Journal of Brand Management

, Volume 20, Issue 2, pp 96–103 | Cite as

Is it time to reposition positioning?

  • Henrietta Jowitt
  • Giles LuryEmail author
Opinion Piece


It is over 30 years since Al Ries and Jack Trout introduced the concept of ‘positioning’ in a series of articles in AdAge magazine and since then the brand positioning model, in all its many shapes and sizes, has become a core tool for marketers. However, the whole marketing brandscape has changed radically since the 1970s and the authors argue that most of the existing models are no longer fit for purpose. The authors argue that the current models are more suitable for single-minded proposition development and are too ‘narrow-minded’ for today's brands where it is important to recognise: (i) the need for multiplicity – multiple products and services from one brand, multiple target audiences, multiple need states and different insights communicated and connected across multiple channels and touch-points; (ii) that, while important, the consumer is not king and a failure to recognise this can lead to brand-ness, not brand-ness; and (iii) that marketing propositions are different from long-term branding. The authors put forward a new brand framework that separates the long-term brand philosophy from specific propositions and allows for multiple propositions to co-exist.


multiplicity the new brandscape dethroning the consumer beliefs not values positioning 

Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Ltd 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The Value Engineers, Wendover HouseBeaconsfieldUK

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