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July 2004



I love u and your dad and admire your work

A great fan

Said Baaghil

Said Baaghil


I am a fan of your dad and yourself, I have followed all your articles and learnt a great deal as a marketer, I am also registerd on your website www.ries.com. I admire your approach and I wish that one day I will be able to present my views to you in person.

Laura Ries

You can only change a position in very few cicumstances.

#1 If nobody knows you, then it is no problem to change your name, your position, your entire brand strategy.

#2 In a slow moving category, change can happen over decades. Citibank used to be a business bank. Today, 20 years later Citibank is a consumer bank.

#3 You are moving your brand down. Rolls-Royce has a strong brand, but at $300,000 they don't sell too many cars. They could move the brand to a cheaper position, say $100,000 cars. But they would have to give up the high-end of the market.

Where change is not possible is when your brand is already positioned in the mind. For example, Kodak is never going to be able to change its brand to mean digital.

For Kodak the best option would be to launch a second brand. Just like Toyota would never have been able to change its brand to mean luxury. So they launched a new brand Lexus, which is a big success.


Hi! I am astudent of fashion & apparel and your write up has really helped me for my project. thank you!I am sure I can use these tips as a professional in near future.

John Hoskins

Very interesting information, I just got my copy of "Positioning: The Battle for your Mind". I am looking forward to reading it and taking your idea's and making my Inn something special and it's OK to be #2 as long as we make money and are profitable!

Travis McMenimon

Hi Laura,

Great interview with BJ Olin!

This is all well and good but I would be interested to hear how difficult it is for your market position to change.

For expample, say a company decides after entering a market that the position they chose was not as opportune as they had initially anticipated? How difficult and detrimental would it be to change?

I would imagine it would be easier for a smaller company to change its market position than a larger one.

What are your thoughts? (maybe a followup posting)


Hello...or salut(in romanian)
What you wrote is really interesting. It is sad that here in Romania this concept it is not understood so well.There are a few companies who are really making the difference.
Thank you


these are really interesting strategies. in some ways akin to the 5 plays we espouse on our blog and our book.

i would say that of similar importance to the gender brand is the ethnic brand. one company we love is baidu. it is the chinese google. it's done very well. just look at how important latin, indian and korean brands are to thier targets.

thanks, john


Interesting article. It's refreshing to see a topic like this explained in just a few words. Most books about branding take just one of the forms you describe and dedicate 500+ pages to examples and rules.

Did you read the book "Disruption" by Jean Marie Dru? It fits your theory perfectly and takes it a couple of steps further.


Hi Laura!
Your blog seems very interesting, I'll follow it with pleasure.


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By Al & Laura Ries

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