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The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing: Violate Them at Your Own Risk! Paperback – April 27, 1994
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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.
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1. It was writing about 25 yrs ago, pre-Internet. They products are both sold and marketed has changed, so you'll have to first understand his book within the written time period. Next you can then try to understand the laws as they would be applied today.
Example: Law of Line Extension says that you shouldn't use same brand name as you extend product line. However, Apple is a counter example. Then again Costco has a sub-brand 'Kirkland' that is very successful. I'm not doubting the rule but it seems it may be conditional.
2. The authors give examples and predictions that, with the view we have now in the future, don't play out how they expected. I think they predicted MCI to overtake AT&T as the top long distance phone company.
So, just rely on your judgement as you read through the laws and really try to test (evaluate) them in the current environment.
This book was recommended by many authors and podcasts I follow so that's what brought me to it. However, I now think there may have been a generation positively influenced by it 20 years ago that have since passed it down to the next generation of marketers/entrepreneurs.
Nota bad book though. Read it.
The re-read made me feel like a business strategy time traveler.
This 13-some-year-old book for “Marketing” was written when the Sales, Marketing and Biz Strategy organization was silo'd. The ‘22 Immutable Laws of Marketing’ is once again making its way through academics and biz leaders as common wisdom for the whole modern enterprise. It's a guide book that should be titled "Never Do This!" while hinting at the remarkable strategies that bring us today's top brands.
‘The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing’ is a quick read. The management and strategy job has evolved in interesting ways from this books timeframe. The day of the “Ad Man” fronting your enterprise’s value proposition to customers is over. The “Sale!” is made after a carefully engineered organizational effort. Marketing strategy is a discipline to be trained among everyone that answers an outside phone. Everyone now has a marketing role and here is not a bad place to start spreading the news.
A hugely entertaining element is simply that the reader has been fast forwarded through corporate strategies tried, failed and successful. Lotus 1-2-3, VisiCalc, Amiga, Emery Air vs FedEx, Tandem, Wang ... all without smart phones or vast system networks ... strategy winners and losers make for a forensic business case ... if you've been around awhile, you won't believe the book was written just 15 years ago.
Since I am not a marketing professional, I found some of the content valuable. Especially the ideas that you need to own a single-word concept (not your brand name) in the consumer's mind, that you can't really change perceptions once formed, and that you need to define a category you are first in if the broad category is ruled by someone else.
The book is pre-Internet and somewhat dated as others noticed too. This applies mostly to the corporations and products used as examples. The rules of thumb IMO remain viable. The main reason I did not give more stars is that much of the content is self evident, e.g. law of hype (hype is bad), law of resources (you need money to develop and market), etc.
Just today I read an article in WSJ that said Chevrolet truck sales are down, and they are taking shots at the leader, Ford's F-150. They used a "nifty" ad that shows concrete being dumped in each trucks bed. Silverado had barely scratched paint and a few dents, but 150 had holes punched through the floor. Conventional marketing. Completely useless!
You can't change peoples minds... just about every dude I know ( and me) considers F-150 the best. It's the perception that counts. It wouldn't matter if the Silverado was better. Ford scoffed at the marketing "stunt" as well they should. 150 will stay the leader indefinitely. Why didn't Chevrolet's marketing people read this book? They could have saved a whole bunch of money by not doing this campaign.
Parts of this book are so brilliant, and dense, that I found myself reading certain paragraphs several times to really grasp the concepts. I have several of the author's books, they are all excellent. The only flaw is that this book is 30 years old, so some predictions of certain businesses' prospects didn't come true. Did you ever try to change a woman's mind? Right. That's the rub. Once people think of a product or service as best, it is very difficult to change their minds down the road.