in 111 Books in 2011

#17/111: The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing

What is it about?

Al Ries and Jack Trout talk about their 22 laws for successful marketing. They explore which failures companies made in the past and how they can be fixed.

Key points?

Be first: Your brand/product should be recognized as the first and leading product in the market. If you think of Cola, you think of Coca-Cola. If you think of eco-friendly cars, you think of the Toyota Prius.

If you can’t, be different: If you came too late you should find your niche. Pepsi did so in targeting young people. You shouldn’t try to fight the No. 1 with their attributes, instead choose a new attribute which describes your product (e.g. healthiest cola).

Focus on one thing: Use one attribute. Don’t describe your product as easy, best and cheap. People probably won’t believe you.

Don’t extend your line because you can: If you have built a successful brand you shouldn’t just throw new products in new markets. A lot of people tried this and failed. If you introduce new products, focus on the these laws and make them unique.


This book is just incredible. The chapters are short, there are enough examples of how to apply these laws and situations where companies have failed to do so. I read the first edition from 1993 and the two authors made some recommendations for companies like Burger King. Surprisingly, about 10-15 years later a lot of these recommendations where finally executed. Nice!

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