22 Immutable Laws of Marketing, The

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Two world-renowned marketing consultants and bestselling authors present the definitive rules of marketing.

Customer Reviews:

  • Hi Dr. Camey!!
    A. The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing by Al Ries and Jack Trout is a must read for any marketer or someone who is interested in marketing. While most marketing executives can come up with some great ideas from time to time, there always seems to be some sort of catch to them or they wind up doing something to hurt that brilliant idea without even knowing it. Ries and Trout have come up with what is known as The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing. The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing are designed to help marketers keep from making those fatal mistakes that turn great ideas into marketing disasters.
    The format of The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing is laid out in such a manner that each chapter covers one of the 22 immutable laws of marketing. The laws range in subject matter from the introduction of new products, how to maintain market position, how to gain market position, how to combat marketing strategies of your competition, to how to stay at the top once you reach your maximum marketing potential for your company. The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing has successfully accomplished to present one big general idea in twenty two different ways thus making the book very informative and useful to any marketer at any level in any company.

    B. Aside from the overall great information and insight provided by the book, there were many great points and ideas that were referred to that I found to be particularly interesting. One such idea was the seventh immutable law of marketing entitled "The Law of the Ladder". "The Law of the Ladder" suggests that in every market there is a number one, number two, number three, and so on companies in the market. These number one, two, and three companies are referred to as "rungs" on the ladder. The law of the Ladder suggests that the best way to market your company if you are currently occupying the second rung on the ladder is to admit your position of being number two and use that to your advantage rather than trying to chase after the company currently occupying the top rung. This law is risky because it requires you to completely expose your company and admit your weakness to the company currently ahead of you on "the ladder". This law works because it relates your company to the number one company in the field by admitting that your company is not number one, but second to the top company in the industry.
    The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing makes for good reading because it is not only informative with the material addressed, but Ries and Trout have written the book in such a manner that even the most novice of marketers can relate to. Ries and Trout have also done a good job of making the book easy to relate to by lots of referrals to examples of large, well-known corporations that are still in business today. This book was also written in such a manner that you can pick it up for five minutes and read a little at a time and everything still makes sense.

    C. The only weaknesses of the book that I personally can think of would be that the examples used seemed to focus on three main industries. Those industries are beer or alcoholic beverages, car manufacturing, and computer technology. It would have been nice to occasionally hear about some other industries other than these three.

    D. As a fellow marketer I would definitely recommend you take the time to read this book. It isn't very long in length and is fairly easy to read yet very informative to the seasoned marketing executive or the college undergraduate with an interest in marketing. The value of the content contained in the book far outweighs the small sacrifice of time it takes to read.
    ...more info
  • Branding=marketing
    This book is a page turner. It's like the DaVinci Code of marketing books. (Except it doesn't take place in France.)

    It's a quick read. And it hammers home the same basic message about branding. Because Ries uses dozens of real-world examples to prove his point, it's a joy to read.

    I haven't read a lot of marketing books. So I'm not an expert. But after reading this book, I feel like I know the basic truth about branding and can apply it to any situation.

    I highly recommend this book. ...more info
  • This book is so simplistic it's insulting to the reader
    In The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing, Al Ries and Jack Trout attempt to provide the reader with a set of rules that should always produce the expected result in marketing. The authors ask, rhetorically, why highly paid marketers violate these rules and state that "billions of dollars have been wasted on marketing programs that couldn't possibly work, no matter how clever or brilliant." The implication is that this would not happen if these marketers would simply read this book. Unfortunately a number of the "laws" presented are simplistic, overstated, redundant and, in some cases, contradictory.

    The laws start out rather simply: Law 1 "It's better to be first than it is to be better." This one makes sense, yet it is not that groundbreaking. Obviously, being first to market is important, but the authors imply that if you are not first to market you should not get into the market at all.

    Law 2 "If you can't be first in a category, set up a new category." Saying it differently, "If you can not be first to market, try a slightly different market." This is still, in effect, being first to market. This seems to be an example of the first law, all it is really saying is that it is important to be first to market.

    The first major contradiction comes in Law 7 "The Law of the Ladder" which has to do with how you operate depending on which position in your market you occupy. How can the authors offer a strategy to being in the second position in a market if Law 1 states that you never want to be in any position other than the first? Moving on to Law 9 "The Law of the Opposite: If you're shooting for second place, your strategy is determined by the leader." This law violates the first law, and also seems obvious. When entering a market with a clear leader why would any marketer ignore what that company has done to become the leader? Also in this law the authors state that "you should leverage the leader's strength into a weakness," yet they do not explain how one would do this.

    Law 12, "The Law of Line Extension," dictates that extending a brand past what is currently successful is foolish and will fail. The authors state that this is one of the most violated laws, and they illustrate this with an interesting example. The authors take aim at a software company which - in 1993 when the book was written-was just developing. The authors fault the company for trying to acquire assets and software companies to try to compete against already entrenched software giants like Lotus, WordPerfect, and SPC Software. They continue to detail how this company is setting itself up for failure by continuing to push for market leadership in all manner of software applications even though they do not currently lead in any. The name of the company which the authors state "has ominous signs of softness in their strategy" is Microsoft. Microsoft is the current leader in all markets the authors discuss.

    While there is some good information offered by Ries and Trout, none of it is all that impressive or insightful. There are a number of contradictions in the laws themselves which seem to make the laws more like easily bendable rules than anything concrete. The suggestions offered are often so vague that it seems like the authors are simply saying "just market better," which is rarely helpful. The examples used are repetitive and often lead to predictions that must embarrass the authors now. The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing does not offer a vastly different perspective on marketing from what most would consider common sense, and the examples fail to be useful.
    ...more info
  • Working Knowledge of Marketing
    It is important to know that the knowledge from a person who is actually working in the industry. Otherwise you would not be sure if the information actually work for you or not. This author is a real thing and so is his knowledge. I recommend that you read other books that is written by real working author like Gerrilla PR....more info
    The basic principles in this book may or may not be valid. It's hard to tell, because most of the examples given are no longer valid. So much time is spent on IBM and computers in general, and we all know how much has changed in those areas in the last 8 years. The authors couldn't predict how things would go. They grossly underestimated the popularity of the PC and gave virtually no credit to Microsoft as a company that would be viable in the future. They touted Lotus 1-2-3 and were skeptical that "office suites" would ever catch on. (Microsoft Office, anyone?). I think the book is interesting from a historical perspective, but would be dangerous to apply to business today....more info
  • Great Information, dated examples
    The book is well written and easy to read. It is short and to the point. The concepts are well developed and easy to understand.

    The biggest drawback is the examples are now of course out of date. At the time of the writing, Acura was ahead of Lexus. We all know how that played out. In the personal computer line, Dell was not on the radar screen - now it owns the market. And The Donald was an example of marketing gone bad - extending the name to too many products. But things have certainly changed - at least for the present for him.

    If you don't let all the dated examples get in your way of understanding the concepts, then there is some great information. It is not a how to book. It simply states 22 laws of marketing that should be understood and applied to your marketing efforts.

    If you are interested in your business succeeding, reading this book would be a wise investment. It is getting much more difficult to gain a place in the consumer's mind. Learn from the book, not by making mistakes in your own business....more info
  • Short and sweet
    This is a great marketing primer. As someone who teaches professionals how to find clients, I prefer this book over the groundbreaking Positioning and Marketing Warfare (both great books).-- Henry DeVries, New Client Marketing Institute...more info
  • The 22 Immutable Laws of Markeying
    This book is horrrible. It is at least 20 years out of date. There are glaring errors in data and assumptions. I found my self on several occasions being embarrassed for the two fine authors who have written many good books. This is not one of them, don't waste your money....more info
  • Whats golden often seems too simple at first
    I have had this book for years and often pull it out and leaf through it before writing an ad or thinking through a marketing idea. The book is so good I gave it to a friend who didn't know how to get a handle on marketing his new idea. Now, I want another copy and am buying a replacement today. Sure glad it is still in print.

    Some readers want a laid out formula, (duh, step one, step two...) which is okay for the un-creative. I prefer Ries and Trout`s approach which invites readers to think in a curious and interesting, but oh so elegantly simple, manner. Thanks Ries and Trout....more info

  • Once great, now dated and deficient
    Like Marketing, times and preferences change. Very little of this book addresses the fast paced changes that have occured.
    This book is the equivalent to an ancient text from which you can pull some lasting principles but for modern marketing in action you would need to look elsewhere....more info
  • Not a good book.
    The writing in my opinion was poor. Way too much subject matter left out in book....more info
  • Has Your Marketing Plan Failed?
    If your marketing plan has failed, then the chances are that you have not adhered to several of the 22 laws which are described in the clear and concise wording on 132 pages in this book. Each law or chapter is usually about five pages long, which requires only a short attention span to read it quickly. I do not recommend reading the book in one evening but to read a chapter and then reflect how these laws effect your company or products.

    I will only list those laws that I found most important for me:

    Law 3.) The Law of the Mind - It is better to be first in the mind than to be first in the marketplace. Examples of this are the personal computer market with MITS Alistair 800 being the first in the marketplace; Apple was the second in the marketplace but first in the mind of the people. The same example is shown with different companies such as Remington Rand and IBM.

    Law 4.) The Law of Perception - Marketing is not a battle of products, it's a battle of perceptions. You can have a much better product than your competitor but perception wins out most of the time over product. A great example of this is the battle of the imported japanese car market of Honda, Toyota and Nissan as well as the soft drink war between Coca-Cola and Pepsi.

    Law 12.) The Law of Line Extension - There is an irresistable pressure to extend the equity of the brand. One of the best chapters of this book explains how a winning product is turned into a loser by creating a spin-off version of the original product. Marketing managers continue to make this fatal mistake today of taking a successful brank like Coke, then creating Cherry Coke, Coke Classic, Caffine Free Coke etc., Engaging in line extension dilutes the original successful brand and the new version will never recoup the market share lost by the leading product. In the end there is an overall market share drop for the entire brand. Other examples of this is IBM's flirtation with the personal computer market, which was already dominated by the Apples, Commodores and Ataris.

    The book is very condensed and I am sure a lot of the business scenarios depicted are more complex than they appear. Yes the book is rather old but a lot of these theories still have held true through the internet boom and bust cycle experienced over the last several years.

    All people in the field of marketing should have these laws chiseled into their crainium somewhere....more info

  • Illogical, Simplistic and Impractical Advice
    This collection of anecdotes and contradictory "laws" is probably the worst marketing book I have ever read. The only so-called law that Ries and Trout have provided ample evidence to support is the "law of hype," which says that the more a product is hyped the more likely it is to be a dud. The 17 executives in the front of the book who were somehow cajoled into hyping it certainly supports the theory. The only way they could honestly say this was the "best marketing book" they ever read was if it was the ONLY marketing book they ever read....more info
  • The best book on Marketing ever published!
    This is a great book. Al Ries and Jack Trout have done it again. These are the laws of Marketing - Immutable laws to say the least. I really enjoyed reading this, and highlighting the most important parts that I could use or gain something from. I would like to introduce you to 4 laws that were described, that I found quite interesting.

    The Law of Mind (Law 3)"Thousands of would-be entrepreneurs are tripped up every year by this law. Someone has an idea or concept he or she will revolutionize an industry, as well it may. The problem is getting the idea or concept into a prospects mind.".

    The Law of Perception (Law 4)"The perception is the reality. Everything else is an illusion. Marketing is a Manipulation of these perceptions. Marketing is a battle of perceptions, not products."

    The Law of Perspective (Law 11)"Many companies find they need a quartely dose of couponing to keep sales on an even keel. Any sort of couponing, discounts, or sales tends to educate consumers to buy only when they can get a discount.

    The Law of Acceleration (Law 21)"Successful programs are not built on fads, they're built on trends. But the best, most profitable thing to ride in marketing is a long-term trend. This is a law I will always try to remember.

    I really enjoyed this Marketing book. Please have a read - it will increase your knowledge of this main area of business in today's global, brand-orientated, complicated market-place.

    Cheers - Vaughan Allison

    PS. I'm off to read Marketing WAR-FARE!...more info

  • good to show your boss
    If you're in marketing chances are you already know most of the stuff in this book. (Although he gives examples of a few rules that even the best of the best frequently break)-so you still might learn something yourself. But I think the best use of this book is to show to a boss or client who THINKS they know about marketing and really don't know jack. Anybody in marketing knows that coming up with the idea is only half the job, you then have to sell the idea to the powers that be.
    My suggestion, make them read the book. It's very very short.
    And it might save you some headaches.
    Ironically, my boss suggested I get the book for both of us on the recommendation of a friend. When I read it I thought, well, I didn't learn too much from it myself but thank God he's going to read it because it says everything I've been trying to get into his thick head. If you have the same problem, buy it and put it on their desk. Save yourself the trouble. ...more info
  • Great and Easy Book To Read!!!!
    I thought that this book was very easy to read and understand. The authors tells you very well about all the laws of marketing which I thought could be a very good guideline for people in the marketing field. It is a very short book so it won't take you too long to finish it!!! Highly recommended for reading!!!...more info
  • Still Great - 12 Years Later
    NO TIME TO READ OLD IDEAS, LIKE THE PRESENT! Trend-hype and contemporary-spin contribute to the noise in our hectic world. Getting essential information extracted out of our noisy environment is an increasing challenge. Take heart!! This book delivers! Low noise - at a high fidelity level.

    PLAGUED BY PEOPLE WHO DON"T GET IT? If you work in a company where sorting through marketing ideas is done by using nothing but a raised wet finger to the wind... then this book will seem like it came down from Mt. Sinai. You will have found true companions in Ries and Trout.

    HAVEN'T READ ANYTHING EARTHSHAKING IN MARKETING, LATELY? If you already know all there is to know about marketing basics, then this book will read like a return trip to Mt. Sinai and a relaxing talk with Moses. You can get refreshed by its uncommon directness and simplicity.

    "DAMN THE RULES! FULL SPEED AHEAD! THIS IS WAR"!! Finally, if you believe that TRUE success goes to the one who breaks all the rules, then this will save you from early and inevitable disaster... prepare to be convinced that you are wrong... because even after 12 years, these 22 laws appear to be immutable. And in marketing terms, that is an eternity!
    ...more info
  • 22 Short Chapters of Common Sense
    While an interesting light read, these 'laws' are not immutable. Nor would your business be in peril if you ignored them, as the authors suggest.

    In general, these laws are only for those obsessed with being number one. People going for those few #1 slots would find this book useless. For everyone else, there are a few small pearls to be gathered, but digging through the muck to find them makes them difficult to spot....more info
  • Marketing Simplicity
    Want to sell more of your product? Want to know how to market effectively? Then you need to get this book. As a constant reader, I find that thinner books offer so much more than larger books. Why? Thinner books condense information into easy to understand rules, laws, and principles. Al Ries breaks down the rules of successful marketing down to just 22 laws, and he does a great job of explaining each. How much easier can that be? And you only need to remember just a few of them to market successfully. And though this book was not written to tell you exactly how you are going to make your product sell more, it will tell you your goals and destinations. This is the first book any marketer should read. Only then does it make sense to read the rest.

    Gus Maximus
    The Art of Gamefare
    The Art of Winning at Multiplayer Video Games
    ...more info
  • For Advanced Level Marketers
    This book is for intermediate to advanced level marketers. It shows you the strategies used by big brand names like Coke, Pepsi, Toyota, AT&T, etc. It chronicles the battle of these big name brands and the brilliant moves of some, and the dumb mistakes of others.

    One of my favorite parts of the book is when the authors talk about "rungs" within peoples minds. Did you know that, depending on the product that you are marketing, only a set number of rungs exist within peoples minds?

    Another fascinating point in this book is where they discuss how important it is to position yourself on these rungs. They ask a few questions to really drill the point home about how important the position you occupy on this ladder of rungs really is. For example, they ask you, "Who was the first President of the U.S.? Now who was the second?" Or "Who was the first man on the moon? Now who was the second?" So it had me thinking OMG they are right. They then go into how Hertz Rent A Car was on the second rung and they included this in their marketing literature by saying, "We're #2". Hertz then went on to include in their sales copy that because they were number two, they would try harder for your business. Hertz gained massive market share and was so successful with doing this that they pulled dead even with Avis. They then changed their marketing literature to say "We're #1" to try and take the #1 position and they failed miserably and their sales fell back down. The authors go on to explain why Hertz should have stayed with the #2 marketing literature. Fascinating book that talks about what the big boys do in marketing. I highly recommend this entertaining book.

    From the author of Internet Marketing-Profits That Lie Hidden In Your Website: How To Triple Your Web Sales In 25 Days...more info
  • Quick Read, Basic Info, great examples
    Similar to many of Ries's other books, this book explains many solid marketing concepts through many well-known, albeit one-sided, examples. I would recommend it since it's short and only takes about an hour or two to read....more info
  • Light and fluffy
    Reading the 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing is a lot like eating a Twinkie. It's light and yummy, with no pesky nutrition to slow you down. An enjoyable and easy read, but not much substance. There are some principles presented here that are indeed central to the field of marketing - the Law of the Mind and the Law of Resources to name two. And you wouldn't want to be the marketer who hasn't read Ries and Trout. But this is just a taste of marketing. You'll need to read more to get a full meal....more info
  • A real-world marketing primer
    This book is great because it shows the "laws" of marketing and the results when companies follow or break them. Many of the laws seem counter-intuitive, but that reflects the complexity of business, human nature and the marketplace.

    Marketing is based on emotions, perception and reaction. Because of that, it's very difficult to plan marketing strategy based on past sales figures. It's much easier to quantify the results. Unfortunately, by the time one quantifies the results, it can be too late. The authors specifically point out when and why it's best to invest in professional marketing services.

    Each law of marketing in this book is explained in useful, real-world context, with specific examples. It's a handy, explanatory reference....more info
  • A book focuses on "Positioning"!
    This book mainly talks about "Positioning". How to position your product so that you can own a place in customer mind? To own a simple word in the prospect's mind that is not used by other companies, to give up some something, to find an opposite and effective attribute?K?K The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing will give you a more detailed answer!

    If you violate these 22 laws, your company will have to bear the risk! Why? As the laws are written based on the concept of "Positioning", if you cannot position your product well, much money will be wasted on irrelevant areas. There are many important decisions such as pricing, distribution, promotion, advertising that are made based on the position of the product. If the position is unclear, all these decisions cannot be made consistently and thus cannot deliver a consistent image to the customer, making it difficult for customer to put your product in their mind.

    The book is very clear in the content and format. It brings out a great deal of marketing concept and at the same time clarifies a lot of incorrect concepts people in general have, giving us a clearer picture. Moreover, it divides the 22 laws into 22 chapters. Only by reading the title of that chapter can we easily know what that chapter is talking about.

    It is also easy to understand. Ries and Trout can illustrate profound marketing concepts in very simple words, with the use of metaphor and real world examples. We can learn a lot from the success and the mistake from these real world applications. Though it is heard that the examples used are not up-to-date, I think it does not really matter as they can help me understand the law a lot.

    I can say that I enjoy reading this book very much. I can get a lot of insights from it!...more info

  • Enhancing your understanding of fundamentals of sucess
    I would recommend that you read this book. It will help you to develop a more thorough understanding of the guidelines related to marketing. It will intrigue you to find out more about certain marketing concepts. It helps to create an understanding of how to mold these concepts to be the most effective in your particular situation.
    This is a very easy book for anyone to follow. It is not time consuming to read. It is not a book that will leave you confused, it will leave you with a full understanding of what it takes to be successful in marketing.
    For anyone in the marketing industry this is a must read. They make some very good points in this book that could help you strategically to be successful only because you took the time to read this book. For example, they teach in college generally that it is a good option to pursue line extension strategies. However, this book disagrees. It is always best to obtain information from both sides of the issue in order to make a fully informed decision for your business to potentially be successful in its endeavor.
    They use many examples to help reinforce each particular law. They also build upon each law and refer back to previous sections, which helps retention. They are very good at providing several examples to illustrate certain laws.
    By the time you finish this book, the examples help to extend the understanding of the particular concept they are talking about. You will subconsciously refer back and analyze how this example meets each of the particular laws that are relevant. It will essentially be beneficial to anyone in business with an interest in marketing.
    Even if someone is not a marketing major, this book explains the guidelines in such a simplistic way, that the finance major could understand their theoretical basis behind these concepts.
    If you could only read one book about marketing, this would be the book from which you would receive the most benefit in terms of an outstanding marketing understanding.. This book was very straightforward and has intrigued me to also read their bestseller "Positioning." However, positioning is just repeitious and covers the same topics as this book does.

    ...more info
  • Recommendation of The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing
    I would recommend The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing whether the reader is interested in marketing or not. It is a fun and short read. I especially enjoyed the style in which the book was written. The authors would introduce the law being addressed in the chapter, give a brief comprehensible definition, and then give two or three real life examples of the law being used, and not being used effectively. By keeping the book short the authors hace produced a book that is enjoyable and educationally valuable....more info
  • Whet Your Marketing Appetite
    If you are "new" to the subject of business marketing or just want to get back to basics, this book is a great place to start. The authors support their arguments with abundant examples and the book is a quick, easy read. If you want more explanation or detail, you will need to look elsewhere. Anyone who owns or runs a business needs to realize that there are many marketing variables to be considered and this book certainly helps to underscore that point. The 3 most significant "laws" to me were the Laws of Perception, Perspective, and Line Extension. Re-read and think about these often....more info
  • Marketing "laws" that even finance majors would benefit
    This is an extremely good marketing book. Having just finished a marketing management class, this book will definitely be in my library! It has examples from actual companies to help reinforce each immutable marketing law. The author's have done an excellent job in making the reader more informed about the marketing process....more info
  • They know the game
    Refreshing to read a business book and feel that the author's really do know their stuff. The book is full of sensible opinion backed up with abundant factual examples. A must-read if you intend to market your products....more info
  • An excellent marketing book
    This book again proves that the worth of a book is not by its weight. This short book spells out 22 essential laws of marketing that everyone in business, not just marketing people, should read. This is an essential book for college students and up, especially those that will eventually work in private industry....more info
  • Disappointing
    I absolutely HATED this book. From the first entry I could tell that these were outdated concepts presented in an arrogant and narrow minded manner. Guess I should have known based on the title and the year of publication, but I still feel bitter about having bought this book....more info
  • It's not reliable science but there are a couple of interesting propositions
    It's easy to criticise this book and yet there are still a few interesting hypotheses here.

    Ries and Trout say much the same things over and over in all their books, speeches, and videos. So each book then needs a new angle and here they take the slant of presenting their views as natural (i.e. scientific laws). They admirably write "There are laws of nature, so why shouldn't there be laws of marketing ? You can build a great-looking airplane but it isn't going to get off the ground unless it adheres to the laws of physics, especially the law of gravity...So it follows that you can build a brilliant marketing program only to have one of the immutable laws knock you flat if you don't know what they are."

    Unfortunately Ries and Trout's understanding of what is a scientific law is pretty patchy, so many of the `laws' they present are more like propositions or suggestions for doing marketing. Even the best of the 22 immutable laws are vague, none are quantified, nowhere are the conditions described where the laws hold and where they do not, and none are based on systematic collection of evidence (just anecdotes). A number are just repeats of each other, while some are tautological statements. In spite of all these weaknesses there is an underlying theoretical proposition that is interesting and worth some discussion and research.

    The first, and presumably most important of the 22 `laws' is the "law of leadership - it's better to be first [into a market] than it is to be best. This idea of pioneering advantage has been well researched in the academic literature, with the recent definitive articles showing that the advantage is over-rated (Golder, 1993; Tellis, 1996). Very many brand leaders were not the first into their category, but then Ries and Trout contradict themselves anyway with their third law (the law of the mind) - "it's better to be first in the mind than to be first in the marketplace". And this is really what the book, and their others, are about - that marketing is a battle to gain some mindshare. They argue that this is easier if you are the first to be associated with a category benefit and if you retain this leadership (`laws' 1,2,3,4). Hence they argue for focus on being known for one thing (`laws' 5,6,13,14) so they argue against brand extension (`law' 12). Clearly the `law' isn't absolute, as they used it as basis for previously criticizing Microsoft while praising focused competitors like Lotus and Harvard Graphics (and we all know where these brands are now).

    They also argue that categories split, becoming more specialist over time, and that is useful to use this fragmentation (`law' 10). It's for this reason that Al (and daughter Laura) Ries incorrectly predicted the flop of the iPhone. Still it's an interesting proposition that needs considerable research.

    Most of their other laws are just quaint platitudes, patronising their readers and padding out this short book with lame advice like "things are unpredictable" (`law' 17), "success can lead to arrogance" (`law' 18), "it's good to learn from your failures" (`law' 19) "things are often different than how they appear in the press" (`law' 20) "it's better to build on a trend than a fad" (`law' 21) and "without adequate funding an idea won't get off the ground" (`law' 22)....more info
  • Good, short and to the point
    "The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing" is a short, consice book about the "laws of marketing". Ries and Trout explain the 22 laws that a company needs to obey in it's marketing strategy, along with multiple examples illistrating the laws.

    Some of the laws seem to go against common current wisdom, for exmaple the "Law of Line Extension". If most companies have a great brand, they tend to but their brand on as many products as possible. However this book explains why it isn't a great strategy.

    I liked the short and to-the-point nature of the book. It is well written and easy to read. My only beef with the book was that it's a little outdated and I found myself wanting more explaination of more current companies. Plus with the examples, you always have to keep in mind that this was back in 1991 and not now, which makes it a little annoying.

    However the advice in the book is solid. A good book for anyone in marketing. 4 out of 5 stars....more info
  • Concise, short, and sweet
    The "Laws" couldn't be laid out any clearer or any more concisely. Some of the info is a little dated (the book was written in '93), but the philosophy remains sound....more info
  • Their method is what's revolutionary
    The content of is book is revolutionary and even shocking at times. A great step forward in the field of marketing.

    But the real genius of Trout and Reis is their method. They start with the facts and then intregrate them into principles. Reality actually means something to them, unlike most academic and even real-world marketers....more info

  • A law predicts the future
    A "law" should predict the future, not just explain the past. This book gives you a good explanation of how some marketing campaigns have worked (or failed) in the past, but it's hard to see how they apply in the future. Too many of the laws contradict or cancel each-other out.

    While they do a nice job of explaining why certain laws lead to the success or failure of a product in the past, six years later their track record for using these laws to predict the future is pretty poor. Hayes is gone, not the leader in the modem industry, Microsoft did succeed in overextending their brand name and toppling Lotus 1-2-3 and WordPerfect, Pen Computers (i.e. PDAs) have taken off...

    This book provides some interesting food for thought and is worth reading. Its poor predictions, however, underscore the fact that marketing is still a very human activity and it's anybody's guess how a particular campaign is going to turn out. Of course, the "Law of Unpredictability" covers that one too....more info

  • A Must Read

    This little gem of a book is an absolute must read for any serious marketer. 22 clear consice examples of marketing success that household companies have had due in large part to these principles. The best part of this book is the fact that these "laws" apply to all industries and all methods of distribution.

    Gary Melnikoff, Partner, Long Term Care Financial Partners....more info
  • Another Marketing Bible
    Now this is one of the most simple books I've ever read on the subject, but it's chock full of the true rules on marketing.

    Some might say it's a slap in the face or without substance but the TRUTH is that these are very simple laws, and if applied correctly will help one be able to market.

    I always refer to this book when launching a new clients product. Of course, you can't market without research and many other things, but if you apply these simple laws to your research and creative content, you will do well. So the truth is it's simple. It's not rocket science and it can be done.. ...more info
  • Beneficial
    It is very beneficial book for those who would like to be aware of basic positioning concepts. I strongly recommend All Marketers or business owners at each level. ...more info
  • Good read, but dated
    I would heartily recommend the 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing to any marketing professional who is looking to get a little insight into how to more effectively market your company. It's got some great points to make and performs that task admirably.

    If I had any complaint, it is that the book is really showing its age by 2005. Reading through some of the laws, in which they hold up certain companies as model practitioners, I can't help but be struck by the fact that these companies DON'T EXIST anymore - or if they do, they certainly don't have the same stature that Trout and Ries afford them in the book. I mean, seriously, holding up Commodore as a successful computer company is almost laughable in this day and age. In the same manner, a company like DHL Worldwide is presented as having a firm lock on international overnight shipping that FedEx's own marketing campaign can't break. In 2005, I think I'd rate DHL as a distant third behind both FedEx and UPS.

    It's not that the Laws are bad - in fact, I think they are, for the most part, excellent. Just be ready for a few chuckles (unintentional on the author's part, I'm sure) as you read through their examples of companies that utilize their "Immutable Laws" and yet no longer hold any position of dominance in the market......more info
  • Blatant Nonsense Effect

    A delusion does not stop to be a delusion simply because
    the majority share it.
    Leo Tolstoy

    If this text were written by a student, it would be pooh-poohed. However... most of reviewers here gave it five stars. Why? There is the so-called Blatant Nonsense Effect: if they read a blatant nonsense produced by an authority, many will believe it, especially those with herd instincts.

    Marketing alchemists are in quest for "laws." Theodore Levitt: "The problem with the marketing con-cept is a persistent tendency toward rigidity. It get dogmatized. There is not, and cannot be, any rigid and lasting interpretation of what the marketing concept means." But nobody takes heed of that.

    Marketing situations are subject to a zillion of circumstances - precisely what make "a rigid dogmatiza-tion" a folly. Also, any result in business is an outcome of joint efforts of many departments.

    NO PROOFS - Messrs Ries & Trout prove nothing and do not delineate validity ranges for their "wis-doms."

    EXAMPLES - In the ocean of marketing situations you can find examples of whatever, including mu-tually exclusive ones.

    IMMUTABILITY - The authors do not know the meaning of "immutable." Physics laws are immuta-ble because they work without exceptions. The" 22 immutable laws" are rather exceptions. The "im-mutabilis" epidemic is now raging.

    READERSHIP - Who is the target readership of the book? Microsoft, Coca-Cola, Harley-Davidson, and a score of other grandees; or millions of SMEs that manufacture useful mundane products? Looks like grandees.

    A CLIENT'S MIND - The authors admit that marketing is a game occurring in the mind of a Client. But they provide ample evidence of being absolutely disinterested in this game.
    So, they overlook the fact that today's Clients are indifferent, cynical, overwhelmed with proposals in any product category, sick of advertising, and armed with the Internet. Clients have scarce personal re-sources: time, attention, memory, interestedness, desire to strain themselves, etc. Are they willing to spend them on trade names? Sometimes yes; mostly not.
    That's harsh reality. Most of marketing texts ignore it.
    SOPHOMORIC REASONING - "There are laws of nature, so why shouldn't there be LAWS OF MARKETING?" - That's logic for you!

    FALLACIES and BANALITIES - The book is a collection of easily refuted fallacies and unnecessary banalities.

    1. LEADERSHIP - "It's better to be first than it is to be better."
    How do the authors define "first"? By market share, profits, capitalization, or whatever? A company with the largest share may be not the most profitable.
    "Get into the mind first" - walk out of your ivory tower and poll whether people know "firsts," etc. One may know the names of a dozen of non-marketing "firsts." But can this idea be mechanistically translated to categories?
    The "law" suggests that (1) you should not convince prospects; (2) you should not strive to improve your products; (3) ALL the vendors minus one (first) in a category pursue faulty marketing strategies.
    An ocean of firms fare well without creating a category, many category creators go belly up. Creating a category and "getting into the mind" are uncorrelated things.
    "You should always try to select a name that can work generically." - Ironically, Ries in his "22 Im-mutable Laws of Branding" says exactly the opposite.
    Guys, will you please settle this round the corner. If, of course, you respect the readership. And is you do not want to make fools of yourself.

    3. MIND - "It is better to be first in the mind than first in the marketplace."
    Well, if there is a place available in that mind!
    Law 1 says it is better to be first than it is to be better. Law 3 says there is something better still.

    4. PERCEPTION - "Marketing is not a battle of products, it's a battle of perceptions."
    A Client has no perceptions about a sea of products. How is he supposed to purchase them?

    5. FOCUS - "The most powerful concept in marketing is owning a word in the prospect's mind."
    6. EXCLUSIVITY - "Two companies cannot own the same word in the prospect's mind."
    Go out and ask people in the street what "words" are owned by thousands of firms.

    14. ATTRIBUTES - "For every attribute, there is an opposite, effective attribute."
    Nonsense. Suppose I use the attribute "good." Will the opposite, i.e., "bad," be more effective?

    7. LADDER - "The strategy to use depends on which rung you occupy on the ladder."
    What "strategies" are recommended for each rung?
    The authors allege that each rung has twice the market share of the rung below it. Much data refute this!

    8. DUALITY - "In the long run, every market becomes a two-horse race."
    In rare occasions, e.g., in popular software, this may be the case, but there are thousands of prosperous many-horse lines of business: beverages, sportswear, construction, oil, etc.

    9. OPPOSITE - "If you're shooting for second place, your strategy is determined by the leader."
    "If the leader is STRONG, #2 can occupy his place." Well, and if the leader is WEAK? What is a claimant supposed to do?
    Not a single example of something "opposite."

    11. PERSPECTIVE - "Marketing effects take place over an extended period of time."
    21. ACCELERATION - "Successful programs are not built on fads, they're built on trends."
    Some marketing effects take place overnight; others, may take years.
    The Japanese say that they think ten years ahead; Europeans think ten days ahead; and Americans think ten minutes ahead.

    12. LINE EXTENSION - "There's an irresistible pressure to extend the equity of the brand."
    The authors are dogmatic fighters against line extension although there are lots of successful extensions around.

    15. CANDOR - "When you admit a negative, the prospect will give you a positive."
    Well, a couple of dubious examples may or may not support this statement.

    16. SINGULARITY - "In each situation only one move will produce substantial results."
    Can you, guys, prove that?

    The other "laws" are a collection of banalities. I'll only mention one here:

    18. SUCCESS - "Success often leads to arrogance, and arrogance to failure."
    This "law" splendidly applies to our authors.

    GLOOMY CONCLUSIONS - This piece of wishful thinking and fantasia is a disappointment and a disaster. It is insulting for serious professionals.

    Also, the book is a litmus paper of the qualification and integrity of the book's 17 academic reviewers - they pronounced this collection of fallacies, banalities, exceptions, wrong prophecies, and downright stupidities the "best marketing book."
    Something is rotten in the kingdom of marketing!
    ...more info
  • A lot of info
    East to understand, wonderful to be reminded of what it takes to market, even yourself! I plan to use it as an intro to advertising. ...more info
  • Marketing 101
    OK now, if you are new to the field, you saw Kotler and ran screaming, you dont know where to START learning marketing, this is probably a book for you. Even for a seasoned professional in the field of marketing and marcoms and a grad student in marketing I find this book a crash course in "field marketing". Of course, do take it cum grano salis, as marketing is not quite the math and sometimes it does not "work as prescribed", after all it deals with humans, and what funny creatures we humans are! I am Ries and Trout enthusiast and I like all their books for their writing style as well as the subject matter. I do recommend....more info
  • A timeless marketing "must read"
    Some of the newer reviews would like you to think this book is dated or no longer relevant in the "new marketing environment." Nothing could be further from the truth.

    The principles in this book are timeless and modern marketers would do well to review what Ries and Trout have to say in this book. These basics are too often ignored and marketers waste countless millions because their "new thinking" violates these principles.

    This book is as relevant today as it was in 1993 and maybe even more important since so many seem to have never learned these lessons the first time around.

    An absolute essential book for CEO's, business managers and marketers everywhere.

    -Review by the author of the e-book, "How to Build and Manage Your Brand (in sickness and in health".)...more info
  • Excellent book
    As a self-taught marketing professoinal in a small market, I found its advice invaluable, and I would attribute a good portion of my current success to the clearly-written examples and logically organized structure of the book's core ideas. While I do agree with some of the aforementioned flaws, I would hesitate to call the book's laws truly redundant or really out-of-date, as it seemed every word applied to my own company situation(s) and experience(s)....more info
  • Powerful, To the Point, Simple
    This is one of the best books I've ever read on marketing! I serve as the Chief Marketing Officer of a large firm in Chicago and have been involved in marketing for over 20 years. Few books I've ever read so completely cover such a vast array of "secrets" that those who understand marketing get but others are ignorant to. This will be a must read for my entire staff!...more info
  • It's so dated it's useless
    It has nothing to offer anyone now, it's too old....more info
  • Great
    This book was simply great... fun to read, with lots of meaningful contents, great ideas and examples. I'm very happy after reading it....more info
  • Basic Rules but still Important to read
    It's full of Basic but sometimes forgotten rules that make you stop and think again about what is marketing for you... Every Marketing involved person should have one at home!...more info
    Normally when someone things about marketing strategy, they start envisioning how to market their products better than the competition. A marketer begins to focus on the strengths and weakness of the products they represent in contrast to the strengths and weaknesses of the competitor's products. After various marketing research techniques have been administered, the customer's wants and needs are analyzed. Then a marketing strategy is developed, with the consumer's interest in mind, to effectively reach the target market. In this book, Ries and Trout agree with this broad definition of the marketing approach, however, they further amplify the proper "laws" of effective marketing strategy. I will be discussing three of the twenty two important laws for a successful marketing scheme. According to Ries and Trout following these "laws" will enable a corporation to maintain their dominance within their industry while minimizing conflicts that may arise.
    * "Marketing effects take place over an extended period of time"

    * "If your shooting for second place, your strategy is determined by the leader"
    * "It is better to be first than it is to be better"
    * "Success often leads to arrogance and arrogance leads to failure"
    * "You have to give up something in order to get something"

    I felt that Ries and Trout did a good job in presenting their laws for an effective marketing strategy. At first I was taken back when I was reading the first chapter because they opened up with it's better to be first and that's all. So I had the impression that there was no room for second. All these companies came to mind that I believed were successful and they were not the first in the industry. After I continued reading however I realized that my perception of what Ries and Trout were saying was incorrect. The only point I have a hard time agreeing with from this book is the very first law, "It's better to be first than better". I agree to a certain extent that the first person to do something will be remembered more frequently then any other individuals to follow. However, our society has advanced tremendously since the last decade. I believe it's just as important to make a product more efficient once it has been introduced. Companies like 3M and DuPont constantly innovate and design products to become more efficient. I believe that it is important to be first in an industry, but one should make sure the product they are bringing to the industry displays a certain level of quality also.
    I felt that this book was very informative. The examples of various companies that took a downfall because of incorrect marketing strategies made this book an easy read. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is considering a career in marketing. This book makes an individual realize the important guidelines to follow while developing an effective marketing strategy. Without proper marketing strategy implementation the future of a company's long term objectives may be at risk.
    ...more info
  • Insightful, but often incorrect
    I enjoyed reading this book and understanding the ideas presented in it. However, it is full of predictions and assumptions that have been proven wrong. Does this mean the "laws" are invalid? Perhaps. Does it mean the authors are to blame for making predictions based on these "laws," that for example, Microsoft will fail to unseat the then-dominant Lotus 1-2-3? Likely.

    Then again, some events - like the one above - could merely be the exception. Looking at the laws from a broader point of view, they do make sense. That is, applying them to most companies rather than holding the exceptions as proof at the book is invalid and wrong.

    Anyway, I'm sure you will like this book, whether or not you're in marketing. Don't be too critical of the laws and you'll walk away with knowledge you did not have before....more info
  • This is my business bible!
    For someone who does not have an MBA, and knows very little about business, this was the best book I ever read for giving me the most insight into what I should/should not do in my business. I have recommended this book to every other entrepreneur that I know, and keep it on my desk as one of the "must have references" for my business. While the stories may seem outdated, the principals are still true today. My favorites are "The Law of the Category", "The Law of the Mind", The Law of Duality," and "The Law of Division." I have used some of the "laws" with many a client and gotten them to see that their planned road of marketing was not the right road. You must buy this book!...more info


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