Archive | the branding notebook

The 3rd-Generation Environmental Consumer, Part One

The 3rd-Generation Environmental Consumer, Part One

The 3-G Environmental Consumer The Series 1) Who are they? 2) What are they like? 3) How do they think? In a recent post, I noted that Summit Spring’s new product, “Raw Water,” was a brilliant new product that really isn’t all that new. Since “Raw Water” is simply untreated spring water, you could say [...]

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Who are the gamma women?

Do they exist? And should you care? For many of us marketers, entrepreneurs, and harried small businesspeople, we often directly or tangentially mosey across this or that demographic, since correctly targetting a specific audience with our products or services is key to our promotional success. Some of these demographics we know — or think we [...]

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The Ten Business Rules of Email

It may be that as an overworked and often exhausted consultant and author, my patience sometimes wears a bit thin. Or it may be that small to godzilla-sized companies pay people like me big bucks for effective branding and marketing strategies. Whatever the reason, I almost always go nuclear when I see somebody screw up [...]

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Al Ries on branding: the final word

Al Ries on branding: the final word

Just two days ago, Brandweek released its list of 2009 Superbrands (it is not happenstance that our marathon review of Al Ries has ended on the day the 2009 Superbrands were announced). Just a cursory glance over the category winners gives you a veritable rogue’s gallery of Al Ries felons. Scofflaws who not only busted [...]

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Posted in books, the branding notebook8 Comments

Al Ries on how to maintain a brand

Al Ries on how to maintain a brand

As we wind down our marathon review of Al Ries’ The 22 Immutable Laws of Branding, we hand over the stage to Ragin’ Al himself to tell us how to maintain a brand. While the central focus of the Al Ries branding program is that one brand should always equal one thing and one word [...]

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Posted in books, the branding notebook8 Comments

Al Ries on how to build a brand

Al Ries on how to build a brand

In our extensive review of Al Ries The 22 Immutable Laws of Branding, we’ve been throwing famous and successful brands at the book and finding that Ries’ core principles really don’t hold up too well. But what about the rest of the book? The core principle underlies only seven “immutable” laws. Are there more core [...]

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Posted in books, the branding notebook11 Comments

Al Ries slips on a bar of Ivory — see you next fall!

Al Ries slips on a bar of Ivory — see you next fall!

Over the past couple weeks, we’ve been “smarting” up Al Ries’ The 22 Immutable Laws of Branding, which, as its title suggests, admits of precious little nuance or complexity. It’s a perfectly wonderful book — it is, after all, the biggest bestseller on branding — but we’ve found as we throw one random successful brand [...]

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Posted in books, the branding notebook5 Comments

Yamaha teaches Al Ries a bit of branding, Japanese style

Yamaha teaches Al Ries a bit of branding, Japanese style

Shoestring Venture continues to critically evaluate the phenomenal bestseller, The 22 Immutable Laws of Branding, the straight-from-the-mouth-of-God decalogue on steroids by the Moses of branding himself, Al Ries. We’re finding, unfortunately for Moses, that the real world of branding doesn’t always match up perfectly with the rigid outlines of the Ries world of branding as [...]

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Posted in books, the branding notebook6 Comments

The Branding Myth, Part One

At some point in throwing together a small business or start-up, you’re going to drive headlong into issues of branding. It may be something you read online or, more usually, a topic brought up by an outside vendor — a designer, Web designer, PR specialist, or copywriter. Branding is a ubiquitous topic, a word that [...]

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Does Al Ries have a Rubbermaid fetish?

Does Al Ries have a Rubbermaid fetish?

This is the question we all want answered. We continue our unprecedented book review of Al Ries’ The 22 Immutable Laws of Branding by seeing if the real world actually works like the Ries world. And, since every random, highly successful brand we’ve thrown at the book seems scoff at the immutable laws in some [...]

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Posted in books, the branding notebook7 Comments

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

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

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

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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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

At Burt’s Bees, the recession never happened

I have been following Burt’s Bees closely as a marketing professional since 1999 and, I’m happy to say, did a biz analysis of the company in 2004. Today’s LA Times is the first newspaper outside of North Carolina to realize that the recession seems to have had zero effect on the company’s sales and it’s [...]

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Al Ries doesn’t like Campbell’s soup. Really. Says so himself.

Al Ries doesn’t like Campbell’s soup. Really. Says so himself.

This is the craziest book review you’re ever going to read. We’re taking on Al Ries and his seriously simplified 22 Immutable Laws of Branding by throwing one major, successful brand after another at the book. Which we’ve chosen completely at random. Honest. And, not surprisingly, we’re finding that the owners of these brands aren’t [...]

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Posted in books, the branding notebook14 Comments

Mastering the art of the reframe: put “you” into the picture

“Reframing” is a psychological therapeutic concept that undergirds a big portion of the neurolinguistic programming fad and has migrated into such diverse areas as linguistics, politics, marketing, and even corporate strategy. It is, to my mind at least, the lynchpin of successful entrepreneurship and marketing. But mastering the art of the reframe is a difficult [...]

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