Writing Finding Your Crack In The Market has been one of the hardest thing I have done professionally. It’s not that writing it was difficult; I’ve been doing that for ever. It was the thinking that was hard!
I started the book as an overview of the things I learned in three decades working directly with small businesses and added some of the tools I developed over the years. But as I came close to completion of the book in 2012, I realized that I has been using the term “market positioning” in a broad way that was not intended by Jack Trout, Steve Rivkin and Al Ries, authors of many marketing books on positioning. I re-read several of their books, and realized that part of what I was practicing was miss-represented. I had been calling it positioning, when it was not, according to the masters.
Positioning is an entirely mental image developed through marketing for the mind of the customer and prospect. Yes, I believe in this principle. I also strongly believe in market leadership. The money is made when a company is the leader of the market. But small businesses can’t dominate big markets, so they naturally crawl into small cracks where they can survive. I have been helping my clients find, define and occupy small market cracks for many years. Unlike positioning which is completely geared toward the mind, this is a “physical” placement of products.
I realized that this concept, for small business at least, was not really practiced or commonly used in this form. The concept needed a description and so I spend the last year, documenting how market emplacement works and why it is so important.
So it was the thinking. Not that I mind thinking, but figuring out how to integrate emplacement with positioning in the book did take time. I hope I have done justice to both.