The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing by Al Ries and Jack Trout is one of my favourite marketing books.
First published in 1994, this short book reminds us that principles are timeless and equally effective across generations.
The book is split into 22 Marketing Laws, with chapters including "The Law of Leadership", "The Law of Mind", "The Law of Opposite", and "The Law of Candor".
These principles can help to shape an effective marketing strategy and have been mentioned as favorites by marketing superstars, such as Tim Ferriss of The Four Hour Work Week and Tools of Titans Fame.
I'm publishing my notes from the key chapters as a series of blog posts. If you would like a pdf of all notes together, email me and I'll send it to you.
1. The Law of Leadership
It’s better to be first than it is to be better.
The basic issue in marketing is creating a category you can be first in. It’s much easier to get into the mind first than to try to convince someone you have a better product that the one that did get there first. (Roger Bannister was the first person to run a 4 minute mile. Who was the second?)
If you’re introducing the first brand in a new category, you should always try to select a name that can work generically.
Marketing is a battle of perception, not products.
2. The Law of Category
If you can’t be the first in a category, set up a new category you can be first in.
When you launch a new product, the first question to ask yourself is not “How is this product better than the competition?” but “First what?” In other words, what category is this new product first in?
Everyone is interested in what’s new. Few people are interested in what’s better.
When you’re first in a new category, promote the category. In essence, you have no competition.
3. The Law of Mind
It’s better to be first in the mind than to be first in the marketplace.
The single most wasteful thing you can do in marketing is try to change a mind.
People don’t like to change their minds, so you have to blast your way in.