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The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing: Exposed and Explained by the World's Two

The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing: Exposed and Explained by the World's Two

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The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing: Exposed and Explained by the World's Two

ratings:
4.5/5 (119 ratings)
Length:
131 pages
2 hours
Publisher:
Released:
Oct 13, 2009
ISBN:
9780061798177
Format:
Book

Description

Two world-renowned marketing consultants and bestselling authors present the definitive rules of marketing.

Publisher:
Released:
Oct 13, 2009
ISBN:
9780061798177
Format:
Book

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.


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The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing - Al Ries

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Introduction

Billions of dollars have been wasted on marketing programs that couldn’t possibly work, no matter how clever or brilliant. Or how big the budgets.

Many managers assume that a well-designed, well-executed, well-financed marketing program will work. It’s not necessarily so. And you don’t have to look further than IBM, General Motors, and Sears, Roebuck to find examples.

The tools and techniques used at Sears, Roebuck might have been right, sometimes even spectacular. And the managers who ran the GM programs might have been the best and the brightest. Certainly the best and the brightest people traditionally have been attracted to the biggest and the best companies, like GM and IBM. But the programs themselves were based on assumptions that were flawed.

John Kenneth Galbraith, when asked what he believed was America’s perception of the country’s giant corporations, said that we feared corporate power. Today, we fear corporate incompetence!

All companies are in trouble. Especially big companies. General Motors is a good example. Over the past decade the company paid a terrible price for destroying the identity of its brands. (It priced them alike as well as made them look alike.) Ten share points evaporated, which translates into about $10 billion a year in sales.

GM’S problem wasn’t a competitive problem, although competition did increase. It wasn’t a quality problem either, although GM obviously wasn’t delivering top-notch quality. It was very definitely a marketing problem.

When a company makes a mistake today, footprints quickly show up on its back as competition runs off with its business. To get the business back, the company has to wait for others to make mistakes and then figure out how to exploit the situation.

So how do you avoid making mistakes in the first place? The easy answer is to make sure your programs are in tune with the laws of marketing. (Although we have defined our ideas and concepts under the marketing banner, they are useful no matter where you are in a company, and no matter what product or service your company is selling.)

What are these marketing laws? And who brought them down from Mount Sinai on a set of stone tablets?

The fundamental laws of marketing are those described in this book.

But who says so? How come two guys from Connecticut have discovered what thousands of others have overlooked? There are, after all, many sophisticated marketing practitioners and academics. Why have they missed what we think is so obvious?

The answer is simple. As far as we can tell, almost no one is willing to admit that there are any laws of marketing—certainly none that are immutable.

There are laws of nature, so why shouldn’t there be laws of marketing? You can build a great-looking airplane, but it’s not going to get off the ground unless it adheres to the laws of physics, especially the law of gravity. You can build an architectural masterpiece on a sand dune, but the first hurricane will undermine your creation. So it follows that you can build a brilliant marketing program only to have one of the immutable laws knock you flat if you don’t know what they are.

Perhaps it’s human nature not to admit there are things you can’t do. Certainly most marketers believe that anything is achievable if you are energetic enough, or creative enough, or determined enough. Especially if you are willing to spend enough money.

Once you open your mind to the possibility that there are laws of marketing, it’s easy to see what they are. In truth, they are obvious.

We have been studying what works in marketing and what doesn’t for more than 25 years. What we have found is that programs that work are almost always in tune with some fundamental force in the marketplace.

In our books, articles, speeches, and videos we have analyzed marketing principles in some detail. We have developed strategic models of the marketing process, including a physical model of the human mind, which we helped popularize under the concept of positioning. We also developed a military model of the marketplace, which assigns companies and brands to either defensive, offensive, flanking, or guerrilla modes of marketing warfare.

After years of working on marketing principles and problems, we have distilled our findings into the basic laws that govern success and failure in the marketplace.

We call these principles the Immutable Laws of Marketing, and there are 22 of them. Violate them at your own risk.

1

The Law of Leadership

It’s better to be first than it is to be better.

Many people believe that the basic issue in marketing is convincing prospects that you have a better product or service.

Not true. If you have a small market share and you have to do battle with larger, better-financed competitors, then your marketing strategy was probably faulty in the first place. You violated the first law of marketing.

The basic issue in marketing is creating a category you can be first in. It’s the law of leadership: It’s better to be first than it is to be better. It’s much easier to get into the mind first than to try to convince someone you have a better product than the one that did get there first.

You can demonstrate the law of leadership by asking yourself two questions:

1) What’s the name of the first person to fly the Atlantic Ocean solo? Charles Lindbergh, right?

2) What’s the name of the second person to fly the Atlantic Ocean solo? Not so easy to answer, is it?

The second person to fly the Atlantic Ocean solo was Bert Hinkler. Bert was a better pilot than Charlie—he flew faster, he consumed less fuel. Yet who has ever heard of Bert Hinkler? (He left home and Mrs. Hinkler hasn’t heard from him since.)

In spite of the evident superiority of the Lindbergh approach, most companies go the Bert Hinkler route. They wait until a market develops. Then they jump in with a better product, often with their corporate name attached. In today’s competitive environment, a me-too product with a line extension name has little hope of becoming a big, profitable brand (chapter 12: The Law of Line Extension).

The leading brand in any category is almost always the first brand into the prospect’s mind. Hertz in rent-a-cars. IBM in computers. Coca-Cola in cola.

After World War II, Heineken was the first imported beer to make a name for itself in America. So four decades later, what is the No. 1 imported beer? The one that tastes the best? Or Heineken? There are 425 brands of imported beer sold in America. Surely one of these brands must taste better than Heineken, but does it really matter? Today, Heineken is still the No.1 imported beer, with 30 percent of the market.

The first domestic light beer was Miller Lite. So what is the largest-selling light beer in America today? The one that tastes the best? Or the one that got into the mind first?

Not every first is going to become successful, however. Timing is an issue—your first could be too late. For example, USA Today is the first national newspaper, but it is unlikely to succeed. It has already lost $800 million and has never had a profitable year. In a television era, it may be too late for a national newspaper.

Some firsts are just bad ideas that will never go anywhere. Frosty Paws, the first ice cream for dogs, is unlikely to make it. The dogs love it, but the owners are the ones who buy the groceries, and they think that dogs don’t need an ice cream of their own. They should be happy just to lick the plates.

The law of leadership applies to any product, any brand, any category. Let’s say you didn’t know the name of the first college founded in America. You can always make a good guess by substituting leading for first. So what’s

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What people think about The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing

4.4
119 ratings / 20 Reviews
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Reader reviews

  • (5/5)
    must read for marketers. you cannot call yourself a marketer unless you even read this book.
  • (5/5)
    Although dated, the book makes a clear case for rules of the game of marketing. No seat-of-the-pants guesswork. Well written and concise. A very easy read in one sitting. A recommended read.
  • (3/5)
    It's a good book to go over certain concepts, but you really can just get the cliff notes of it and still be fine. A LOT of the book is just examples of companies that tried or failed to try the different laws and statistics about how those attempts or failures to attempt went for the companies in question. This book was first written in 1993 so a lot of the references are outdated such as the fate of Donald Trump or the unlikelihood that anyone would ever want a "videophone;" considering that Donald Trump is now president and smartphones are pretty much the only type of phones that exist these days. Aside from that, it is a good read.
  • (5/5)
    Simply but crucial marketing must-know for all marketers. Often we place too much emphasis on complicated marketing campaign execution that we forgot about the importance of keeping the foundation of every marketing campaign strong and solid.
  • (5/5)
    Concise and To the point.. Must read for every marketer
  • (4/5)
    Found it helpful, something that'll make you stop and think. However, some might not work in today's market and economy
  • (3/5)

    1 person found this helpful

    The book was published in 2009. I read it in 2019. The narrative relies on examples, and many of them become outdated. On the other side, I am in Europe, and the market is different from America in many ways, and all the examples are related to the USA.

    In spite of that, I like the book, and many things are still very useful in today marketing.

    It is a kind of book that I like to read slowly and think about it. I read one or two chapters every time. If I read that in one shot I would lose many things.

    1 person found this helpful

  • (4/5)
    A short-form informative summary of marketing....a good read indeed!
  • (4/5)

    2 people found this helpful

    Picked this book as this was recommended on one of the podcast (probably Tim Ferris podcast). Generally speaking, I would recommend reading it once to everyone and it is not a very long read, a few hours should suffice.

    The laws are quite simple like being first in a category, or creating a new category, how line extension without proper thought might not be a good idea? and so forth. The text largely focuses on getting the point out that marketing is all about perception (and is referenced a lot in the book). The last part focuses on importance of resources to get idea out and get started.

    What I disliked most was completely discrediting the idea of competition (although the examples mentioned in the book are quite compelling and reinforce the idea), businesses today are largely focused on competition and improving the product overtime and is not necessarily a bad idea. I agree with the authors for most part but also believe that competing is not a completely bad idea either.

    2 people found this helpful

  • (4/5)

    1 person found this helpful

    A quick and practical read on the laws of marketing that are not that easy to implement but can have a huge impact on any business. Some examples are outdated and hard to relate.

    1 person found this helpful

  • (5/5)
    In what at first appears to be a burglary gone wrong, At first, the murder a successful Wall Street trader and his family appears to be a burglary gone wrong. Then another financial executive dies in a suspicious “suicide.” Ty Hauck left law enforcement and is now an investigator works for a major private security firm. As he investigates the deaths, he uncovers an international financial conspiracy and discovers that the miscreants will kill anyone who gets in their way.With its fast pace and building suspense coupled with convincing characters, makes this a book that will give readers much to enjoy.Recommended.
  • (5/5)
    elaborate thriller set in a world where everything is connected, where not just bullets can kill people. highly plausible how things could happen as described.
  • (3/5)
    I have never read a novel by Andrew Gross, but have enjoyed Gross's joint ventures in writing with James Patterson. Gross and Patterson both employ the short chapter that tricks a reader into completing another chapter. Both men utilize a range of characters and settings that force the reader to continue reading just to discover what is happening. This novel centers on a worldwide plot to topple the financial world that reeks of reality. Has the world become like King Midas who never has enough power and wealth? As usual, both Patterson and Gross write a fast paced novel that demands that the reader stop and think about the world's corrupt practices.
  • (5/5)
    An ex-policeman working in a private financial firm becomes involved in the investigation of two prominent banking heads who are killed. His investigation gets him involved with the US government and takes his chase around the world. So very good. Grabs you from the start. So typical Andrew Gross!
  • (3/5)
    I don't normally pick up books like this, I have to be in a rare mood to read a thriller, but something about the Goodreads description intrigued me to enter the giveaway and lo and behold, I won. This book is apparently third in a series, but that fact had no impact on the storyline at all. It read like it's own, independent novel and it was a nice change of pace from what I have been reading lately.When a friend from investigator Ty Hauck's past is murdered, he finds himself trying to solve the case and is thus drawn into a much larger mystery involving the collapse of the economy. Together with government agent Naomi Blum he travels the world to find out once and for all what's going on and to bring justice to his deceased friend.The plot line was intricate and could be seen from several different points of views of various characters. It read like a movie and was definitely a page-turner right through the bitter end. Just when you think things are winding down -BAM!- they're not and I loved that. What's more, you can tell Gross is a student of James Patterson because of the chapter length. I love short chapters, they really keep a novel moving in my opinion. Overall, glad to have won and read it.
  • (3/5)
    This wasn’t too bad. You can definitely tell Gross is a student of James Patterson’s method, because the book is filled with short and punchy chapters. He’s done a good job capitalizing on the current economic climate, showing us a worst-case scenario, of sorts. Unfortunately, financial storylines tend to make my brain shut off, so I should have known that I wouldn’t love this. The good thing is, I was able to follow what was going on enough to get it. Hauck isn’t a bad character — he’s one of those guys that just can’t leave well enough alone. I kept expecting more of a romantic interlude with Naomi, based on the way he described and reacted to her, and that colored my opinion of him a bit. After all, he has a girlfriend at home. That line is never crossed, but I’d be surprised if this is the last you see of Naomi Blum. Speaking of surprises, I wasn’t surprised by any of the twists, even the final one about Ty’s true connection to April. Frankly, it was obvious almost from the start.
  • (4/5)
    Excellent book. Good pace/rhythm. I will definitely read more Gross.
  • (2/5)
    Andrew Gross has had a seven-year partnership with James Patterson and it shows. I'm mixed about James Patterson who I thought wrote some great books early in his career - the first Alex Cross books were truly outstanding thrillers - and then became, quite frankly, a hack spewing out indifferent thrillers back-to-back. Andrew Gross has benefited in a sense from both sides of this equation - he's definitely learned the elements of a successful thriller and he's definitely learned to spew out the formula. You can probably guess that I'm not impressed with the latter half of the equation.I read a lot of thrillers and many of them are very good. Sure, they follow a formula, but the best ones go beyond that to deliver both plot and characters that make you want to keep turning the pages. Unfortunately for me this just didn't deliver anything beyond the average. The plot premise was definitely interesting: What if the recent economic crisis was actually evidence of a complex terrorist action targeting the financial sector? It's an idea with a lot of promise - a sort of Law and Order ripped from the headlines kind of thing (and I do love Law and Order).Where the problems come is in the characters who are pretty lackluster and typical. Yes, yes, the intrepid hero is intrepid and, well, heroic. Yes, yes, the government agent is female, skinny, and model-beautiful - can you see the TV mini-series being cast? If the book was skewed more towards the female agent, it'd be on Lifetime, but since it's skewed towards the intrepid hero think FX.Don't get me wrong, this was fairly entertaining, but not entertaining enough to keep me up reading and that's the minimum requirement for me to think it was a great thriller.
  • (5/5)
    Great book for anyone creating a new product/service!
  • (5/5)
    marketing strategy