I thought “Crackerjack Positioning: Niche Marketing Strategy For The Entrepreneur” by Don Reynolds, Jr. was a super book when I read it.
It’s a very enjoyable, interesting and thought-provoking read for any small business owner who wants to build a unique position in a niche market.
What Does Crackerjack Mean?
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 and it starred Leslie Crowther, Peter Glaze and Don MacLean. Other stars were involved later but they made it silly although that might have been a sign of me growing up. (For more details see Crackerjack)
If I was American, then I’d never know about the TV show and Cracker Jack would be a snack – caramel coated popcorn and peanuts with a novelty toy included (see Cracker Jack).
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 management books.
Criticism of Crackerjack Positioning
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.
You come away after reading it, feeling inspired and wanting to build a differentiated position but then you start thinking about what you are going to do and you may 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.
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.
Overall Assessment of Crackerjack Positioning
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. You can get a copy from Amazon.com (affiliate link)
Have You Read Crackerjack Positiong by Don Reynolds?
If you’ve read Crackerjack Positioning, it would be great if you could leave a comment and let me know if you agree with me or not.
Paul Simister is a business strategy coach who helps small business owners to profit from differentiating their businesses, being distinctive in the eyes of their customers and standing out in a crowded marketplace.