Remember the last time you Xeroxed something? Or did you photocopy it? When you sneeze, does someone offer you a Kleenex or a tissue? Al Ries, one of the world’s best-known marketing strategists, is the architect behind the groundbreaking marketing tool known as positioning—the concept of replacing a product and its function with a brand name. Ries speaks from decades of experience about the usefulness of developing a brand and cornering the marketplace by narrowing the focus of merchandising. He uses his years of research and success to engage audiences and offers practical tools in how to better their brands.
Ries is a legendary marketing strategist and the best-selling author of 11 books. With Jack Trout, he co-wrote the books, Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind (1991, 2000), Marketing Warfare (1985, 2005), Bottom-Up Marketing (1988), Horse Sense (1991), and The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing (1993). With his daughter Laura Ries, he co-wrote the books, The 22 Immutable Laws of Branding (1998, 2002), The 11 Immutable Laws of Internet Branding (2000), The Fall of Advertising and The Rise of PR (2002), The Origin of Brands (2004), and War in the Boardroom (2009). He also wrote the book, Focus (1996).
Before founding his own ad agency in New York City, Ries worked in the advertising department of General Electric. In 1972, he co-wrote a three-part series of articles on “positioning” for Advertising Age magazine. Eight years later, Positioning: The Battle For Your Mind was published, and it quickly became an industry hallmark and one of the best-selling advertising books of all time. It has sold well over one million copies, including more than 400,000 copies in China alone. After the positioning concept took the ad world by storm, AdAge voted it one of the 75 most important advertising ideas of the past 75 years.
Several of his other books have also been best-sellers and highly-acclaimed, including The Fall of Advertising and The Rise of PR and The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing. Focus: The Future of Your Company Depends on It illustrates the concepts of brand narrowing and was called the “management canon” by Red Herring magazine. In 1989, Sales & Marketing Executives International gave him its Tops in Marketing Award. He was named one of the “100 most influential public relations people of the 20th century” by PR Week magazine in 1999 and was also profiled in BusinessWeek magazine. Ries currently writes a monthly marketing column for AdAge.com.
Al founded Ries & Ries in 1994 with his daughter Laura. The two work in tandem and consult with Fortune 500 companies, write books, and give seminars across the globe. They have been profiled in BusinessWeek, Marketing News, Advertising Age, the Wall Street Journal, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and countless other domestic and international publications.
Ries was also president of the Association of Industrial Advertisers (now the Business Marketing Association) and the Advertising Club of New York. He was chairman of the Club’s Andy Awards, as well. He has more than 40 years of experience working with top companies, with more than half of those years as the head of his own advertising firm.