The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing – Al Ries and Jack Trout

  1. The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing Al Ries and Jack TroutThe Law of Leadership. It’s better to be first than it is to be better. Think Coca-Cola, Heineken, and Charles Lindbergh. Forget trying to benchmark your competitors, marketing is a battle of perception, not products.
  2. The Law of the Category. If you can’t be first in the category, set up a new category you can be first in. Think Amelia Earhart (first woman to fly the Atlantic) and Amstel Light (first imported light beer).
  3. The Law of the Mind. It’s better to be first in the mind than to be first in the marketplace. Once a mind is made up it rarely if ever changes.
  4. The Law of Perception. Marketing is not a battle of products, it’s a battle of perceptions. There is no such thing as objective truth in your customers’ mind, only subjective.
  5. The Law of Focus. The most powerful concept in marketing is owning a word in the prospects to mind. You become stronger when you reduce the scope of your operations. Think Apple and computers, Heinz and ketchup.
  6. The Law of Exclusivity. Two companies cannot agree on the same word in the prospect’s mind. Energizer can’t take “long-lasting” from Duracell.
  7. The Law of the Ladder. The strategy to use depends on which rung you occupy on the ladder. The 3-tiered claims market share of ratio of 4-2-1. Avis advertises as #2 to Hertz purposely. 7-up is the Uncola.
  8. The Law of Duality. In the long run, every market becomes a two-horse race. Think Coke and Pepsi, not Royal Crown. It’s the reason why General Electric CEO Jack Welch fixed, closed, or sold anything that wasn’t number one or number two in their respective market.
  9. The Law of the Opposite. If you’re shooting for second place, your strategy is determined by the leader. Don’t try to be better, try to be different than the leader.
  10. The Law of Division. Over time, a category will divide and become two or more categories. Think about how many categories of beer and cars there are. It’s why Honda’s luxury model is branded Acura.
  11. The Law of Perspective. Marketing effects take place over an extended period of time.
  12. The Law of Line Extension. Think 7up to 7up cherry or diet 7up. – there is an irresistible pressure to extend the equity of the brand. Many times this does not work. Be strong somewhere rather than weak everywhere. Usually, the leader in any category is the brand that is not line extended.
  13. The Law of Sacrifice. You have to give up something in order to get something. There are 3 things to sacrifice: product line, target market, and constant change. Phillip Morris narrowed their category to the man’s man – Marlboro was the result and is now the leader among cigarettes to men and women. White Castle has never changed its position the same as it was 60 years ago.
  14. The Law of Attributes. For every attribute, there is an opposite, effective attribute. If you’re Burger King you should position yourself as the grown-up taste, not the kiddie land market and same category as McDonald’s.
  15. The Law of Candor. When you admit a negative, the prospect will give you a positive. Honesty is the best policy. Think Listerine, it wholly admits to “tasting bad twice a day.”
  16. The Law of Singularity. In each situation, only one move will produce substantial results. What works in marketing is the same as what works in the military, the unexpected. It’s usually one bold stroke that wins the day. I think when the Allied invaded at Normandy. Coca-Cola had to do away with the New Coke.
  17. The Law of Unpredictability. Unless you write your competitors plans, you can’t predict the future. Companies that live by the numbers die by the numbers. Short term quarterly thinking has ruined companies.
  18. The Law of Success. Success often leads to arrogance, and arrogance to failure. Ego is the enemy of successful marketing. Objectivity is what’s needed. Think Donald Trump prior to his presidential election – he was bankrupt for trying to slap his name on anything that moved. Brilliant marketers have the ability to think like a prospect thinks.
  19. The Law of Failure. Failure is to be expected and expected. Admit your mistake and when you do fix them and just keep working. Sam Walton’s approach is “ready, fire, aim.”
  20. The Law of Hype. The situation is often the opposite of the way it appears in the press. Real revolutions sneak up on you in the middle of the night.
  21. The Law of Acceleration. Successful programs are not built on fads, they are built on trends. Barbie dolls are a trend, cabbage patch kids are a fad. One way to maintain the long-term demand for your product is the never totally satisfy the demand. The best thing is a long-term trend.
  22. The Law of Resources. Without adequate funding, an idea won’t get off the ground. You can’t save your way to success.