It is practically impossible to separate the Positioning Theory from the global practice of marketing communications in the last 47 years. There has no been a more useful and more used theory. It can be said, simply, that there has not been another theory, since it was launched in 1969 by Jack Trout and Al Ries in their book “Positioning-The Battle for Your Mind” (McGraw-Hill, New York).

Since then we have adopted it in all advertising agencies and communication companies, and as if it was the miraculous potion, we have applied it to all our branding strategies.

And we applied it quickly and without pause, superficially, without going into it, without realizing that it has been depleted.

New times demand a review

The marketing scenarios of the second decade of the twenty-first century are not the same as those that saw the birth and growth of the Positioning Theory. New generations have occupied the power spheres of the global marketing.

A new breed of consumers has been shaped by a myriad of new media, that have literally plugged them to the world in real-time. The concepts of rate of change and hyper-reality have altered the optics of human perceptions. The hypermedia has trained all our senses to the dazzling dynamics of stimuli. Internet has spread inexorably through every business, every house, every country, every culture, to become the new air we breathe. We live in a new information age dominated by social media where the contents are generated by the user.

New Theory of Dynamic Positioning

All these historical conditions demand a revision and an update of the traditional Positioning Theory, taking in consideration the main difference between the last decade of the 70´s and the second decade of the twenty-first century: the dynamics.

Therefore it is right and necessary that the Positioning Theory gets out of stagnation and gets armed of new in motion tools, in order to stay into the picture of the twenty-first century.

Still image versus moving images

The main weakness of the current Positioning Theory is its immobility.

Especially when we live in the era of constant change and light speed.

The theory and the current practice of the Positioning have become static, they do not include notions of change, or speed, they are conformists, short-sighted and remain stuck in the short term.

Because the question is no longer: “What it is my positioning?”. The relevant question is: “What is the path of my position?”.

Because the position that we established for our brand in our last week meeting, has shifted this week. And it was not considered.

It is better that our meeting today set the position for today, tomorrow and the coming days, and recognize that they are not the same and foresee the projections of the displacement and its direction. We are talking about still photo versus moving images. Brands are dynamic. Not static.

The tools of the Static Positioning are snapshots of the situation of a brand in the consumer’s perception, or market. The reality has shifted and we can not fall behind.

It is crucial to have a new way to visualize the positioning, integrating the multimedia tools of the digital age to show not an still photo but a trajectory. This should be based on strategic planning showing where is our position and where we want to take it, establishing all the intermediate stages.

Positioning as Rhizome

All these considerations form what I call Rhizomatic Marketing.

To understand what is Rhizomatic Marketing we need to see first what is a Rhizome.

A Rhizome is an underground plant which extends as a network in all directions at horizontal level, with the extraordinary particularity that any point of a Rhizome can be connected to any other point. The Rhizomes grow indefinitely. During the course of the years, the older parts die, but each year new shoots are produced. A Rhizome behaves as a DNA map.

The new French Philosophy, specifically Gilles Deleuzze and Felix Guattari adopted the

rhizome image as an explanation of a world of horizontal relationships, multiple, and interconnected.

In their book “RIZOMA, INTRODUCTION” they defend the rhizomatic structure as opposed to the vertical, hierarchical tree structure.

“The Rhizome is made of speeds and lines. Not of points. Because the speed transforms the points in a line!.”

“Contrary to graphics, drawing or photography, unlike tracings, the Rhizome is related to a map that must be produced and built, always detachable, connectable, changeable, modifiable, with multiple inputs and outputs, with their getaway lines .”

“A Rhizome does not begin or end, it is always in the middle.”

The Traditional Positioning sees marketing as a tree and the Dynamic Positioning sees marketing as a Rhizome, as an organic body of horizontal inter-relationships between brands and consumers, projected in space and time.

For the Traditional Positioning some changes in the communication strategy would be incorrect and incomprehensible. For the Dynamic Positioning those changes would be intelligent and explainable although they appeared inconsistent from a vertical perspective.

In a more open and holistic dimension, the Rhizomatic Marketing and the Relationship Marketing belong to the same school of thought.

They see the world as a network, they see the grids, they see the connection points, they see

internet as a giant rhizome of fast, unstoppable evolution, they see brands in a constant movement and they do not get nervous because of it, at the contrary, they have the joy of the scientist who knows that life is a state of speed.

The New Theory of Dynamic Positioning lives in the universe of a Rhizomatic Marketing, a marketing perspective capable of explaining the complex intricate current and future marketing activities, its trends and the new maps of brands perceptions.