When you call a book The 22 Immutable Laws of Branding
, you're pretty much ruling out Oprah's Book Club as potential buyers. (Not that Oprah herself isn't a terrific brand.) This is an audiobook for a narrow demographic: entrepreneurs, top managers, and public-relations directors. Coauthor Al Ries comes off like the eccentric genius that most of these managers keep in a basement office, only listening to when necessary. When he says, "The power of a brand is inversely proportional to its scope," and hectors managers with the idea that "customers want brands that are narrow in scope," you know he's right (he backs himself up with dozens of examples), and you know it's the last thing powerful, expansion-minded businesspeople want to hear. Coauthor Laura Ries, his daughter and marketing-firm partner, also reads sections. (Running time: 1.5 hours, one cassette) --Lou Schuler
As it becomes increasingly associated with impressive corporate gains realised in recent years by companies ranging from Virgin and Rolex to Daewoo and Volvo, "branding" has developed into one of the marketing world's hottest concepts. And for good reason, contend well- known strategist Al Ries and his daughter Laura Ries in The 22 Immutable Laws of Branding: How to Build a Product or Service into a World-Class Brand.
"Marketing is building a brand in the mind of the prospect," they write. "If you can build a powerful brand you will have a powerful marketing programme. If you can't, then all the advertising, fancy packaging, sales promotion and public relations in the world won't help you achieve your objective." A no-holds-barred look at a diverse collection of successful--and not-so- successful-- branding efforts undertaken by a number of high-profile firms, their book distills the most critical principles involved into a series of clear rules with straightforward titles such as "The Law of Expansion", "The Law of Contraction", "The Law of Consistency", and "The Law of Mortality". While some of their suggestions may at first seem counterintuitive, together they compose a logical blueprint for success in today's ever-more-competitive environment. --Howard Rothman, Amazon.com