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The 22 Immutable Laws of Branding: How to Build a Product or Service Into a World-Class Brand

3.86  ·  Rating details ·  3,481 ratings  ·  166 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
Hardcover, 182 pages
Published September 23rd 1998 by HarperBusiness (first published July 30th 1998)
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 ·  3,481 ratings  ·  166 reviews


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Loy Machedo
Mar 08, 2012 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
...more
Charlie Tembresa
Apr 02, 2009 rated it really liked it
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
David Boctor
Oct 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
C
Dec 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: marketers, entrepreneurs, business owners
Powerful branding advice. It's easy to see why this is a branding classic. It's more applicable to big (national or international) businesses than small ones. The examples are of Fortune 500 companies. But, most of the branding laws apply even to small businesses. Some of the laws overlap and repeat. I questioned some of the examples, because the authors seem to overemphasize the importance of branding in the success or failure of the companies, and they overlook the many other factors that cont ...more
Katie
Jul 09, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm guessing a summary of this book probably would've been sufficient. The second half is laughable, the first half was very helpful.

Biggest takeaways:
- Create a new category for your brand and promote the category. It's novelty that makes headlines, not quality. Being first in a category means you will likely be the "leader" of it, which makes customers think you are the expert (and therefore have the best quality).
- Stay laser-focused on a specific thing so that you can own a word in the mind
...more
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
Alejandro Sanoja
Sep 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is an excellent book for anyone that wants to learn about branding.

Quick and easy read, which makes it a must for any professionals working in any areas that are closely related to branding or marketing.

A great complement to the 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing.

Flow: 5/5, can be read in a few days.

Actionability: 4/5, not many step by step instructions but there is still a lot of actionable advice.

Mindset: 4/5, will change the way you think about branding.

Some Of My Highlights:

"Marketing is
...more
Nikola
Sep 14, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Like it! A good option is to learn some of the marketing fundamentals. That book is helpful for creative marketing experts thinking out of the box.
Puja
Oct 05, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
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
Alberto Lopez
Aug 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: my-favorites
Short and sweet! If you sell anything, you must read this book. Are you a brand manager of any sort? Then you must read this book. Are you a company's executive? You must read this book. And while you are at it, keep in mind that despite the fact that the references used by the authors are now dated, the power of its content is made even more evident thanks to the fact that the reader has the benefit of hindsight. ...more
Mark
Mar 08, 2009 rated it really liked it
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.
Vinoth Srinivasan
Do's and Don't of building a brand. Gives a fulfilled insights on Branding. ...more
Michelle Falk
Dec 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction
Changed everything. I learned so much from this. Lots of what is said, you will have heard before but it's very well laid out and explained here. ...more
Nicolas Marino
Oct 19, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is outstanding and mostly everything written stays 100% relevant. However, the internet half of it is in need of a very serious update. For example, It's very bizarre to be reading in 2019, about the huge success Yahoo! is as a company, just to name one incredibly outdated case. In addition, the internet and smartphones since the advent of the iPhone in 2007 have changed life so dramatically that this sole fact renders not a few of the statements in the internet part of the book either ...more
Ryan Musante
Jan 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
A lightning quick glimpse at some simple, and profound concepts in the world of Branding. The book is clear and concise throughout, and written in plain English.

The author presents a new concept per chapter, and provides tons of real-world examples of companies carrying out various branding plans. Although written in 1998, the ideas are timeless, and can still be seen at play in modern businesses. The author is astute in his analysis of the branding strategies that he touches upon, and extremel
...more
Echornova
Dec 07, 2020 rated it liked it
The book is divided into 2 parts: Branding and Internet Branding.

The 22 Laws related to branding are pretty informative. Now all of them might not hold in all the situations but they are good for a basic understanding.

I would rate 1/5 for the Internet branding part. They cite examples from the 2000s that are totally obsolete now. The predictions made in the book have been implemented far and beyond and in a much broader sense.
It's ironic how the book ends with the statement that times will ch
...more
Omar M. Khateeb
Dec 31, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: marketing, branding
Al Ries is the father of brand positioning, so when he and his daughter came out with this book I had to get. I

It builds on some of the foundation found in the immutable laws of marketing, but it adds a new dynamic with pictures and cases studies.

I have used this book (and the case studies) to deploy strategies and also educate clients about why we take certain routes for their marketing. One example is that the birth of a brand happens through publicity/PR, and the rise of it and protection of
...more
Tony
Aug 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good book, a bit old, it has some dated examples, but it's still good, very objective and to the point, I realize how many things influence a brands feel, being a designer of course I didn't like the part where it talks about logotypes being more effective if they are words and not images, it uses mobil as an example but being honest mobil is one of those logos that look really old but it's just there so you accept it, it's not because "it transcended the test of time". Still good book. Recomm ...more
Dani Ta
Mar 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I read an older version but the laws aren't old. We can still apply in current situations. The laws were explained carefully and thoughtfully with lots of practical examples from big brands. The book showed both the negative and positive sides of strategies of some popular brands. It was not very hard to understand and imagine what was happening in the past and led to the present.

A useful book for me and the others who would love to learn and get basic knowledge about building brands.
...more
Alan Wang
Jan 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
Useful read. Offers a nuanced perspective as opposed to generic information.

1. The Law of Expansion - the power of a brand is inversely proportional to its scope

2. The Law of Contraction - a brand becomes stronger when you narrow its focus. Limit line extensions

3. The Law of Publicity - the birth of a brand (startup phase) is achieved with publicity, NOT advertising

4. The Law of Advertising - once born, a brand needs advertising to stay healthy. Don't say you have a "better" product because cons
...more
Christian Jespersen
Jan 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
I listened to this book the day after I listenend to the 22 immutable laws of marketing for the second time. There are naturally a lot of overlapping between those those books. However, I do find the simplicity and the examples of the the books excellent. Together they are cementing are great understanding of marketing.

There are many take-aways from this book.
Duchess_Nimue
Jun 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
Quite similar to The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing: Violate Them at Your Own Risk. Most advices are repeated, but have different names. It's a quick and easy read. Those laws are good to keep in mind. ...more
The Incredible Hulk
May 16, 2021 rated it liked it
The first half of the book seemed pretty reasonable, the second half seemed like a load ay shite. In terms of internet branding, this book hasn’t aged well. Also the first 11 laws were basically the same two laws being repeated ad nauseam. Don’t expand your brand, contract it. Don’t choose a generic name. Etc. Etc.
Jeremiah Ross
Jul 01, 2017 rated it it was ok
they get a star for providing the corp vs consumer psychology of mega, super, and sub-brands; and a second for attempting to briefly discuss the historic pofitabilty of various strategies. The remainder of the book DID NOT AGE WELL
Mckinley
May 11, 2018 rated it it was ok
"Marketing is branding"; any proper noun is a brand
Shift from selling to buying, no sales people in grocery store for products.

Pre-internet. Bu authors are confident that branding will be the same, and impacted by their lases.
...more
Luca
Sep 16, 2018 rated it liked it
It gives you a new perspective in to how to run a succesfull brand. Personally think some of the chapters say practically the same than others, but I guess that helps not to forget the great but simple rules about branding.
Christina Chapman
Aug 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Excellent insight into building a brand and maintaining strength in business. Short, quick read full of valuable information with a number of pertinent examples of successes and failures from various industries.
Franco
May 09, 2021 rated it really liked it
The first part of the book presents very interesting ideas about branding, but the second one, needs an update. It presents informations completely out of date nowadays. A good reading despite of that.
Zachariah
Sep 15, 2021 rated it liked it
Outdated but still some great foundations that will always be true of marketing. Disagree with some of the things discussed in the books especially 'Laws' that are said to be a direct result of a said businesses failure. Not always the case, the truth always lies somewhere in the middle. ...more
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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 Universit
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