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Focus: The Future of Your Company Depends on It

Al Ries

Retail Price: $16.95
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Format: Paperback, 320pp.
ISBN: 9780060799908
Publisher: Collins Business
Pub. Date: September 27, 2005

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Item No: 9780060799908

Description and Reviews
From The Publisher:

The key to success is focus.

Business has a new buzzword that has captured the imagination of corporate leaders everywhere. In the seventies, it was diversification, the notion that every company needed a counter-cyclic business to balance out its business cycle. In the eighties, it was synergy, the notion that a company could exploit the similarities between such products as magazines and motion pictures (Time Warner). In the nineties the word is focus and no one has preached the gospel of focus as long and as forcefully as Al Ries. In his bestselling book, The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing, co-author Ries argued that focus is "the most powerful concept in marketing." Now, Ries has taken the focus concept one step further. In his new book, Focus: The Future of Your Company Depends on It, Ries offers a bold and iconoclastic prescription for American businesses.

Managers have been driven by a series of strategies that have caused their companies to lose focus, Ries argues. The unexamined goal of growth-at-any-cost has led companies to invest heavily in the acquisition of other companies, the development of new, often unrelated products, and the cultivation of new markets and distribution channels - anything that promises new sources of revenue. Ries argues that bigger is not necessarily better and that the whole is frequently less than the sum of its parts.

Ries offers a staggering array of examples from a variety of industries to demonstrate that, in the long run, companies that stay focused on their core business enjoy greater profitability. Companies that lose their focus through diversification and over-extension may see a short-term boost in revenues, but inevitably suffer in the long run. From McDonald's and Burger King to Volvo and Chrysler, Ries shows how focus consistently outperforms diversification. -- From the Publisher --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

What's the secret to a company's continued growth and prosperity? Internationally known marketing expert Al Ries has the answer: focus. His commonsense approach to business management is founded on the premise that long-lasting success depends on focusing on core products and eschewing the temptation to diversify into unrelated enterprises.

Using real-world examples, Ries shows that in industry after industry, it is the companies that resist diversification, and focus instead on owning a category in consumers' minds, that dominate their markets. He offers solid guidance on how to get focused and how to stay focused, laying out a workable blueprint for any company's evolution that will increase market share and shareholder value while ensuring future success.

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About the Author

Al Ries and his daughter and business partner Laura Ries are two of the world's best-known marketing consultants, and their firm, Ries & Ries, works with many Fortune 500 companies. They are the authors of The 22 Immutable Laws of Branding and The Fall of Advertising and the Rise of PR, which was a Wall Street Journal and a BusinessWeek bestseller, and, most recently, The Origin of Brands. Al was recently named one of the Top 10 Business Gurus by the Marketing Executives Networking Group. Laura is a frequent television commentator and has appeared on the Fox News and Fox Business Channels, CNN, CNBC, PBS, ABC, CBS, and others. Their Web site (Ries.com) has some simple tests that will help you determine whether you are a left brainer or a right brainer.

Table of Contents

1The Unfocusing of Corporate America1
2The Driving Force of Globalization24
3The Driving Force of Division36
4Encouraging Signs from the Corporate Front48
5Encouraging Signs from the Retail Front56
6A Tale of Two Colas74
7The Quality Axiom83
8Finding Your Word 96
9Narrowing Your Scope128
10Coping with Change149
11Divide and Conquer167
12Building a Multistep Focus201
13Disciplining a Dinosaur233
14Crossing the Trench245
15Fifteen Keys to a Long-Term Focus268

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