Book Reviews

The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing by Al Ries and Jack Trout

22 immutable laws of marketing

About the Book

Short, snappy and full of bite is typically what I look for in a non-fiction book.

The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing ticks all these boxes!

It’s such a fascinating read and has opened up many marketing blindspots which I haven’t ever stopped to think about before.

Namely, it’s better to be first than it is to be better, and if you can’t be first, invent a new category so you can be.

I’m not doing it justice. Here are some of the key takeaways which explain things far better than I possibly can!

Favourite Passages:

  • “It’s better to be first than it is to be better. It’s much easier to get into the mind first than to try to convince someone you have a better product than the one that did get there first.” 1: The Law of Leadership


  • “People tend to stick with what they’ve got. If you meet someone a little better than your wife or husband, it’s really not worth making the switch, what with attorneys’ fees and dividing up the house and kids.” 1: The Law of Leadership


  • “If you can’t be the first in a category, set up a new category you can be first in.” 2: The Law of the Category


  • “People cling firmly to the belief that reality is the world outside of the mind and that the individual is one small speck on a global spaceship. Actually it’s the opposite. 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. That’s the reality that marketing programs must deal with.” 4: The Law of Perception


  • “Total quality, the path to greatness. It makes a terrific theme at dealer meetings, especially with the trumpet flourishes and the dancers. But outside the corporation the message falls apart. Does any company proclaim itself as the ‘unquality’ corporation? No, everybody stands for quality. As a result, nobody does.” 5: The Law of Focus


  • “The way for a leader to maintain its dominance is to address each emerging category with a different brand name, as General Motors did in the early days with Chevrolet, Pontiac…” 10: The Law of Division


  • “The target is not the market. That is, the apparent target of your marketing is not the same as the people who will actually buy your product. Even though Pepsi-Cola’s target was the teenager, the market was everybody. The 50-year-old guy who wants to think he’s 29 will drink the Pepsi.” 13: The Law of Sacrifice


  • “First and foremost, candor is very disarming. Every negative statement you make about yourself is instantly accepted as truth. Positive statements, on the other hand, are looked at as dubious at best. Especially in an advertisement.” 15: The Law of Candor


  • “When things are going well, a company doesn’t need the hype. When you need the hype, it usually means you’re in trouble.” 20: The Law of Hype


Star Rating:


One of the key metrics I look at when judging how good a book is is how many highlights have I made?

In this case, it’s a lot!

Although slightly dated in parts, The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing has changed how I look at marketing and no doubt will influence my marketing plans for my own future businesses moving forward.

Full of insight and one and I’ll be turning to time and time again.

Highly recommend!

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