“Would You Rather Have a Better Brand or Better Product?”: A Response to Al Ries

Better Brand or Better Product Al Ries

(Reading Time: 3 minutes)Recently, marketing guru Al Ries published a piece in Advertising Age, with his thesis right there in the title:

“Having a Better Brand Is Better Than Having a Better Product”

Here are a few excerpts from Mr. Ries’ piece:

There are no facts. Everything in life is “perceptions.” There are no superior products. There are only superior perceptions in consumers’ minds.

What else do we know about perceptions? They are very difficult to change. Once a person holds a strong perception about a specific brand, it’s extremely difficult to change that perception. Continue reading ““Would You Rather Have a Better Brand or Better Product?”: A Response to Al Ries”

Personal Trainers, Walmart and Differentiation

Walmart Target Logos Differentiation

(Reading Time: 3 minutes)At the gym I frequent, there’s a personal trainer I don’t think very highly of.  Let’s call him Duff.

My issue with Duff is that he doesn’t push his clients to work out very hard.  In fact, I’ve never seen one sweat.  Instead, it’s more like Social Hour. Sometimes, Duff and his client are chatting it up during an exercise, which suggests a pretty low level of exertion.  I wish his clients would stop wasting their time and money, and I want Duff to do better training on their behalf.

On a seemingly unrelated note, yesterday I visited a Walmart in Chicago’s west suburbs.  At this store, merchandising took a back seat to other priorities; “cluttered” is a fair term to use.

Continue reading “Personal Trainers, Walmart and Differentiation”