The origin of brands : discover the natural laws of product innovation and business survival / Al Ries and Laura Ries.

by Ries, AlLooking glass; Ries, LauraLooking glass.

Publisher: New York : HarperBusiness, [2004]Description: x, 308 pages : illustrations, facsimiles ; 21 cm.ISBN: 0060570148.Subject(s): Brand name products -- ManagementLooking glass | Brand name productsLooking glass | Branding (Marketing)Looking glass | New products -- ManagementLooking glassNote: Includes bibliographical references and index.
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Long loan London College of Communication
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Enhanced descriptions from Syndetics:

What Charles Darwin did for biology, Al and Laura Ries do for branding.

In their exciting new book, The Origin of Brands, the Rieses take Darwin's revolutionary idea of evolution and apply it to the branding process. What results is a new and strikingly effective strategy for creating innovative products, building a successful brand, and, in turn, achieving business success.Here, the Rieses explain how changing conditions in the marketplace create endless opportunities to build new brands and accumulate riches. But these opportunities cannot be found where most people and most companies look. That is, in the convergence of existing categories like television and the computer, the cellphone and the Internet.

Instead, opportunity lies in the opposite direction--in divergence. By following Darwin's brilliant deduction that new species arise from divergence of an existing species, the Rieses outline an effective strategy for creating and taking to market an effective brand. In The Origin of Brands, you will learn how to:

Divide and conquer Exploit divergence Use the theories of survival of the firstest and survival of the secondest Harness the power of pruning

Using insightful studies of failed convergence products and engaging success stories of products that have achieved worldwide success through divergence, the Rieses have written the definitive book on branding. The Origin of Brands will show you in depth how to build a great brand and will lead you to success in the high-stakes world of branding.

Includes bibliographical references and index.

Table of contents provided by Syndetics

  • Introduction (p. ix)
  • Chapter 1 The Great Tree of Life (p. 1)
  • Chapter 2 Predicting the Future (p. 9)
  • Chapter 3 Divide and Conquer (p. 17)
  • Chapter 4 Gradual Change vs. Divergence (p. 27)
  • Chapter 5 The Curse of the Clock Radio (p. 39)
  • Chapter 6 Swiss Army Knife Thinking (p. 53)
  • Chapter 7 Bad Ideas Never Die (p. 77)
  • Chapter 8 The Great Tree of High-Tech Brands (p. 89)
  • Chapter 9 The Great Tree of Low-Tech Brands (p. 117)
  • Chapter 10 The Mystery of the Missing Links (p. 151)
  • Chapter 11 Survival of the Firstest (p. 161)
  • Chapter 12 Survival of the Secondest (p. 185)
  • Chapter 13 The Power of Pruning (p. 205)
  • Chapter 14 Creating a Category (p. 227)
  • Chapter 15 Establishing an Enemy (p. 257)
  • Chapter 16 Launching the Brand (p. 267)
  • Chapter 17 Wrapping Things Up (p. 285)
  • Index (p. 297)

Reviews provided by Syndetics

Publishers Weekly Review

This father-daughter marketing team, authors of The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing, believes that evolution is a useful analogy for marketers. Throughout the book, readers are encouraged to think of Darwin's tree of life. For example, the television tree used to consist solely of the three networks, but now comprises an array of cable and satellite offerings. The "phone" tree includes cellular, picture, computer, digital and other varieties. Using many examples, the authors explore this notion: "Competition between individuals (brands) improves the species. Competition between species (categories) drives the categories further and further apart." To survive in today's competitive market where technology makes innovations much faster than in the past, companies must continue to introduce new computers, cars, phones, food, etc. However, the drawbacks of expansion and innovation mean that some products and some corporations won't be profitable. Burger King keeps trying to launch new menus, essentially to compete with McDonald's. While McDonald's has had its own fiscal troubles, it continues to dominate the fast food market because it was first and has so many outlets. Along with their entertaining perspective on advertising and marketing, the authors offer specific advice including devising a new category rather than a brand. Innovative marketers will have a triumphant product if they create a category and launch with a clever name as well, such as Starbucks did for the high-end coffee-shop category. While the book is primarily directed at readers working in marketing, advertising and related fields, managers and executives at both large and small businesses will benefit from it as well. Agent, Black Inc. (May) Forecast: A 25-city national radio campaign, author tour, and lectures along with the paperback release of the authors' bestselling The Fall of Advertising and the Rise of PR should quickly launch this one onto business lists. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


Unquestionably, this is the definitive book on branding. The authors have long and successful careers as marketing consultants and authors (e.g., The Fall of Advertising and the Rise of PR, CH, Apr'03, and The 22 Immutable Laws of Branding, 1998). In a distinctly original approach to the subject--comparing branding with Darwin's theory and the principle of divergence--the authors present an analogy that clearly and simply explains the branding process. The interplay of evolution and divergence provides a model for understanding both the universe and the universe of brands. Written with clarity and insightful analysis, each of the 17 chapters examines specific examples of failed convergence products and those successful through divergence. The book is thoughtful, challenging, provocative, and instructive in helping readers discover the application of natural laws to product innovation business survival. A major contribution to the marketing literature, this book is must reading for marketing and management professionals and academics and their students. It will be enormously useful to anyone interested in the opportunity to launch a new product and maintain its dominance. ^BSumming Up: Essential. Lower-division undergraduate through professional collections. R. R. Attinson emeritus, CUNY College of Staten Island

Author notes provided by Syndetics

Al Ries and his daughter and partner, Laura Ries, are marketing consultants. Their Atlanta firm is Ries & Ries