Archive | May, 2009

Al Ries tries on a pair of Gucci’s and they don’t fit

Al Ries tries on a pair of Gucci’s and they don’t fit

In yet another installment of our peculiar branding version of Survivor, we pit Al Ries’ unassailable bestseller on branding, The 22 Immutable Laws of Branding, against another popular and successful brand, Gucci, to see if these laws are as immutable as Ries claims. Al Ries’ central argument is that one brand must always and ever [...]

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Posted in books, the branding notebook5 Comments

In which we soak and spin Al Ries’ 22 Immutable Laws of Branding in a Maytag washer

In which we soak and spin Al Ries’ 22 Immutable Laws of Branding in a Maytag washer

And what a soggy mess we get. We continue our full frontal assault on Al Ries’ famous tome on branding, The 22 Immutable Laws of Branding. It’s a wonderful book, but reality, it turns out, is a bit more complex. In an effort to make the book more useful for the messy complexity of real [...]

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Posted in happenings, the branding notebook11 Comments

The Roundup May 29

The good news first: the bad news is not as bad as we thought. Revised commerce department figures showed on Friday that US gross domestic product declined by an annualised rate of 5.7 per cent in the first three months of the year, compared with last month’s estimate of 6.1 per cent. The decline was [...]

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The sound of found is also the sound of sick

Product and company naming is one of those odd and portentous events in a business. Some folks just do it and get on with their lives and others spend millions coming up with just the right name. I’ve been involved in both types of projects. But, as we say in our little discussion of naming [...]

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In the “I wish I thought of that” department . . .

This, in my opinion, is the must-watch video for anyone in the product development or invention line. Our book, The Startup Bible, has a lengthy chapter on product development, but I have never seen anything that so perfectly embodies what makes an invention great or how to go about it: game-changing, useful, inexpensive, and, to [...]

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Posted in seriously smart2 Comments

The Roundup May 28

Remember “Bob”? Bing, the name Microsoft gave to the new search service it unveiled Thursday, is its answer to Google . . . Microsoft’s marketing gurus hope that Bing will evoke neither a type of cherry nor a strip club on “The Sopranos” but rather a sound — the ringing of a bell that signals [...]

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Al Ries downs a whole bottle of Extra Strength Tylenol!

Al Ries downs a whole bottle of Extra Strength Tylenol!

Our weird, wonderful, and wacky review of Al Ries’ The 22 Immutable Laws of Branding continues to smart up the slim volume by using brand case studies to paint a fuller picture of branding opportunities. We’re now in the process of totally revising the Ries framework and today, after a whopping dose of Extra Strength [...]

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Posted in books, the branding notebook18 Comments

In which I add a real head-slapper to my customer service collection!

I have been assembling material for my customer service books for years now. I have — I’m not joking — seven three-ring binders full of customer service encounters both good and bad. I am, if such a distinction is an honor, the world’s most prolific collector of customer service experiences. As you can imagine, I [...]

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Posted in happenings2 Comments

What credit card legislation means for online retailers

On Friday, President Obama signed legislation that seriously impacts how credit card companies can market and manage consumer credit cards. The legislation introduces new and far-reaching protections for credit card borrowers, but these protections aren’t “free,” at least in economic terms. They will, in fact, be purchased by substantial revisions of how credit card companies [...]

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Posted in happenings, the strategy notebook1 Comment

Al Ries gets a Fruit of the Loom wedgie!

Al Ries gets a Fruit of the Loom wedgie!

Faithful readers of our blog have followed with baited breath as we throw one case study after another at Al Ries’ formidable branding bible, The 22 Immutable Laws of Branding. So far, we’ve managed to qualify Ries’ central dictum — that one brand should always be one thing and always associated with one and only [...]

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Posted in books, the branding notebook10 Comments

Al Ries doesn’t know what to do with Vaseline . . . but we do!

Al Ries doesn’t know what to do with Vaseline . . . but we do!

We’re just having too much fun reviewing Al Ries’ The 22 Immutable Laws of Branding by randomly throwing brands at the book and seeing if they stick. Help! We can’t stop! Well, talk about sticky, today we throw a gooey jar of Vaseline at the book and . . . wait! Al Ries already threw [...]

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Posted in books, the branding notebook12 Comments

The Roundup May 23-24

“You know what my father said to me?” “Get out?” “No, before that.” “You’re going bald?” “No, no, land, everyone will always need land.” African countries are giving away vast tracts of farmland to other countries and investors almost for free, with the only benefits consisting of vague promises of jobs and infrastructure, according to [...]

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Breakfast at Tiffany’s and Al Ries is on the menu

Breakfast at Tiffany’s and Al Ries is on the menu

In yet another installment of our endless review of Al Ries’ The 22 Immutable Laws of Branding, we explore a more delicate and feminine side of Ragin’ Ries as we lightly take him to Tiffany’s. Will his immovable, straight-from-the-mouth-of-god tawhid-like doctrine of one brand = one thing = one word hold up at the retailer [...]

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Posted in the branding notebook13 Comments

The Roundup May 22 — fashion forward edition

Tight times seem to fit well in tight jeans. While consumer spending remains woefully depressed, expensive designer jeans have been one of the few bright spots for manufacturers and retailers, according to NPD Group Inc., a market research company. Sales of premium brand jeans grew by 17% during 2008 and eked out a 2.3% increase [...]

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Formica takes on Al Ries and his 22 Immutable Laws of Branding

Formica takes on Al Ries and his 22 Immutable Laws of Branding

Faithful readers of this blog know the drill already. We’re reviewing Al Ries’s The 22 Immutable Laws of Branding by throwing a random collection of major, successful brands at his book to see if Al is right when he forcefully claims that one brand must always be one thing and one word. Break that rule, [...]

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Posted in happenings11 Comments

What makes a good C.E.O.

I have been a student of leadership since my salt mine days as university faculty. I’ve seen a lot of good and bad ideas come and go, but the research shows that there’s really no such thing as a personality type all great leaders are made of. Extroverts, introverts, highly charismatic, unassuming — great leaders [...]

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Richard Law

Acknowledgements are the rarest and greatest privilege we professional writers enjoy. Although all of us carry around in some form or another the thoughts, habits, and wisdom of the greatest people in our lives, we writers are often afforded the incomparable opportunity to sort them out and distill from the noise of the everyday the [...]

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In which we put Al Ries naked into a Jacuzzi to see if his 22 Immutable Laws stand up

In which we put Al Ries naked into a Jacuzzi to see if his 22 Immutable Laws stand up

Faithful readers of this blog know that we’re taking on the formidable and legendary Ragin’ Al Ries and his popular bestseller, The 22 Immutable Laws of Branding, by throwing famous and successful brands at him totally at random. Since no-one here at Shoestring Venture likes to play by anyone’s rules — and since we’ve never [...]

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Posted in books, the branding notebook11 Comments

The Roundup May 19

Didn’t I say this would be how Car 2.0 would work? Huh? Didn’t I? The deal marks a further bet on battery-powered cars by the maker of Mercedes-Benz luxury vehicles and a vote of confidence in Tesla. The electric car pioneer has struggled to raise funds and realise expansion plans during the credit crunch. . [...]

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So what exactly is Wolfram/Alpha and how does that affect your SEO equation?

Unless you’re a dyed-in-the-wool tech geek with an ear to every railroad track, you’ve probably seen or heard the word “Wolfram/Alpha” in only the most fuzzy way as some kind of Google competitor or next-generation something-or-other-maybe-a-search-engine. You may have heard hints that Google plans to take on Wolfram/Alpha at its own game. What’s this new [...]

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