What is Galileo?

In the early 1970’s Jack Trout and Al Ries introduced the concept of positioning, and modern marketing has never been the same. Marketers and researchers have been positioning and repositioning brands ever since. Now, there are almost as many methodologies to position a brand as there are brands to position!

Galileo takes the concept of brand positioning pioneered by Trout and Ries and applies advanced mathematics to it. It is the only mathematically-based brand positioning system in the world. All others are statistical, at best.

Despite its advanced mathematics, Galileo is actually very simple to understand and easy to use. And it is much more strategic and useful than competing brand positioning methodologies.

Take a look...

Any darn fool can make something complex. It takes a genius to make something simple.

- Albert Einstein

That’s been one of my mantras - focus and simplicity. Simple can be harder than complex; you have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple.

- Steve Jobs

Perhaps the most common type of positioning map. The two axes are identified and brands are plotted based on a mean score of how respondents rated them on a 10-point scale. Easy to build, easy to understand, no statistical modeling involved.

A increasingly less common perceptual mapping technique, using vectors to visualize differences between brands and attributes. Often based on a regression analysis, this is more complex to build, and perhaps a little less insightful.

But, you’ll notice that the most important thing about these maps is missing. The People! Where is the target audience? In almost all cases, it is left out.

Galileo begins and ends with the self concept - the single most important consideration in marketing. The self concept is the reason people do the things they do - the reason they buy the brands they buy, the reason they vote for the candidates they vote for.

The self concept begins its formation the day you are born. Its starts with your raw genetic material and is impacted every minute of every day with every contact you have with every person who comes into your life. It is the absolute sum total of your cultural and religious heritage, your socio-economic circumstances, your family and friends, your educational attainment, and the accumulation of every moment in your life.

Building a positioning map without it makes no sense.

The self concept is not alterable by any power we marketers possess. It is so massive, that we have no alternative than to attempt to reposition brands around it. But many brands also have massive equity that we are not likely to change either - Apple, Google, Ford, Harley Davidson, Coke.

The problem is obvious. Positioning is hard! Even when we understand how to do it, repositioning brands within a cognitive space is exceedingly hard. But how much harder is it, when our tools are weak? When the best tools we have are statistical (which is really just another word for “estimate”)?

This Galileo positioning map of the 2016 election shows where the self concept is positioned relative to three candidates, and the positions those candidates hold.

It also shows how strongly this target audience segment feels about those positions. Objects that are positioned closely to other objectives are seen as similar. Objects that are positioned far from other objects are seen as different.

In this map, as one would expect, “gun rights,” “pro-life” and “republican” are all positioned closely to one another, while “gun control,” “pro-choice” and “democrat” are positioned closely to each other. This is a positioning map of people who identified as “liberal,” so the self concept (Yourself) is positioned more closely to the left-leaning concepts.

While the map is a helpful visual tool, the true analysis is found in the data and crosstabs that this analysis provides.

Message Generation

Including the self conept in the Galileo map has greater importance than just helping to provide a more accurate positioning map. Over 50 years of commercial and academic research and development has shown consistently that the distance from the self concept (Yourself) to a brand, correlates with the market share of that brand.

The implications of this are obvious. Reposition the brand closer to the self concept (Yourself), and the market share of that brand will increase. It’s a simple concept, but how do we make that happen?

Galileo provides the ability to test positioning messages, and measure their impact on the brand. Test hypotheses and consider multiple alternatives. Which messages will have the greatest impact on the brand?

It may sound too good to be true, but in life, every once in a great while something that seems too good to be true, really isn’t.

We can’t help but wonder if this is what Trout and Ries envisioned all those years ago.

Have you evolved?

Measure what is measurable, and make measurable what is not.

- Galileo

Facts which at first seem improbable will, even on scant explanation, drop the cloak which has hidden them and stand forth in naked and simple beauty.


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