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December 2004



every company has its super brands then why the merger happens.


Great question Joseph. And one that has already been answered. Because I got married almost 8 years ago and I knew that there was no way I could change my name. My brand, my future and my success depended on keeping the Ries name. Why not give your brand every advantage you can by using the best name you can? My husband was not thrilled with the idea, but he understood the power of branding after I made him read some Ries books!

Joseph Dean

What about your brand, Laura? Are you married? If not, what will you do with the Ries name after you do marry? After all, "Ries" has positioned itself as the name that goes with positioning, and you would lose a lot of credibility in the marketing world if you dropped it. On the other hand, it would be an opportunity to rebrand yourself.

Designer 25

I'm reading and loving (might I say) the 22 Immutable Laws of Branding & 11 Immutable Laws of Internet Branding (try saying that 12 times fast). Again -- I love it. I'm hoping that in the future you can create a workbook to go along with the book. I'm not sure if that would be extending your brand but it would be a great help for right brained design-preneurs such as my self :)

Thanks a million!
Jeaneen Benson


Thank-you for this great insight.

I have been struggling with this since I saw your book and got your tape. Both great stuff.

As a realtor, with a well branded National Company; If I am a brand what and how do I promote and market it. It seems like I could go after that high end market for I can go after the lower end in the future. As you say it is easier to go to a lesser brand than to go up.

I am starting to look for succesfull examples.


Steven you are absolutely right. Branding on the ranch is very similar to branding in the marketplace. You want to burn your brand into the mind on the consumer.

But while the experience with the product is important. In many cateogies, brand differences are slight. And perception plays a huge role. Coke always fails blind taste tests, but when people see the brand name they always chose Coke as their favorite. People eat, drink, drive, bank, the label. In other words the brand name itself is a very important part of the experience.

Steven Streight aka Vaspers the Grate

I think of "brand" also in the old cowboy, cattle rancher meaning:

what is "burned" into the mind of the customer as they use the product!

No matter what "branding" strategy you use, no matter what you say about your product, no matter what other users say, what gets "branded, burned" into the memory of the customer is:

their experience with the product, good or bad.

Neville Hobson

Great commentary, Laura.

Re Chevrolet, what you say is interesting. GM is launching Chevrolet as a major brand in Europe, replacing Daewoo. So in major markets here where Daewoo has been successafully positioned as the "low cost and high quality" car brand, that's evolving with Chevrolet succeeding the Daewoo name and being promoted as a brand signifying similar cost/quality attributes as well as "strong and American."

Didn't GM try something similar with Isuzu? Not sure how that worked as Isuzu isn't a strong or recognizable brand, at least not in Europe.

Yvonne DiVita

Laura, this is a great thought-provoking post. I struggle with the 'brand yourself' issue daily...since the world now knows me as Yvonne DiVita (the Dickless Marketing lady) but, when I get married in the spring, I will be Yvonne Collins. So, do I keep the ex's name for its recognition all over the net, use the one folks equate with me, or...challenge them to learn a new name...attached to the same brand????

Laura Ries

Diet Jeff, I like that. Very funny. You could go all out and have Diet Jeff, Jeff2 and just regular Jeff. Jeff2 (or you could go with Jeff Edge) being the half calorie version.

But you are right, I would advise against line extension since it would dilute your core brand. And lead to all sorts of confusion.

Of course, I am in the middle of a line extension of my own. My brand is currently bursting with the expected arrival of a baby in March.

Thanks for the comments!!


How would I brand myself in the new year?...
Perhaps DietJeff might be the winner.

Of course, I wouldnt want to dilute or compete with the brand of Jeff...maybe I will just rename and start all over...


Laura, timely piece about branding... because if you fail to brand yourself, others will do it for you! Remember how the Bush people successfully branded John Kerry as a flip flopper? Before I forget, your writing sounds more and more like Al on his best days... and that's meant as a compliment! It's sooo refreshing... happy holidays!

Laura Ries

Thanks for catching my error Kam, I have corrected the mistake. Of course, Twins was another disaster of a movie with Danny, but you are right Arnold wasn't pregnant in that one.

Happy Holidays!

Kam Hubbard

Thanks for your sage advice on building my own brand!

FYI: "Junior" was the movie that Arnold Schwarzegger played a pregnant scientist.

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