Innovation in Branding
COMPANIES SHOULD COMBINE INNOVATION WITH NEW BRAND NAMES
Interview with Al Ries
Market leaders tend to fall in love with their brand
name and launch only line extensions of their products, which is no way to build
Interview by - Pradip
ICMR (IBS Center for Management Research).
||Al Ries is chairman of Ries & Ries, an
Atlanta-based marketing strategy firm that he runs with his daughter, Laura
Ries. Al is a legendary marketing strategist and the bestselling author (or
co-author) of 11 books on marketing including Positioning: The Battle for
Your Mind, Marketing Warfare, Focus, The 22 Immutable Laws of Branding, The
Fall of Advertising & the Rise of PR and The Origin of Brands. Earlier, Al
was president of the Association of Industrial Advertisers (now the Business
Marketing Association) and the Advertising Club of New York. He was also
chairman of the Club's Andy Awards. In 1989, Sales & Marketing Executives
International gave him its "Tops in Marketing" award. In 1999, PR Week
magazine named him one of the 100 most influential PR people of the 20th
century. Al currently writes a monthly marketing column for AdAge.com and is
an often quoted expert in many publications. He resides in Atlanta, Georgia,
with his wife, Mary Lou.
What is innovation? How will you define it?
Innovation is a broad term that can cover almost every improvement any
human being has ever made. For the purposes of our latest book, The Origin
of Brands, we define innovation as a product or service development that
allows a company to establish a new category (and hopefully) a new brand.
Some categories and the brands they produced are: Mainframe computers . .
. IBM. Plain-paper copiers . . . Xerox. Computer operating systems . . .
Computer printers . . .Hewlett- Packard. Personal computers sold direct .
Financial software . . . Quicken. Database software . . Oracle. Enterprise
research planning software . SAP.
How critical is innovation for survival in the 21st
You can sell anything if it's cheap. To make profit in today's competitive
economy, you need a brand. That's why companies (and countries) need to develop
brands if they are going to survive in the world of tomorrow.
Look at the poor countries of Asia, Africa and South America. There is no hope
for these countries to improve the economic life of their citizens with
commodities such as agricultural products. They need to develop brands.
Take coffee, for example. Much of the world's coffee is grown in poor countries
like Guatemala and Brazil. The coffee brands, however, are controlled by rich
countries like Switzerland and the United States.
If you want to improve the economy of Guatemala, for example, you need to plant
coffee brands in the mind, not coffee beans in the earth.
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