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The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing: Violate Them at Your Own Risk
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The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing: Violate Them at Your Own Risk

4.05  ·  Rating details ·  18,032 ratings  ·  733 reviews
There are laws of nature, so why shouldn't there be laws of marketing?

As Al Ries and Jack Trout—the world-renowned marketing consultants and bestselling authors of Positioning—note, you can build an impressive airplane, but it will never leave the ground if you ignore the laws of physics, especially gravity. Why then, they ask, shouldn't there also be laws of marketing tha
Paperback, 143 pages
Published April 27th 1994 by Harper Business (first published 1993)
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Nov 17, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Viraj by: Joseph Laia, Miasole
Shelves: management
For the summary, please email / PM me.

1: The Law of Leadership: It’s better to be first than it is to be better.
2: The law of category: If you can’t be first in a category, setup a new category you can be first in.
3: The law of the mind: It’s better to be first in the mind than to be first in the market place
4: The law of perception: Marketing is not a battle of products; it’s a battle of perceptions.
5: The law of focus: The most powerful concept in marketing is owning a word in the prospect’s
Yevgeniy Brikman
Oct 18, 2016 rated it liked it
This book is a good overview of basic marketing principles, but the so-called "immutable laws" are neither laws nor immutable. They are, at best, rules of thumb that often change and contradict each other. The book itself contains plenty of examples of this! For example, they talk at length about the "Law of Extension", and how successful brands should never extend their product line to new products/markets, but in later chapters, you see a few successful examples of companies doing exactly that ...more
Amir Tesla
Nov 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: entrepreneurship
It’s an illusion. There is no objective reality. There are no facts. There are no best products. All that exists in the world of marketing are perceptions in the minds of the customer or prospect. The perception is the reality. Everything else is an illusion. Marketing is a manipulation of those perceptions.

Reading some books is like learning a new language, you understand things you didn't before and you see things, you didn't see before "the 22 immutable laws of marketing" is definitely one of
Dec 11, 2009 rated it really liked it
Tim Ferriss listed this in his top 5 favorite books, so I picked it up. The core of the 22 laws is Identity.

The authors argue that too many businesses believe they will win simply by having the best product, which isn't true. The winner is the product that captures the mind of its target customers.

When a product is first to market, the first of its category, it usually establishes a foothold that no other company can wrest away. So create your own category, and be first there. Win the minds of t
Apr 05, 2009 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2009
The usual business book....They violated their title in the first chapter...
Joseph McBee
Sep 01, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I read this book because another business author I like recommended it and because I am currently writing a class on marketing and wanted to use it for research.

I hated it.

I want to be careful here. When writing a review for a book I don't like I want to keep in mind that I am talking about something that people created. I do NOT want to write anything that I would not say to the authors' faces if they were standing right in front of me. This is difficult in a way because I really, REALLY didn't
Umar Ghumman
May 19, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I love this book. The laws are still applicable and will be applicable 25 years from now.
Mar 14, 2016 rated it did not like it
Received this 23-year-old book for my 23rd birthday and wanted to like it but it was so frustrating.

"There are laws of nature (physics), so why shouldn't there be laws of marketing?"

??? Here are just a couple reasons:
1) Dealing with absolutes sets an author up to look foolish when most of his examples don't come true... e.g. "There are ominous signs of softness in Microsoft's strategy... i.e. expanding into spreadsheets (Lotus is the leader), word processing (WordPerfect is the leader), and busi
Kirtida Gautam
Dec 19, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: chakra-3
The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing is a great book. It's very small and easy to read. The chapters start with words of wisdom. Some of them are counter intuitive and makes complete sense.

Few Quotes that I liked.
Hype is hype. Real revolutions don’t arrive at high noon with marching bands and coverage on the 6 p.m. news. Real revolutions arrive unannounced in the middle of the night and kind of speak up on you.

Capturing the imagination of the public is not the same as revolutionizing a market.
Ananya Ghosh
Jun 14, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: business, 2021
The author writes in a lot of absolutes. Marketing being such a creative field, can it really be held within "immutable laws"? Nevertheless, the book has some interesting principles. Once you have read it, it's difficult to not look at businesses through those perspectives. ...more
Ahmad Abugosh
Jul 16, 2015 rated it it was ok
So many people recommend that I read this book, so I finally gave it a shot.

At first I thought it was amazing and lived up to the hype, law of leadership, cool, law of perception, even better! I loved how he got psychological about it and talks about how people perceive brands.

Where he began to lose me however, was everything that had to do with anything that happened in the last 20 years. I realize this book was written in the early 90's but some of the things he mentioned have been proved wr
Jan 25, 2015 rated it it was ok
This book is a great illustration of what can go wrong with business wiriting. The 22 Laws themselves are actually great. I can see the value in the insights shared by the authors. The problem with the book is the timeliness of the examples. I laughed out loud several times because the supporting references they used were either incrediblly dated or just completly wrrong.

Don't get me wrong. I am not bashing the authors becuase they are not omniscient. Exactly the opposite. The point is that thi
Dũng Nguyễn
Feb 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I found this book practical and interesting, except for the last law where authors stressed the importance of money in Marketing, I mean, what happened with new wave of startups recently proved that money doesn't matter that much in marketing.

However, I again believe that this is a MUST-READ book for those who want to step in the market, either they use these rules or not
Michael Gerasimenko
Dec 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Easy to understand, clearly written, high content, a variety of examples. The book leaves you wondering how can it be that most companies completely ignore them. 22 immutable laws of marketing also includes the answer: Ego, inner dynamics, hierarchical structures,... the classic capital errors nowadays, not only in the marketing realm. A must read for everybody interested in understanding more about marketing. The book provides you with a proper fundament for every marketing consideration. Viola ...more
Manoj Kakran
Jan 22, 2021 rated it really liked it
Ground searching and a valuable book. Not updated according to recent times.
Dexter Zhuang
Sep 18, 2013 rated it liked it
I'm not sure how immutable these laws really are, but many of them are pretty interesting to read. I think the biggest takeaways for me from Al Ries and Jack Trout are that 1) you should always strive to be #1 in your category in peoples' minds 2) if you're not #1, differentiate yourself completely from the #1 and occupy your niche 3) be cautious about moving into other categories of mindshare at the risk of losing hold of your currently dominated category.

The key assumption I think made in this
Jul 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: business
A very short book on marketing principles with a few examples.
The authors need to consult their thesaurus, their laws presented are not laws nor are they immutable. This book could push to 5 stars if they put more data behind their claims.
Here are my favorite principles presented:

Leadership: Be first, not better
Category: Make a new category if you do not fit in existing categories.
Perception: Marketing is a battle of perceptions, not products.
Duality: Every market is a two-horse race.
Josh Steimle
Nov 01, 2011 rated it liked it
Pros: Good, solid advice on marketing.

Cons: While the principles will hold true forever, the book is about 20 years old and so the examples are quite outdated, although entertainingly and educationally so. The book is also quite short. I would love to read an updated version of the book with modern-day examples and about 5 times the content.
Nov 05, 2015 rated it liked it
Some really good points made, but packed full with hindsight biases.
Ahmad El shazly
Aug 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
For a beginner in the marketing field, I feel so lucky to start with this book.
Tonya Burrows
Sep 15, 2019 rated it it was ok
Jan 25, 2020 rated it it was ok
This book has not held up well, and isn't nearly as good as the author's book on brand positioning.

Here are the 22 laws, in my own words, with their examples:

1. *Be first in category in the customer's mind.* E.g., Kleenex, Nintendo, Heinz, Xerox. The examples given are so old that they now undermine the "law." E.g., "USA Today will never succeed." "Playboy leads Penthouse."

2. *If you can't be first in a category, set up your own category.* E.g., Amelia Earhart was the first *female* pilot to
Chad Warner
Some good marketing lessons here, though I wouldn't call them "immutable" or "laws." I laughed at some of the predictions because the opposite has occurred. It's more applicable to big (national or international) businesses than small ones. For example, The Law Of Duality: In the long run, every market becomes a two-horse race. This isn't relevant to small or medium businesses, or even to many large businesses. But, most of the principles can apply even to small businesses.

The authors say the ba
Jan 04, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Law 22 (it takes money to do marketing) seems obsolete or overridden by Law 17 (things are unpredictable). In the age of the Internet, we have free social media tools, and they have proven powerful.

Don’t let the late 80s/early 90s brand references bother you. The point the authors are trying to make with those stories still hold true.
Rohit Srivastava
Jun 11, 2021 rated it really liked it
The only bad thing about this book is that its very old. The examples are so outdated that it's ridiculous. This books was written before Internet was anywhere in the scene!
It still captures the elements of successful marketing strategies even today! I would recommend this as your second or later book on marketing.
Jan 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobooked
Pretty good, it was a fast listen. Prioritized is because Tim Ferriss pumped it way back.

A lot of the examples were dated but that was actually kind of nice because, especially in the case of "line extension", you could actually add to their examples which only compounded the the point/law.
Feb 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
Some of the stories are outdated as this was originally published in the 90's, but the "Laws" seem to hold true for almost all segments. There are a few statements that fall apart in rare cases such as with SaaS co's but for everyone else, this is pure GOLD. If you're in biz, read this book immediately. ...more
Marvin Musfiq
Oct 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
One of the best marketing book I've ever read. A must read ...more
Siddharth Singh
Jan 29, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's 22 steps of mind bending. The instances of real case scenarios is very well explained and would surprise the general perception of the reader. ...more
Sairam Krishnan
May 05, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really should have got to this sooner, but I'm glad that I now have. Recommended reading for any marketer. ...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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“Marketing is a battle of perceptions, not products.” 21 likes
“The only reality you can be sure about is in your own perceptions. If the universe exists, it exists inside your own mind and the minds of others.” 14 likes
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