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35 Mind-Blowing Al Ries Quotes

Al Ries is a marketing professional and author. Current co-founder and chairman of his Atlanta based marketing firm Ries & Ries, he has authored various publications in the field of public relations. Here is a look at some of the most memorable Al Ries quotes.

“A brand should strive to own a word in the mind of the consumer.”

“A branding program should be designed to differentiate your cow from all the other cattle on the range. Even if all the cattle on the range look pretty much alike.”

“A laser is a weak source of energy. A laser takes [only] a few watts of energy and focuses them in a coherent stream of light. But with a laser, you can drill a hole in a diamond or wipe out cancer.”

“A successful branding program is based on the concept of singularity. It creates in the mind of the prospect the perception that there is no product on the market quite like your product.”

“Advertising is the way great brands get to be great brands.”

“Branding is simply a more efficient way to sell things.”

“Changing the direction of a large company is like trying to turn an aircraft carrier. It takes a mile before anything happens. And if it was a wrong turn, getting back on course takes even longer.”

“Customers want brands that are narrow in scope and distinguishable by a single word, the shorter the better.”

“Everyone is interested in what‘s new. Few people are interested in what‘s better.”

“Good things happen when you narrow your focus.”

“If you want to build a brand, you must focus your branding efforts on owning a word in the prospect’s mind. A word that nobody else owns.”

“It normally takes decades to build a brand… It’s the forgetting of the old truth that allows a person to accept a new truth. You need to allow enough time for this forgetting to take place.”

“It’s better to be first in the mind than to be first in the marketplace.”

“Marketing is not selling. Marketing is building a brand in the mind of the prospect.”

“Marketing is what a company is in business to do. Marketing is a company’s ultimate objective.”

“Only brand names register in the mind… What you should generally do is take a regular word and use it out of context to connote the primary attribute of your brand.”

“Positioning is how you differentiate yourself in the mind of the prospect. That is, you position the product in the mind of the prospect.”

“Positioning is not what you do to a product. Positioning is what you do to the mind of the prospect.”

“Strategy and timing are the Himalayas of marketing. Everything else is the Catskills.”

“Strategy should evolve out of the mud of the marketplace, not in the antiseptic environment of an ivory tower.”

“Successful brands get into the mind slowly. A blurb in a magazine. A mention in a newspaper. A comment from a friend. A display in a retail store. After a slow buildup, people become convinced that they have known about the brand forever.”

“The best way to make news is to announce a new category, not a new product.”

“The crucial ingredient in the success of any brand is its claim to authenticity.”

“The essence of positioning is sacrifice. You must be willing to give up something in order to establish that unique position.”

“The Internet is the ultimate in brand-centered buying.”

“The law of the contraction: A brand becomes stronger when you narrow its focus.”

“The law of the generic: One of the fastest routes to failure is giving a brand of generic name. ”

“The most powerful concept in marketing is owning a word in the prospects mind.”

“The next generation product almost never comes from the previous generation.”

“The real barrier (to building a brand) is the human mind. It normally takes decades to build a brand because it takes decades to penetrate the gray matter in between your ears.”

“To get into the consumer’s mind, you have to sacrifice. You have to reduce the essence of your brand to a single thought or attribute. An attribute that nobody else already owns in your category.”

“Today, communication itself is the problem. We have become the world’s first overcommunicated society. Each year we send more and receive less.”

“War and marketing have many similarities.”

“What’s your brand? If you can’t answer that question about your own brand in two or three words, your brand’s in trouble.”

“Your brand’s power lies in dominance. It is better to have 50% of one market, instead of 10% of five markets.”

Al Ries appears at the World Marketing Summit in Japan 2014 discussing the use of words in slogans.

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