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Ries, Laura 1971(?)-

RIES, Laura 1971(?)-

PERSONAL:

Born c. 1971; daughter of Alfred P. (a business consultant and author) and Mary Lou Ries; married Scott Alan Brown (a technical manager), 1997. Education: Northwestern University, graduated 1993. Hobbies and other interests: Horseback riding, triathlons, snow skiing, body building.

ADDRESSES:

Home—Roswell, GA. Office—Ries & Ries Consulting, 2195 River Cliff Drive, Roswell, GA 30076; fax: 770-643-0051. Agent—Leading Authorities, 1220 L Street NW, Ste. 850, Washington, DC 20005; fax: 202-783-0301. E-mail—[email protected]

CAREER:

TBWA Advertising, account executive, 1993-94; Ries & Ries, president, marketing consultant, and strategist, 1994—.

AWARDS, HONORS:

Named "management guru," Business 2.0 magazine, 2002.

WRITINGS:

WITH FATHER, AL RIES

The Twenty-two Immutable Laws of Branding: How to Build a Product or Service into a World-Class Brand, HarperBusiness (New York, NY), 1998, published with The Eleven Immutable Laws of Internet Branding, 2002.

The Eleven Immutable Laws of Internet Branding, HarperBusiness (New York, NY), 2000, published with The Twenty-two Immutable Laws of Branding: How to Build a Product or Service into a World-Class Brand, 2002.

The Fall of Advertising and the Rise of PR, HarperBusiness (New York, NY), 2002.

The Origin of Brands: Discover the Natural Laws of Product Innovation and Business Survival, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 2004.

SIDELIGHTS:

Author and business consultant Laura Ries is the president of Ries & Ries Consulting, a marketing strategy firm based near Atlanta, Georgia. She is a prolific public speaker and appears regularly on television news programs on stations such as Fox News, CNBC, ABC, and CNN. Among her more unique accomplishments was being named a management guru by Business 2.0 magazine, the honor commemorated by a baseball-style trading card bearing her photograph, biography, and statistics.

Together with her father and business partner, business consultant Al Ries, Ries is the coauthor of several books on defining, building, and maintaining brand names and brand recognition for products and services, both in traditional brick-and-mortar business establishments and on the Internet. Their first book, The Twenty-two Immutable Laws of Branding: How to Build a Product or Service into a World-Class Brand, offers suggestions for creating a product brand that influences consumers' purchasing behavior and differentiates products and services from one another in customers' minds.

Ries applies concepts of branding to the still-evolving online world in The Eleven Immutable Laws of Internet Branding. The Rieses consider Internet brands to be very different from physical world brands. In addition, they make a distinction between the Internet as a business and as a medium. If the Internet is approached as a medium, the use of existing brands is acceptable, and the Internet complements or replaces other media such as print and broadcast. If the Internet is approached as a business—that is, the online world is the only place where a company's products or services are marketed and sold—then a brand-creation strategy has to be shaped and applied from scratch. Among other crucial elements of Internet branding are site interactivity, which allows site visitors to instantly receive information, pricing adjustments, and transaction confirmations; unique and catchy names that do not refer to the common name of the product or service—Amazon.com as opposed to Bookstore.com, for example; and the need for any company to be first in new categories. The book "helps demystify the chaos, confusion, and cant that surrounds the online world," commented Alf Nucifora in Memphis Business Journal. "What the authors do well is articulate how important they think branding is to success on the Internet," observed an Inc. magazine reviewer. Fortune reviewer Anne Fisher remarked that "executives tearing out their hair over how to make a splash on the Web could do a lot worse than to ponder what the Rieses have to say."

In no way reluctant to embrace controversy, Ries and her father perturb the advertising industry in The Fall of Advertising and the Rise of PR. Advertising, the authors state, "has lost credibility, that no one believes commercials when they promise the best product, best service, and best price," commented Andre's Hernandez Alinde in Latin Trade. With a large selection of case studies to back them up, the Rieses maintain that "advertising has lost its original function, which was to establish a brand," Alinde stated. Instead, public relations is now the best avenue for creating brand recognition—word-of-mouth, discussion and mention of brands in news stories and columns, and press releases illuminating unique aspects of brands or company activities are a much more reliable means of building a brand and cementing it into public awareness. Advertising's role is not eliminated, but shifted; once a brand is established, the Rieses say, advertising can be used to maintain it. Some reviewers found the book to be too controversial, and the arguments insufficiently supported. "Polemical in nature, they bludgeon readers with heated rhetoric and repetition," commented Business Week reviewer Gerry Khermouch. "But the examples provided are inconclusive. Moreover, the authors tend to misstate the objectives of the companies whose misguided ad campaigns they criticize." However, other critics, such as Booklist reviewer Mary Whaley called the book "a persuasive presentation by a respected marketing expert."

In The Origin of Brands: Discover the Natural Laws of Product Innovation and Business Survival the Rieses apply concepts from Charles Darwin's theory of evolution to the creation of brands. They liken categories of products to species of animals, and individual brands to individual creatures within the species. When individuals of a species compete, it improves the entire species, and so it is with competition among individual brands, they state. Competition among species, or categories of products, serves to drive everything further apart. In addition, they write that divergence, the creation of new standalone products or services, is preferable to convergence, the merging of two formerly separate products into one. The Origin of Brands "is packed with intelligent marketing and public relations advice that could be applied to practically every product, business, or service," commented Emmanuel Carpenter in Reviewer's Bookwatch. "Along with their entertaining perspective on advertising and marketing, the authors offer specific advice including devising a new category rather than a brand," observed a Publishers Weekly reviewer. A PR Week reviewer called the book "a brilliant application of Darwin's original idea that challenges convention and provokes opportunistic thought."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

AdMedia, March, 2003, Vaughn Davis, "Pavlova Logic," review of The Fall of Advertising and the Rise of PR, p. 12.

Adweek Southeast, May 29, 2000, T. W. Siebert, "Laying Down More Laws," review of The Eleven Immutable Laws of Internet Branding, p. 7.

Boardwatch, November, 2000, review of The Eleven Immutable Laws of Internet Branding, p. 106.

Booklist, May 15, 2000, David Rouse, review of The Eleven Immutable Laws of Internet Branding, p. 1711; September 1, 2002, Mary Whaley, review of The Fall of Advertising and the Rise of PR, p. 31.

Brand Strategy, July, 2001, review of The Eleven Immutable Laws of Internet Branding, p. 27; May, 2004, review of The Origin of Brands, p. 39.

B to B, October 14, 2002, Sean Callahan, "BtoB Q&A: Proclaiming the 'Fall of Advertising'; Controversial New Book Argues That Public Relations is the Best Way to Launch a Brand" (interview with Al and Laura Ries), p. 3.

Business Record (Des Moines, IA), August 19, 2002, "The Death of Advertising," review of The Fall of Advertising and the Rise of PR, p. 44.

Business Week, November 11, 2002, Gerry Khermouch, "Tuning out Ads?," review of The Fall of Advertising and the Rise of PR, p. 24.

Chicago Sun-Times, October 10, 2002, Lewis Lazare, "A Message about Messages: Father-Daughter Team Talks of PR's Value," p. 53.

Communication World, October-November, 2002, "The Power Debate between Advertising and PR Continues," review of The Fall of Advertising and the Rise of PR, p. 30.

Denver Business Journal, May 26, 2000, Monique Reece, "Book Explains Branding Internet Companies," review of The Eleven Immutable Laws of Internet Branding, p. A30.

Fortune, September 4, 2000, Anne Fisher, "Making the Brand: It's Different on the Net," review of The Eleven Immutable Laws of Internet Branding, p. 388.

Inc., June, 2000, "Book Value," review of The Eleven Immutable Laws of Internet Branding, p. 145.

Latin Trade, April, 2003, Andre's Hernandez Alinde, "Report of Death Greatly Exaggerated," review of The Fall of Advertising and the Rise of PR, p. 70.

Library Journal, August, 2002, Stacey Marien, review of The Fall of Advertising and the Rise of PR, p. 112.

Long Island Business News, March 30, 2001, review of The Twenty-two Immmutable Laws of Branding, p. A35; June 7, 2002, review of The Twenty-two Immutable Laws of Branding, p. A33.

Memphis Business Journal, August 4, 2000, Alf Nucifora, "Strategic Insights on Immutable Laws for a Mutable Internet," review of The Eleven Immutable Laws of Internet Branding, p. 16.

Nation's Restaurant News, July 29, 2002, Gregg Cebrzynski, "Authors Burn Advertising, Watch PR Rise From the Ashes, review of The Fall of Advertising and the Rise of PR, p. 14.

PR Week, June 17, 2002, "Ries's Upcoming Book Extols PR's Power," review of The Fall of Advertising and the Rise of PR, p. 1; May 10, 2004, "A Different Way to Look at Brand Creation," review of The Origin of Brands: Discover the Natural Laws of Product Innovation and Business Survival, p. 24.

Publishers Weekly, May 15, 2000, "Bonds and Other Bull-Market Bets," review of The Eleven ImmutableLaws of Internet Branding, p. 106; July 22, 2002, review of The Fall of Advertising and the Rise of PR, p. 166; May 3, 2004, review of The Origin of Brands, p. 186.

Reviewer's Bookwatch, October, 2004, Emanuel Carpenter, review of The Origin of Brands.

Training, August, 2000, Theodore Kinni, review of The Eleven Immutable Laws of Internet Branding, p. 78.

Variety, August 19, 2002, review of The Fall of Advertising and the Rise of PR, p. 46.*

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