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Seven Brands

50 second read time

Mar 28, 2018 | Positioning

Harvard psychologist Dr. George A. Miller said that the mind can handle only seven units at a time. Meaning, in any given category most people will remember only seven brands (if that).

Example: I just asked a friend to list cell phone brands and she listed exactly seven.

If your product is ranked low in its category: Relate your position to the leading company’s.

Example: As the #2 rent-a-car company, Avis targeted the #1 company with the slogan “We try harder.” It worked and profits grew.

If your product is new and has no category: Remember, people’s minds are too full for new categories. So, relate your product to an existing category by describing what it is not.

Example: the first car was marketed as a “horseless carriage.”

“The mind has no room for what’s new and different unless it’s related to the old.”

— Al Ries & Jack Trout

Want to know more? Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind is available on Amazon.

Ries, Al, and Jack Trout. Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1986. Print.