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The 22 Immutable Laws of Branding

3.9  ·  Rating Details ·  1,500 Ratings  ·  90 Reviews
The only way to stand out in today's -- and tomorrow's -- cluttered marketplace is to build your product or service into a brand. Think Nike, Starbuck's, Xerox, and Kleenex, and you're thinking brands in the biggest and most lucrative sense. In The 22 Immutable Laws of Branding, marketing guru Al Ries, together with Laura Ries, has put together the authoritative work on br ...more
Kindle Edition, 272 pages
Published (first published July 30th 1998)
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I'd already read a lot of what was in this book from some of the other marketing books I've read recently. But if you're looking for a book to give you the basics, this would be a good book. The version I read included "The 11 Immutable Laws of Internet Branding" - I learned more there, although some of it is outdated. That's to be expected, given how quickly the Internet changes. Good book overall, though - lots of examples, easy to read, etc.
Mar 08, 2009 Mark rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As we are starting a new business I found this book to be very valuable to insure we defined our new company in the marketplace.
Charlie Tembresa
Aug 04, 2009 Charlie Tembresa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
Truth to tell, there isn’t really 22 laws but just 2 laws. The first law is to maintain uniqueness, remain focus with your message by being consistent, and don’t muddle your message by trying to become “everything” to everyone. The second law is that a 100% domination of the market is impossible because not everybody has the same need and thus wouldn’t equally appeal to your brand message and purchase your product. If you get 50% + 1 market share, be happy and move on and create another brand. T ...more
Jan 23, 2010 Ebony rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I was surprisingly interested in this little book. I read a dated version, but the principles of focusing on a singular idea when branding seemed so simple even though no one really followed it. The American impulse is to expand but the authors recommend a separate brand over expanding into uncharted territory. here are the gems:
own a word
be specific with that word choice
a brand is most golden when it's the first to do something
logos are best designed horizontally
competition (choice) increases d
Cristián Morales Marroquín
Branding part is timeless, it gives sound advice that seems applicable 12 years after written.

Regarding the Internet branding part, the authors not only do an analysis, but also try to do some projections about how the internet will behave in "the future". Trying to predict how something as dynamic as the internet will behave is just too bold, didnt enjoy this part too much. Felt pretty stale.
Nov 28, 2010 Manda rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
"The 22 Immutable Laws of Branding" was primarily written by Laura Ries - Al Ries was a co-author on the book. I rank this book a solid 3-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.

I liked "The 22 Immutable Laws of Branding" for the following reasons:

It flat out states the importance of marketing & branding, which is importan
Mar 31, 2011 Chris rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Marketing and advertising majors, Marketing exes, Entrepreneurs
If you ever wanted to know the rules that will help keep your company and product afloat then this is the book to read. The author, Al Ries, has written these laws for anyone in business, from entrepreneur to corporate exes, to follow and learn from.

The nice thing about the format of this book is that he gives nice examples of companies that have followed this law and companies that have not, and what those consequences are for each. If you ever wanted to know which is the best method for getti
Stephen Cheng
It's fun reading in the sense that People magazine can be fun reading. If you're wondering how companies view their brands, it gives a good overview in an easily digestible style. Some of the conclusions can range from eye-rolling to simply laugh-out-loud in the sense that if all you have is a branding hammer, then everything looks like a branding nail. Similarly, some of the predictions in here were proven to be totally off, but that's the nature of predictions in general. I guess it'd be more ...more
Mar 11, 2011 Amanda rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The laws are the same, but examples need to be refreshed. Many of the examples are repetitive, which makes distinguishing the laws somewhat challenging--distinct examples should be used for each law. And many of the examples are dated. The second half--The 22 Immutable Laws of Internet Branding--seem even more dated than the first half, perhaps because everything moves so fast with ecommerce. Additionally, the Internet laws are less punchy than the first half. The original 22 laws are each neatl ...more
Claire Ragin
I am very skeptical about calling these concepts "laws" rather than "ideas that are important to consider but are far from immutable". For instance, saying that Bud Light is not a brand, and that it weakens the Bud brand...without looking at the potential loss of market share if they didn't have a dog in a competitive new race. They would probably say that Apple's iPod and iTunes were bad ideas. They don't seem to consider aspects of business *other* than branding. And the internet section is so ...more
Rick Austin
Fascinating read about branding. Great real world examples and laws that are not necessarily obvious. Not sure you could call all of these laws immutable.

Wish there was an update since some of the internet examples are suspect - re: Yahoo being the number 1 search engine. Would love to know if they still hold to the Law of Divergence now that the Blackberry and iPhone have been so successful.
Loy Machedo
Mar 08, 2012 Loy Machedo rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I remember reading The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing as a young man. And boy! was in absolute awe, aplomb and amazement for these two writers!
Their wisdom, their wit and their wonderful research was something I never ever forgot.
It was a book worthy of my respect for a life time to come.

Fast forward to the here and now.....

I spot this book at a leading book store.
I grab the book.
After all those childhood memories, I am prepared to devour this book as I know it will bless my soul that yearns for
Jan 16, 2014 Puja rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was introduced to this invaluable and concise book by Bill Anderson, professor at my alma mater (Emerson College, Boston), as a requisite for the Brand Management course I took. Long after I graduated, I found myself coming back to these pages to remind myself of the simple but effective laws prescribed in the book. I'm no longer working in marketing and business development, and the book is sitting in some cupboard, untouched for a long time. But I believe that understanding branding is impor ...more
Jan 11, 2014 Mars rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
One of the worst branding/designs books I've read in a while. Repetitive to the point of being condescending, listing the same 5 brands and same 1 thesis statement (spoiler: keep your brand focused. That's it). I found myself disagreeing with a lot of their opinions and "proof" (implying causation with correlation), my favorite of which was their over-confident prediction that Amazon would tank if it proceeded to branch out from selling only books. Hello! Also not their fault, but terribly out o ...more
David Boctor
Oct 20, 2014 David Boctor rated it it was amazing
11 chapters of genius followed by 11 chapters of not genius

the first part of the book gives great insight into human psychology. if you're launching a new product or struggling with growth it's worth a read.
The following 11 chapters, however, reveal that the authors are not prescient. in my opinion, the authors fail to recognize the inevitable consequence of their prescribed strategy. namely, the inevitable fatigue that will occur from an excessive choice of brands. years have passed this book
Jan 11, 2015 JP rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, business
This is an excellent introduction to branding, why it's important, and how to do it right. What I found most helpful was their emphasis on not complicating or diluting a brand; with new product extensions or as an umbrella for multiple lines and business units. The book is organized in quick chapters, each highlighting one law. Each chapter is also prefaced with a solid example. I read the 1998 version, and found their points even more credible based on the longevity of the brand cases they cite ...more
Nikki Chee
Jan 28, 2015 Nikki Chee rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Fernando Torre
I wouldn't call the laws immutable, since I can think of many exceptions. However, this does not take value away from the advice given. Branding is a different and useful way of looking at marketing by limiting and narrowing your focus in order to make it easier for customers to associate your brand with a concept or product.
Kushmakar Sharma
If you have read "22 Immutable laws of marketing", this book has little to offer. Quite a few pages are dedicated to the point that "line extensions never work". Many laws towards the middle of the book, though differently worded, seemed to point towards this fact alone. The author seems to be belaboring the point in order to fill pages or meet the count of 22.
Chad Holman
Having limited experience with marketing and branding concepts myself, this book provided a good overview of a few, but overall was very repetitive on line extension. In addition, many of the examples for marketing successes and failures have more to do with capitalizing on disruptive technologies then the branding strategy in my opinion. I found myself in disbelief for a good portion of the book, and almost gave it up a couple times.
Keith Blakemore-Noble
Massively disappointing.

Many of the examples of successful brands are no longer with us.
Many of the predictions of what will succeed or fail have turned out wrong.
Many of the examples to illustrate laws are contradictory.

For example, in one law we are told company ABCD failed because it did X, and in the next law we are given the story of company EFG who succeeded because it did that self same X!

A deeply flawed book with little to recommend it, I feel.
Vinoth Srinivasan
Do's and Don't of building a brand. Gives a fulfilled insights on Branding.
Tiago Soares
This book was written many years ago but it got it right. You will read it today and still find all the info valuable.

Like in many other fields, this book probably will never get old because it contains all the fundamentals for this area. And that's it1! That's all you need to know on a fundamental level.
Usually , we are always looking for the fast way to get X and Z. We want to skip the hard work and ignore what seems so 'logic' and does not reveal nothing special. We always believe there must
Mar 17, 2016 Viraj rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: self-help

Worth reading and taking notes. Best if one writes a one sentence summary of the contents next to the chapter name for future reference. I did not since i listened to it
Some good points i remember:
1. Focus on one word others should remember for you
2. Stay in the same business area
3. Expansion should be global instead of product expansion domestically
4. Once established, dont change the brand
5. If new / niche market, then advertise the market instead of the brand
6. Prefer letting the bra
Peggy Nehmen
Mar 27, 2016 Peggy Nehmen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biz-books
Copyright was 1998 — a lot has changed in 18 years! Chapter 21, “The Law of Morality — No brand will live forever. Euthanasia is often the best solution." Ha ha ha, "Yet the Nursing Home for Drying Brands does a booming business with millions in advertising and promotional dollars being spent to keep terminally ill brands on life-support systems."

I forced myself to finish this book. So much was outdated. But, brands are still "a singular idea or concept that you own inside the mind of the prosp
Christian Nelson
Apr 15, 2016 Christian Nelson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The concepts ring true and the advice is proven, but good heck, update your references. You can't keep saying things like "the Net", and claiming that AOL and Yahoo! are industry leaders... That hasn't been true for years. I realize I am late to the party in reading this now, but the concepts are so relevant, that it really needs an update to get with the times.
Harmony T.
Quite outdated to be helpful for modern brands. Many of the brands discussed as dying are still around today. Some good information is included in this book but overall I don't feel this was helpful for small businesses- the book is entirely written in regards to multinational corporations with multiple brand umbrellas.
Gerhard Peters
I found this book good but it is a bit outdated. It was written in 2002 and some of the companies profiled have vanished or are not in the top position anymore. Google is not mentioned in the book, which makes sense because Google really only took of from 2002 to 2004. Although I gained excellent insight for brand building from the book I disagree with some aspects. The authors state that internet search engines will decline in importance. They believe that people will have a natural tendency to ...more
Adam Wiggins
Oct 01, 2016 Adam Wiggins rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: business
Short and readable manifesto on branding.

Examples of great brands, according to the author: Coca-Cola, Kleenex, Jell-O, Band-Aid, Rollerblade, Rolex, Lexus, BMW, FedEx, Kodak, Nintendo, Tide, Heinz, Visa, Goodyear, Zippo.

Some qualities of such brands:

- Has a simple, memorable proper name versus a longer and more descriptive generic name (good: "Tide" bad: "Protor & Gamble Home Laundry Detergent"; good: "Microsoft" bad: "International Business Machines")
- Describes what's in the box ("I'll ha
Kaloyan Roussev
Oct 07, 2016 Kaloyan Roussev rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: business
The best branding (business strategy and management) book in the world by the best author on the topic in the world. Counterintuitive, misunderstood and misinterpreted, anyone who breaks these laws, pays.
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Al Ries is a marketing professional and author. He is also the co-founder and chairman of the Atlanta-based consulting firm Ries & Ries with his partner and daughter, Laura Ries. Along with Jack Trout, Ries coined the term "positioning", as related to the field of marketing, and authored Positioning: The Battle For Your Mind, an industry standard on the subject.
Ries graduated from DePauw Unive
More about Al Ries...

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“Futurist Faith Popcorn goes even further. By the year 2010, she predicts, 90 percent of all consumer products will be home-delivered. “They’ll put a refrigerator in your garage and bar code your kitchen. Every week they’ll restock your favorites, without your ever having to reorder. They’ll even pick up your dry cleaning, return your videotapes, whatever you need.” 1 likes
“What should a brand leader advertise? Brand leadership, of course. Leadership is the single most important motivating factor in consumer behavior.” 1 likes
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