The full title of this book by Don Reynolds is
“Crackerjack Positioning: Niche Marketing Strategy for the Entrepreneur“.
In my review posted on Amazon.co.uk, I gave the book Five Stars. This means I think it is Excellent and it is Very Highly Recommended.
Here is my book review.
This is inspiring, even if it doesn’t tell you how to do it
I thought this was a super book when I read the hardback version and wrote my review on my Differentiate Your Business Blog on May 3, 2011.
Since then, I saw it was going cheap as a Kindle and I bought it again although I can’t yet comment on the quality of formatting for Kindle.
This book is a very enjoyable, interesting and thought-provoking read for any small business owner who wants to build a unique position in a niche market.
First I think I need to explain what crackerjack means – it’s likely to conjure up very different images if you are British or American, although interestingly, both are great examples of positioning.To me, when I hear the word Crackerjack. my mind immediately trips to…
“It’s Friday, it’s 5 o’clock and it’s Crackerjack.”
That’s how my favourite TV show used to start when I was about seven years old (in the 1960s) and it starred Leslie Crowther, Peter Glaze and Don MacLean.
If I was American, then I’d never know about the TV show and Cracker Jack would be a snack – a box of caramel coated popcorn and peanuts with a novelty toy included. It’s this second example which gave the book its title because the toy inside made it different from all the other popcorn snacks available.
According to Don Reynolds, your crackerjack positioning is the process of discovering, accepting, developing and capitalising on your toy surprise.
The book is old – it was published in 1993 – and that means that the examples and stories (of which there are many) are also old but to me they seemed more relevant than many I read about in more modern management books.
If I have a criticism of Crackerjack Positioning, I’d say that it is more focused on what to do rather than how to do it.
I think you’ll come away after reading it, feeling inspired and wanting to build a differentiated position but then, when you start thinking about what you are going to do, you might feel stuck. It is light on the action side.
But wanting to change, wanting to create a unique position is the first essential step.
If you don’t have a strong desire to do it, then you never will.
This is where many “me-too” businesses get stuck. The business owners know the advice is to be different, they feel the pain of being treated as a commodity by their customers, who will chop and change suppliers based on price but they daren’t step away from the crowd.
Without that strong want (even if there is a clear need), creating your own crackerjack position is too scary and too difficult.
It’s much easier to stay where you are and suffer the consequences of being caught in the commodity trap.
If you want an easy, inspiring read on building a differentiated business, I highly recommend Crackerjack Positioning. I rate it at the 4.5 star level. Not perfect but very, very good. (This review originally appeared on my website and the author posted to Amazon.com so I thought I’d put it here).
Paul Simister is a business coach who helps business owners who are stuck, get unstuck. If your business is based in the UK, you can have a free Business SOS consultation with me.
There are many thousand of business books, you can see the full list of my reviews at Business Books Reviews by Paul Simister. I’ve also narrowed these down to a list of the 12 Best Business Books For Business Owners & Entrepreneurs.