RIP Al Ries. He sadly passed away on October 7 at the age of 95.

I remember learning about Al Ries via his books in the early 90’s: Positioning, Focus, and the 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing.

Together with Jack Trout, they shaped some of my thinking as I progressed to become a marketing strategist.

The battle to own an idea and own branding real estate in someone’s mind, was gold.

Many of their thoughts have stood the test of time:

  • Make and position an industry leader so that its name and message wheedles its way into the collective subconscious of your market-and stays there
  • Position a follower so that it can occupy a niche not claimed by the leader
  • Avoid letting a second product ride on the coattails of an established one
  • Build your strategy around your competition’s weaknesses
  • Reposition a strong competitor and create a weak spot
  • Use your present position to its best advantage
  • Determine when-and why-less is more
  • Analyze recent trends that affect your positioning
  • Get focused and stay focused on laying out a workable blueprint for any company’s evolution that will increase market share and shareholder value while ensuring future success.

RIP Al Ries. Gone, but never forgotten.