Al Ries

Celebrated Marketing Strategist and Best-Selling Author
Al Ries
  • Founded his own ad agency, Ries & Ries, with his daughter Laura
  • Former president of the Association of Industrial Advertisers and the Advertising Club of New York
  • Gives enthusiastic and educational seminars on marketing and branding

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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. Exclusively represented by Leading Authorities speakers bureau, 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.

Name That Brand. 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.

A Family of Flair. 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.

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Speaker Video

The Immutable Laws of Marketing and Branding. Based on his decades of experience, Al Ries discusses the immutable laws of marketing and branding in a presentation tailored to her audience and its industry. He also discusses how the internet, including social media, plays a role in today’s marketing and how organizations can effectively use these tools to their advantage.

You Narrow the Focus. Al and Laura Ries make sure that their seminars are visually focused. They use up to 300 slides per hour, which adds up to 1,800 slides in an all-day presentation, which totals 900% more information imparted by the typical speaker. Their tailored, carefully edited slide list of images and key ideas makes watching their presentation feel like watching a movie. And they deliver suspense, comedy, intrigue and education, completely revolutionizing the traditional marketing seminar. No two speeches are exactly alike. Using examples from a wide variety of industries around the world, Al and Laura Ries discuss and illustrate the laws and principles of positioning, marketing and branding, all of which have made their own business bolder and better.

Starbucks narrowed its focus to high-end coffee and became the world’s largest coffee chain. Dell Computer narrowed its focus to personal computers “sold direct” and became the world’s largest PC manufacturer. BMW narrowed its focus to “driving” and became the largest-selling European luxury car in the US Focus is the key to successful brand building in today’s ultra-competitive marketplace, and Al and Laura Ries give presentations that embrace and apply the right focus for clients and audiences.

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