Funny ad. What’s going on here? Samsung is depositioning Apple.
The best book on marketing ever written was “Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind.” In it, Al Ries and Jack Trout wrote, “In our overcommunicated society, very little communication actually takes place. Rather, a company must create a ‘position’ in the prospect’s mind. A position that takes into consideration not only a company’s own strengths and weaknesses, but those of its competitors as well…”
– “Positioning is not what you do to a product. Positioning is what you do to the mind of the prospect.”
– “To be successful today, you must touch base with reality. And the only reality that counts is what’s already in the prospect’s mind.”
– “The basic approach of positioning is not to create something new and different, but to manipulate what’s already up there in the mind, to retie the connections that already exist.”
– “To cope with the product explosion, people have learned to rank products and brands in the mind. Perhaps this can best be visualized by imagining a series of ladders in the mind. On each step is a brand name.”
– “A competitor that wants to increase its share of business must either dislodge the brand above (a task that is usually impossible) or somehow relate its brand to the other company’s position.”
Nicely done, Samsung. This works much better than T-Mobile’s recent attacks on Apple (which just try to make Apple look dumb and shamelessly mirror the “I’m a Mac” campaign) because Samsung recognizes Apple has avid fans. You likely see yourself in the line outside the store. Samsung is almost saying, that’s cool, we get it, fanboys — but, just one thing, we’re also cool, perhaps cooler, with a bigger screen and a really new, unique product, so why not take a step over to our brand ladder? Hmm.
Positioning is an old strategy — Ries and Trout first wrote about it in 1972 — but that doesn’t mean human psychology has changed.