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The 22 Immutable Laws of Branding Paperback – September 17, 2002

4.1 out of 5 stars 201 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

As it becomes increasingly associated with impressive corporate gains realized in recent years by companies ranging from FedEx and Rolex to Starbucks and Volvo, "branding" has developed into one of the marketing world's hottest concepts. And for good reason, contend well-known strategist Al Ries and his daughter Laura Ries in The 22 Immutable Laws of Branding: How to Build a Product or Service into a World-Class Brand.

"Marketing is building a brand in the mind of the prospect," they write. "If you can build a powerful brand you will have a powerful marketing program. If you can't, then all the advertising, fancy packaging, sales promotion and public relations in the world won't help you achieve your objective." A no-holds-barred look at a diverse collection of successful--and not-so-successful--branding efforts undertaken by these and other high-profile firms, their book distills the most critical principles involved into a series of clear rules with straightforward titles such as The Law of Expansion, The Law of Contraction, The Law of Consistency, and The Law of Mortality. While some of their suggestions may at first seem counterintuitive, together they compose a logical blueprint for success in today's ever-more-competitive environment. --Howard Rothman --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

“Indispensable to anyone seeking to build a business into a recognized brand.” (--Philip J. Romano, CEO, Romano Enterprises)

“Al Ries demonstrates that marketers need two skills: building a brand and keeping it alive. Through stellar company profiles and keen insights, this book will show them how.” (--Philip Kotler, Professor of International Marketing, J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management, Northwestern University)

“Anyone looking to market their comapay successfully has to read The 22 Immutable Laws of Branding.” (--Patrick M. Sullivan, CEO, SalesLogix)

“Provides a worthwhile addition to the branding library. This book’s worth buying.” (--Atlanta Business Chronicle)

“If you want to...lasso consumers and burn brand identity into their minds, read this book.” (--Advertising Annual 1999)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: HarperBusiness; 1st edition (September 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060007737
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060007737
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 0.7 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (201 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #20,766 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Focus. Don't do a line extension to save your life.
OK, this book is great and should be read by anyone involved in marketing (I mean come on, who doesn't have the 3 hours it takes to read this book). Unfortunately one serious drawback is that he uses plenty of examples to support his claims. Huh? Why is that a negative? Here's why: because it gets the reader to think of plenty of counter-examples that contradict his points. As another reviewer suggested the claim of "immutable" laws of marketing is a bit bold, but what the book does provide is food for thought in a highly readable context.
You gotta give the guy credit though. He takes a stand. And there's a lot to be said for taking a viewpoint and standing by it in today's middle of the road world.
If you don't feel up to reading "Focus," "Positioning," or some of the other texts by Al Ries, this one provides a lot of the insights in bite size pieces.
Despite the knocks against it listed above there are a few points worth acknowledging: 1. Al Ries is a legend in marketing. 2. It's a good, fun read with many useful examples worth keeping in mind when developing marketing strategies. 3. By reading it for yourself you can develop examples to refute a lot fo the laws and move along the path towards critically evaluating branding strategies.
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Format: Hardcover
The 22 Immutable Laws of Branding was primarily written by Laura Ries - Al Ries was a co-author on the book - in case anyone didn't know. Such information is available at their website. I rank this book a solid 5 star book because the insights / examples provided far outweigh any concerns / problems I found with the book. This book caused me to look at advertising / marketing from a different perspective in my daily life which is what I use to evaluate if something is a 5 star book
I loved The 22 Immutable Laws of Branding for the following reasons:
1. It flat out states the importance of marketing & branding, which is important to separate in the readers' mind before beginning. As they state "Marketing is building a brand in the mind of the prospect. If you can build a powerful brand you will have a powerful marketing program. If you can't, then all the advertising, fancy packaging, sales promotion and public relations in the world won't help you achieve your objective."
2. The Ries' call it like they see it. Excellent examples of marketing / advertising stupidity / effectiveness are provided.
3. They talk about the plethora of products that are produced each year.
4. They discuss how businesses must get inside a consumer's mind (AKA positioning) to win the war. Volvo = safety, BMW = Ultimate Driving Machine, Mercedes = prestige, Toyota = Reliability, Ford = ?, Chevy = ?. The Ries' clearly spell out an excellent reason as to why the U.S. automanufacturers are getting killed.
5. The book illustrates, as did the 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing, how companies dilute their brands through line extensions (I personally believe this due to my personal experience / buying patterns and observations of others.)
6.
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Format: Hardcover
I can't believe some of these other reviews. Some guy gave it 5 stars and admitted that he hadn't read it yet! I assume that isn't a plant, because it's too stupid to be a plant.
The book is good, thought-provoking, and has some real insights. HOWEVER, it is a little simplistic, and it's written for the brand manager of Coke. For those of us without 80+ years of brand history behind us yet, some of his advice isn't relevant. Also, some of his conclusions are just too simplistic: "Symbols are overrated and don't matter much anyway" (paraphrasing). Come on. You can't tell me the swoosh isn't a powerful asset, and the authors admit it, but they poo-poo the entire concept.
Section on naming is very insightful. And the hard advice on expansion is right on! Overall, good, and worth buying for any marketing person. But, this is definitely NOT the bible. Come on, people!
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Format: Paperback
I write reviews on Amazon rather avidly. When I started reading this particular book, I knew it would be a good number to review. So I started marking everything in the book that I disagreed with or that I felt was worth commenting on.
That the Ries duo relies on sweeping statements (e.g., "Quality of a product doesn't matter. It's all about brands.") hardly made my intentions any easier. Needless to say, my copy of 22 Immutable Laws of Branding is riddled with lots of ink and copious sidenotes. There is a lot I said "Really?" to while reading.
But maybe that's the thing I adore about Ries Inc. Their books are anything but boring manuals on a topical issue so relevant to almost anyone in business. I was "involved" with this book like I have seldom been with a work of non-fiction. I adored and went all retrospective with the "Law of the Name" and the "Law of Globalism". The writing is trippy, semi-provocative and hence absolutely delectable in a piece of work such as this!
Do I recommend it? Wholeheartedly. A wonderfully satisfying read. Just keep your discerning senses about you and think twice before wrapping your (brand management) career around all the advice this book proffers.
Noteworthy: The whole book is also available in a PDF version, if you are not particularly averse to on-screen reading.
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