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T-Mobile: Positioning in Action

by Frank Strong

Research in Motion did it right.  Tivo did it wrong.   Steve Cheney called it a $15 billion dollar difference in an excellent post on the Business Insider.   He wrote, “Describing your product as ‘new’ and ‘never been done before’ instead of ‘we’re just like those others guys, but better’ could cost your company billions.”

In my mind, and I subscribe to the Ries & Trout philosophy, this boils down to “positioning” an often cited, but less well understood, concept in marketing and PR.  “This is where the money’s at,” I recall the principal of a PR firm stating enthusiastically – about this ethereal new word – as  she explained her new business strategy to the rest of the firm.

That was many more years ago than I’d care to admit, but as I did then, I still find it a fascinating when a company takes an age old principle and applies it in a new way. 
 
Despite the fact, I’ve recently ditched the company as a customer, that’s what I like about the new T-Mobile advertising campaigns:  it’s positioning and they’ve taken a play from Apple’s playbook and used it against both Apple and the company’s tenuous partner, AT&T.
 
Here’s a look at the advertisements (below) – what are your thoughts?


 

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