Positioning and the
Unique Selling Proposition
Playing Mind Games
• Ries and Trout have defined positioning as
what happens inside the mind of the
• Your mind is like a film library, you have
reels and reels of film that can be triggered
by a thought or suggestion -- the film then
runs in your mind evoking feelings and
• Let’s try and run some of your films:
• Best sporting memory
• Most unpleasant working experience
• Most influential person in your life
• First dating experience
• Memories of a parent or loved one
• Best vacation place
• A marketer must deal with a very simple
rule -- perception is reality -- what we
mean is that whatever the perception of
the customer that is the reality in which the
marketer must function.
• Positioning attempts to alter or reinforce
• Let’s assess your perceptions:
• Who makes the best athletic footwear?
• What sporting good manufacturer makes
the best use of technology in their
• Whose shoes are the most comfortable?
• Whose shoes are the best value?
• Whose shoes would you not consider 5
• Nike’s most successful positioning
statement was JUST DO IT! --what was
Nike trying to say and what were we
supposed to think about Nike?
• Reebok once used a positioning
• Reebok Let U BU -- what does that
mean to you?
• Ranking and ladders -- a short time ago --
we examined the running shoe industry
and in a way began ranking companies
based upon our perception of them
• We basically created a ladder with a
number of steps -- in positioning it is
critical to occupy one of the first 3-4 steps
on the ladder -- beer, soda, sport
marketing agencies -- if we are on the
ladder we are in the mind 7
• When considering
companies/organizations to work for, --
which companies/organizations are on
• Why are they there?
USP -- Unique Selling
• Positioning also involves attempting to
define the product by identifying what is
unique to that particular brand.
• Let’s brainstorm and examine some
brands to try and identify their USP
USP -- Unique Selling
• For the past 15 years, the NBA has
positioned its USP as individual players --
they highlighted and marketed the skills
and personalities of individual players as
having the ability to do things that other
athletes can’t do -- the sum of the parts
equals the whole.
• You are interviewing for a position with
The Sport Marketing Arm -- a sport
marketing agency involved in athlete
representation and marketing those
athletes under contract. With your group,
define your USP and set a positioning
statement that is defendable and can be
easily comprehended in the marketplace.