The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing Summary – Al Ries & Jack Trout’s book

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

Are you working in Marketing/Management/Branding? Are you an entrepreneur or maybe you have an idea/a small business which you want to transform into a BIG idea/GREAT company?

If the answer is “YES” for at least one question from above, then “The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing” is one of the first books you MUST read and take notes!

“The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing”, written by Al Ries and Jack Trout, offers you a complete guide. We can even call it the bible of marketing, concisely structured (in 22 short chapters) and very easy to read. Reading this book will help you focus on the really important issues, like the following: to choose the best decisions, to better invest your budget and to avoid mistakes, waste of time and money.


Being first in the mind is everything in marketing. Click To Tweet

The book presents the basic and constant rules which determine the success and the failure of companies or products/services in the retail market.

Even if the book was published more than 20 years ago, the laws and the advice presented are still up to date as marketing and the consumers didn’t change (too much). The book was written after more than 25 years of studying what works and what doesn’t work in marketing.

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Each marketing law or affirmation presented within the book is accompanied by clear and real examples from the history of famous brands (such as IBM, Coca-Cola, Xerox, Starbucks, etc.) versus examples of companies that don’t exist anymore on the market.

According to the authors Al Ries and Jack Trout some companies have progressed and have become increasingly popular, have expanded the business lines or just increased their sales for a specific range because their management discovered and respected the marketing laws presented in the book. Unfortunately, there were (or still are) other companies that stagnated their business or even went bankrupt because they didn’t take into consideration the same marketing laws.

22 Immutable Laws of Marketing

The authors of the book, Al Ries, and Jack Trout are two professional marketing strategists, considered to be among the best and most known at the international level. They worked together and have written, together but also separately, few other useful books worth reading regarding marketing, positioning, branding. GetNugget plays its part by introducing the readers with this magnificent masterpiece. Our book summary will help you see the big picture of this book.

The book summary is a specific guideline not just for renowned companies who want to expand on a global scale, but also for startups. “The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing” endorses the theory that every brand should spend more of its time and energy on marketing activities and avoid getting into dangerous battles with competitors.

Al Ries is also the co-founder and chairman of the Atlanta-based consulting firm Ries & Ries, where he works together with his partner and daughter, Laura Ries while Jack Trout is one of the founders of positioning theory and also marketing warfare theory.

“The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing” covers many marketing concepts one can discover within this book according to the perceptions of each reader. GetNugget’s book summary consists five marketing principles which are of high importance:

  1. “It’s better to be first than it is to be better. Only a few people are interested in what’s better.”

When you’re a potential customer, you remember which company launched firstly a product and you associate the product with the company. Of course, not all the time the first products are the best ones and you will search the market for alternatives only if you’re from the category of those ‘few people’ who are looking for quality, who want to test a new product in order to do a comparison and then decide whose product you’ll remain a loyal customer.

  1. “Marketing is a battle of ideas and perceptions, not a battle of products.”

There are marketers and managers who think that marketing is about products. Actually, marketing is about ideas and perceptions that remain in the minds of consumers regarding a product. Further on, depending on the type of perceptions the products and the companies created in people’s mind, these ones are going to decide who is winning the battle.

  1. ‘The most effective words are simple and benefit-oriented.’

This quote refers to the Law of Focus, a law that applies all the time in all areas. As a company, you have to FOCUS: on how perceptions are formed, to focus on being first in the customer´s mind, to focus on facts and reality, to focus on your efforts. [The essence of marketing is narrowing the focus.] Focusing doesn’t mean to choose the most complicated ways of looking for too complex words to describe you, words that will not be remembered and the goal will not be achieved. You have to find simple words that describe your company, your product, your business generally and when you find those words you have to protect them, to prove they are real in order to benefit from them and when those words are no longer useful, you must change the words.

  1. 'Good things come to those who sacrifice.' @JackTrout Click To Tweet

The Law of Sacrifice applies not only in business, therefore [If you want to be successful today, you should give something up.]

  1. ‘Ideas without money are worthless. You need money to get into a mind and to stay in the mind once you get there.’

Actually, The Law of Resources is more complex as there are several aspects to be considered: in order to promote an idea you have to [Be prepared to give away a lot for the funding.], but at the same time

“You have to use your idea to find the money, not the marketing help.”

22 Immutable Laws of Marketing

Also, not all ideas/products need a lot of money [A technical or business product has to raise less marketing money because the prospect list is shorter and media is less expensive.] Probably the best recipe/solution would be: [1. First get the idea, 2. then go get the money to exploit it.]

The book “The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing” also hijacks certain myths such as the following:

“Many people believe that the basic issue in marketing is convincing prospects that you have a better product or service. Not true.”

“The theory is that if you spend enough money, you can own the idea. Right? Wrong.’

“There is a perception that the answer to all marketing questions is money. Not true! One day a few dollars can work a major miracle, but the next day millions of dollars can’t save a company from going under.’

“There are no best products. All that exists in the world of marketing are perceptions in the minds of the customer or prospect.”

“If long-lasting is what people want, that’s what we should advertise. Right? Wrong.”

“Creating flavors is a popular way to try to grab market share. More flavors, more share. Sounds right, but it doesn’t work.”

22 Immutable Laws of Marketing

It’s important to keep in mind these 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing together with the authors’ examples, comparisons, and advice. For every law, Al Ries and Jack Trout present various short case studies that can be used as models for both situations:

– When the used strategy has revealed the best results;

– When the used strategy didn’t work as expected.

In conclusion, “The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing” it’s a must-read book for people working in marketing and other related areas. For sure there are many other tips which can help in marketing, but the authors had chosen the fundamental laws of marketing, those immutable laws which can be ‘violated at your own risk’ only!

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