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46 Reviews
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5.0 out of 5 stars An easy-to-read, interesting and profound book!
I like reading the books written by Ries, all of which are excellent. This one is no exception! With the trend of using Internet, many Internet businesses emerge. However, many of them find it hard to operate online. What's wrong with them?
It is good for Al and Laura Ries to first clarify that the Internet is either a medium or a business. It is really a fundamental...
Published on March 11 2002 by wing-sze TAI

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars some decent advice worth paying attention to
One of the drawbacks of this book is that, while the authors stress the importance of being fast, first, and focused, they don't give a lot of advice on what to do if your site is superior but suffers from being second. (Ohmae, in THE INVISIBLE CONTINENT, might argue that being second -- take, for example, VHS over Betamax in a pre-internet market -- doesn't always spell...
Published on Dec 30 2000 by Jeffrey L. Seglin


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1.0 out of 5 stars Most inane book I have ever read, Aug. 15 2003
By A Customer
This book offers conclusory statements with very superficial, if any, analysis. For example, the authors argue that technologies tend to diverge, and not converge. For support, they say "[i]n biology, the law of evolution holds that new species are created by the division of a single species. Convergence, instead, suggests that the combining of two species will yield you a new one. Invaraibly in nature you see things divide and not converge. We have hundreds of varieties of dogs and hundreds of varieties of cats, but "very few" dogcats, or chickenducks, or horsecows." What?! I haven't the foggest idea how a system like technology controlled by humans has to do with biology, a system of nature. When there's human intervention, convergence occurs all the time - such is the case with many modern fruits and vegetables that have been bred by humans. And really,there are "very few" varieties of dogcats? I'm not aware of any.
I'd be curious as to what the authors have to say about the trend towards bigger corporations, through mergers. According to the authors, these big corporation really shouldn't exist, because things diverge, and not converge.
They also make the pompous statement that the purchasers of business.com could have saved $7,499,979 if they had bought the authors' book. The fact that they could claim credit for saying that a brand name shouldn't be generic is preposterous. That is one of the most basic tenet of branding. Of course, the authors does not discuss sex.com, an equally generic name, which has made $40 million in the course of a few years.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Most inane book I have ever read, Aug. 15 2003
By A Customer
This book offers conclusory statements with very superficial, if any, analysis. For example, the authors argue that technologies tend to diverge, and not converge. For support, they say "[i]n biology, the law of evolution holds that new species are created by the division of a single species. Convergence, instead, suggests that the combining of two species will yield you a new one. Invaraibly in nature you see things divide and not converge. We have hundreds of varieties of dogs and hundreds of varieties of cats, but "very few" dogcats, or chickenducks, or horsecows." What?! I haven't the foggest idea how a system like technology controlled by humans has to do with biology, a system of nature. When there's human intervention, convergence occurs all the time - such is the case with many modern fruits and vegetables that have been bred by humans. And really,there are "very few" varieties of dogcats? I'm not aware of any.
I'd be curious as to what the authors have to say about the trend towards bigger corporations, through mergers. According to the authors, these big corporation really shouldn't exist, because things diverge, and not converge.
They also make the pompous statement that the purchasers of business.com could have saved $7,499,979 if they had bought the authors' book. The fact that they could claim credit for saying that a brand name shouldn't be generic is preposterous. That is one of the most basic tenet of branding. Of course, the authors does not discuss sex.com, an equally generic name, which has made $40 million in the course of a few years.
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5.0 out of 5 stars An easy-to-read, interesting and profound book!, March 11 2002
By 
wing-sze TAI (Marketing Department of City University of Hong Kong) - See all my reviews
I like reading the books written by Ries, all of which are excellent. This one is no exception! With the trend of using Internet, many Internet businesses emerge. However, many of them find it hard to operate online. What's wrong with them?
It is good for Al and Laura Ries to first clarify that the Internet is either a medium or a business. It is really a fundamental and important decision for companies to make. They are sure to be greatly benefit from thinking about this question.
In addition, most businesses neglect or even do not know the importance of a good name. With the lack of the good "seeing and touching" visual impact, the powerful tool companies can put in the prospects' mind is a good name. The law of the common name and proper name can give us a clearer picture.
A good Internet brand cannot solely rely on a good name. It also depends on the interactivity of the website, singularity in the category, off-line advertising¡KMore of which can be found in the book.
This book is very clear. The concept is profound and easy to understand, supported by plenty of examples. I can get a lot of insights from it. And it is interesting! I enjoy reading it!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Easy to read and some thought provoking ideas, Jan. 27 2002
By 
Andre Hoffmann (Durban, South Africa) - See all my reviews
I am not sure if I totally agree with everything Al and Laura are saying, some of the argument seem somewhat loosely based on circumstantial evidence, yet on the other hand much of what they have to say makes a lot of sense. I am not so sure that all the 11 laws promulgated are indeed "immutable". The law of vanity (chapter 9), for example, I would like to know what the Ries's think of the Virgin brand and how it has transcended from being a record label to a airline carrier, health club operator, cell-phone service provided among others, is this just and exception or is mutation possible? The book enlightened me into some key insights about the Internet that I had not considered relevant before, like the issue of interactivity and the consequential impact on Internet advertising. I was also particularly irritated at first by their chapter on "divergence" and their strong feelings on the myth of "convergence", but then I gave it some thought, I consider that maybe we are being misled by the media hype in respect of convergence in respect of gadgets, but where I think the Ries's are missing the point is in the convergence at the service level - here I think there is a strong case for convergence of content with medium and billing etc. I think the merger of Time Warner with AOL will prove to be model for future survival. For example if the cable company delivering the pay-per-view TV can also give me my telephone and Internet connection - great. Overall this book definitely provides some useful and sound advice for the entrepreneur considering an e-commerce presence, and which one can avoid this today?
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4.0 out of 5 stars Worth Reading for those in this field, Jan. 3 2002
By 
Veenu Soni (San Francisco, CA,USA) - See all my reviews
This book by Al Ries and Laura Ries is Good overall and is in lines with their previous works with similar titles. The author's style of writing itself is impressive with so many examples to prove the point or at least to convince the reader. Although at times I felt that the examples of extranet brands are more than internet brands and even wanted to know the sources of the Data the authors have quoted in various examples. An appendix of the same would have helped to make the book more credible and convincing! But definitely it is worth reading for all those in the field of Internet Marketing and Brands for it gives some invaluable tips.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Poor book with fine content, Oct. 1 2001
By 
Juan Garcia "coolmaster" (Europe) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Al Ries is, undoubtly, one of the best marketeers alive. However, I think he wrote this book trying to make a "first move" in e-business lectures. To me, this book by itself is not completely good, it seems to have been writen in a rush. Besides, it looks like a copy of the "22 Inmutable Laws of Marketing". Anyway, it is still a great book for those who are just starting their own business and those who have been running it for a while but still have a long way to go. It is a little boring after 3 or 4 chapters, but you'll find valuable information that guides you in developing an strategy for your own brand in the WWW (you can use it off-line, too). If you can combine it with Ries' "22 Inmutable Laws of Marketing" ("Positioning" will also help), then you can get a better picture. I rated it 4 stars because of the quality of the content. It is also a good book for students in the first grades of college.
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2.0 out of 5 stars An over-extended brand, Aug. 20 2001
By 
Adam F. Jewell (Pittsburgh, PA USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Al Ries has written or contributed to some stellar marketing books including "Focus" and "Positioning". The 11 Immutable Laws of Internet Branding is a disgrace compared to previous works.
It appears the Reis' got caught up in the Internet hype, stating things like "putting your name on both your physical store and your Website is a serious error" and "On the Internet you should start the brand-building process by forgetting everything you have learned in the past", WHAT?
The authors demonstrated their knowledge of the net by introducing us to FrogDog (FogDog.com) and the infamous JRKoop (DrKoop.com), which makes one wonder if the authors were even awake when they wrote this book.
You'll find as much hype and as many ill-conceived marketing laws in this book as any on the market. I'd take this book over something like Charles W. Kadlec's "Dow 100,000: Fact or Fiction" so maybe it's worth a second star. The bottom line:
DON'T BUY THIS BOOK!
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2.0 out of 5 stars expected a lot more, June 1 2001
By 
C. Little (Newbury, MA USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Unlike the masterful "22 immutable laws" this work is piecemeal and IMO somewhat contrived. It is by no means a must-read or necessary volume and moreover if you need a lesson in internet-related markets and marketing, there are much much better works. There are also worse books, hence 2 stars.
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5.0 out of 5 stars As always, Al Ries is RIGHT, April 14 2001
By A Customer
I hope I had read this OUTSTANDING marketing book a year ago. I would have made more intelligent use of my investment dollars, by buying stock only from the dotcoms that comply with the author's guidelines. You don't need to be a genius to see the pattern. Just look at what stocks 'survived' the dotcom crash. All of them (or, well, almost all) follow the 'laws'.
Now take a look to the struggling dotcoms: they are violating the rules outlined in this book.
It's just makes sense. As always, Al Ries books are out-of-this-world in terms of common sense.
This one is brilliant. There's only one thing I don't like: why in the world Al and Laura Ries are using AGAIN the "immutable Laws" name... It's a paradox, if you consider who they are and what they teach. I see the publisher's hand on the title...
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4.0 out of 5 stars If Not Precisely "Immutable", Nonetheless Reliable, Jan. 4 2001
By 
Robert Morris (Dallas, Texas) - See all my reviews
(TOP 10 REVIEWER)    (HALL OF FAME)    (REAL NAME)   
Few laws are "immutable" in a business world in which change is the only constant. Indeed, the Rieses' use of the word "laws" may itself be subject to debate. However, the authors do provide 11 helpful guidelines when suggesting how to achieve effective "Internet "branding." For example, (1) The Internet can be a business or a medium, but not both, (6) Advertising off the Net will be a lot bigger than advertising on the Net, (9) The biggest mistake of all is believing that you can do anything and (10) Everyone talks about convergence., while just the opposite is happening.
Perhaps you have already read previous books authored or co-authored by Al Ries. Positioning, for example, in which several of the same branding "laws" or guidelines are advocated. In this book, he and his co-author apply them specifically to the Internet.
For small-to-midsize companies especially, this can be a very valuable book. In the Age of Commoditization, it is seldom possible for such companies to be ranked first in their category or first entrant in their competitive marketplace (see Laws #5 and #8). Of course, the Rieses understand that. However, small-to-midsize companies CAN prosper if they take full advantage of certain competitive advantages which their size makes possible, especially speed (eg rapid response to a given situation) and resiliency (eg "turn on a dime"). Interestingly enough, huge corporations such as GE and Cisco Systems implement strategies based on essentially the same principles which the Rieses advocate.
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