how many in the relationship business have forgotten how to do this.

There’s no doubt I left with more than beach sand:

•Not enough CEO’s are intimately involved in the marketing process. They are the ones usually failing.

•If you ever had to choose, take a poor market over poor leadership. With good leadership you at least have a chance.

Positioning is more relevant now than at its inception because of the dramatic increase in competitive pressure.

Jack was great and I enjoyed it.

Next time, I’m wearing shorts.

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1 Comment

walter on March 31st, 2007 said

Wow, I would have loved to meet Jack Trout too and ask him all about the inspiration behind the positioning theory. You have rightly stated that it is still one of the world’s most respected business strategy.

Unfortunately, many businesses still get it wrong, chosing instead to be copycats and followers rather than differentiating themselves and being leaders in their fields.

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