22 Immutable Laws of Marketing Book

Book Review – The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing

This week’s book review is The 22 immutable laws of marketing. This was a recommendation of Mike Matthews at Muscle for Life who is a fantastic marketer himself so worth paying attention to anything he recommends.

This is a short, snappy book which sets 22 rules you should follow if your marketing efforts are to be a success. I really liked that the book got straight to the point – you could read this in a few hours.

The authors certainly won’t be to everyone’s taste. They are bordering on arrogant and some of their future predictions (this book was written in the early 90’s) are comically inaccurate. Also, it is easy to name brands like Virgin and Sony who have broken almost all of these rules and succeeded.

Having said that, as a general set of rules to follow, this book is a really great place to start for anyone who has their own business or has any interest in marketing. The general principles are sound.

Here are the 22 laws:

1 – Be the first

2 – If you can’t be first, invent a new category you can be first in

3 – Be first in the mind

4 – Perception over product (your product doesn’t have to be better, people just have to think it’s better)

5 – Focus – be known for one thing, even one word

6 – Exclusivity – don’t try and take someone else’s word

7 – Law of the ladder – know where you are in the market and market yourself accordingly

8 – Duality – only 2 companies end up winning

9 – Opposites – do the opposite or even attack the leader

10 – Division – one category splits into many subcategories. One brand can’t be the leader in each. You have to create separate brands for each subcategory

11 – Perspective – consider long-term implications of things like sales or over-hyping a product

12 – Line extension – don’t slap one brand name on multiple products

13 – Sacrifice – you have to give up something to be successful i.e target more specific demographic, sell fewer products

14 – Attributes – what do you want to be known for? Be different to the leader

15 – Candour – don’t be afraid to be honest, or mock yourself

16 – Singularity – make one big bold move, not lots of little ones

17 – Unpredictability – be prepared to change with the market and be flexible

18 – Success – don’t believe your own hype i.e. putting your brand on everything

19 – Failure – learn from failures, don’t be afraid to drop bad products

20 – Hype – good companies don’t need hype

21 – Acceleration – aim for trends, not fads (slowly build a product over time, not “big bang”)

22 – Resources – money is still needed to launch an idea

Key takeaways:

• Focus – do one thing very well and focus on that. Don’t slap your brand name on everything
• Try and be the first in your category. If you can’t, try and establish a new category that you can become known for
• Don’t chase perfection. Being first is more important than being the best
• Stop chasing fads
• Don’t believe your own hype and be honest about your brand – people will respect you for it

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