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John Francis "Jack" Trouts (January 31, 1935 – June 4, 2017) was an owner of Trout & Partners, a consulting firm. He was one of the founders and pioneers of positioning theory and also marketing warfare theory.

Jack Trouts
Jack Trout.jpg
John Francis Trout

(1935-01-31)January 31, 1935
Manhattan, New York, U.S.
DiedJune 4, 2017(2017-06-04) (aged 82)
Cause of deathIntestinal cancer
Alma materIona College
OccupationAdvertising executive


Trout started his business career in the advertising department of General Electric. From there he went on to become a divisional advertising manager at Uniroyal.[1] Then he joined Al Ries in the advertising agency and marketing strategy firm where they worked together for over twenty-six years.[2]

He was the founder and president of the international marketing strategy firm "Trout and Partners". The firm is represented in offices in many countries worldwide including emerging markets.[3] Trout worked with a number of different client companies, including AT&T, Apple, Citicorp, General Electric, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Pfizer, Procter & Gamble, Southwest Airlines and Xerox. When working with pizza chain Papa John's, Trout was majorly involved in the invention of the chain's slogan "better ingredients, better pizza".[3]

In the fall of 2002, Trout began working with the United States Department of State in order to "train new diplomats in the art of projecting a positive image of America overseas" as a part of the Brand America campaign, which sought to improve public opinion about the upcoming Iraq War.[4]

Trout died of intestinal cancer at his home in Old Greenwich, Connecticut, at the age of 82.[5]


  • Big Brands, Big Trouble: Lessons Learned the Hard Way. New York: John Wiley & Sons. 2001. ISBN 978-0471263036.[6]
  • A Genie's Wisdom: A Fable of How a CEO Learned to Be a Marketing Genius. New York: John Wiley & Sons. 2002. ISBN 978-0471236085.[7]
  • Jack Trout on Strategy. New York: McGraw-Hill Education. 2004. ISBN 978-1259589621.[8]
  • In Search of the Obvious: The Antidote for Today's Marketing Mess. New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons. 2008. ISBN 978-0470288597.[9]

With Steve Rivkin

With Al Ries


  1. ^ Sandomir, Richard (June 7, 2017). "Jack Trout, Who Fought for Consumers' Minds and Money, Dies at 82". The New York Times.
  2. ^ John R. Hall (October 18, 2004). "Marketing guru talks about differentiation: Jack Trout holds court with a packed audience at AirTime 500 Fall Expo". Air Conditioning, Heating & Refrigeration News. Retrieved April 13, 2012. (Subscription required (help)).
  3. ^ a b c Blossom, Debbie (March 18, 2006). "Marketing wizard due in Tulsa: Internationally known Jack Trout will address the Tulsa Advertising Federation". Tulsa World. Retrieved April 13, 2012. (Subscription required (help)).
  4. ^ Noel C. Paul (March 24, 2003). "Selling war: a review of the campaign; Darts at Hussein as an exercise in 'repositioning the competitor'? Marketers weigh in". Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved April 13, 2012. (Subscription required (help)).
  5. ^ Neff, Jack (June 5, 2017). "Jack Trout, Co-Author of 'Positioning,' Dies at 82". Advertising Age.
  6. ^ Sue Westcott Alessandri (January 1, 2004). "The Fall of Advertising & the Rise of PR / Big Brands, Big Trouble: Lessons Learned the Hard Way". Journalism & Mass Communication Educator. Retrieved April 13, 2012. (Subscription required (help)).
  7. ^ Lazare, Lewis (December 4, 2002). "Book lists marketing sins". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved April 13, 2012. (Subscription required (help)).
  8. ^ Joseph F. McKenna (March 1, 2008). "Catching up with Jack". Tooling & Production. Retrieved April 13, 2012. (Subscription required (help)).
  9. ^ Lute Harmon Sr. (September 1, 2009). "Get healthy in Cleveland". Inside Business Magazine. Retrieved April 13, 2012. (Subscription required (help)).
  10. ^ Petrozzello, Donna (February 12, 1996). "Jack Trout pushes the 'power of sound'(marketing guru on the importance of sound in advertising)". Broadcasting & Cable. Retrieved April 13, 2012. (Subscription required (help)).
  11. ^ Ramsay, John (March 4, 1999). "The Power of Simplicity". Supply Management. Retrieved April 13, 2012. (Subscription required (help)).
  12. ^ K. T. Chelvi (October 29, 2001). "Jack Trout advises on retaining, capturing bigger market share". New Straits Times. Retrieved April 13, 2012. (Subscription required (help)).
  13. ^ Bunn, Dina (January 11, 1998). "Marketing Is War And Winner Gets The Sales, Consultant Says". Rocky Mountain News. Retrieved April 13, 2012. (Subscription required (help)).
  14. ^ Doyle, Tracy (May 1, 2004). "Tactical Switch". Medical Marketing & Media. Retrieved April 13, 2012. (Subscription required (help)).
  15. ^ "Marketing: Ries & Trout's 22 laws". Soft-Letter. September 30, 1993. Retrieved April 13, 2012. (Subscription required (help)).