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The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing: Violate Them at Your Own Risk Paperback – Apr 27 1994

81 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: HarperBusiness (April 27 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0887306667
  • ISBN-13: 978-0887306662
  • Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 0.9 x 20.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 136 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (81 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #4,433 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From Library Journal

Ries and Trout, authors of some of the most popular titles in marketing published during the last decade ( Marketing Warfare , LJ 10/15/85; Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind , Warner, 1987; and Bottom-Up Marketing , McGraw, 1989), continue the same breezy style, with lots of anecdotes and insider views of contemporary marketing strategy. The premise behind this book is that in order for marketing strategies to work, they must be in tune with some quintessential force in the marketplace. Just as the laws of physics define the workings of the universe, so do successful marketing programs conform to the "22 Laws." Each law is presented with illustrations of how it works based on actual companies and their marketing strategies. For example, the "Law of Focus" states that the most powerful concept in marketing is "owning" a word in the prospect's mind, such as Crest's owning cavities and Nordstrom's owning service. The book is fun to read, contains solid information, and should be acquired by all public and business school libraries. It will be requested by readers of the authors' earlier titles.
- William W. Sannwald, San Diego P.L.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Al Ries and his daughter and business partner Laura Ries are two of the world's best-known marketing consultants, and their firm, Ries & Ries, works with many Fortune 500 companies. They are the authors of The 22 Immutable Laws of Branding and The Fall of Advertising and the Rise of PR, which was a Wall Street Journal and a BusinessWeek bestseller, and, most recently, The Origin of Brands. Al was recently named one of the Top 10 Business Gurus by the Marketing Executives Networking Group. Laura is a frequent television commentator and has appeared on the Fox News and Fox Business Channels, CNN, CNBC, PBS, ABC, CBS, and others. Their Web site ( has some simple tests that will help you determine whether you are a left brainer or a right brainer.

Authors Al Ries and Jack Trout are probably the world's best-known marketing strategists. Their books, including Marketing Warfare, Bottom-Up Marketing, Horse Sense, and Positioning have been published in more than fifteen languages and their consulting work has taken them into many of the world's largest corporations in North America, South America, and the Far East.

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Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars

Most helpful customer reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Nearly Nubile on May 6 2003
Format: Paperback
After 10 years, this still remains a classic work in the marketing field, and perhaps a must-read for anyone in business. And no, unlike many reviewers I do not believe that Ries and Trout have ever managed to redo the glory of this book in their Laws of Branding, Laws of Internet Branding etc.
Don't expect an excruciating marketing treatise with elaborate case studies and What-If scenarios. Expect instead 22 capsules of business wisdom, or "laws" of common sense marketing with some brilliant examples from the real world to prove them. In this, the book excels and is to date the briefest and best argued work I have come across.
However, given the passion with which some reviewers comment about this book I am inclined to offer a caveat -- please don't base your career around it. Although I love thin, in-your-face books such as this (great reading, great examples to bounce off) they also have a fundamental flaw: the fact that they attempt to shove "laws" on to the ever-morphing scaffold of the business of marketing that does not lend itself easily to codification, much less of an "immutable" nature.
It would be a cinch to come up with examples that go against each law in the book if you really wanted.
For instance,
(1) Law of Leadership (better to be first than to be best) can be argued against with the theory of disruptions and how first-mover advantages do not always materialize. Why is WebCrawler not more popular than Google? Because Google is (way) better.
(2) The Law of Sacrifice (that talks about focus, as do a couple of other similar if not redundant laws, including, well, the Law of Focus) would not hold much fizz in the case of many very successful conglomerates, especially in Asian countries.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Tsang Wing Nga Kimmie on Oct. 22 2003
Format: Paperback
In general, the book is easy to read, each law is precise and illustrate with many examples that we are familiar with. Therefore anyone who didn¡¦t studying marketing can also understand.
I learned so much from these 22 laws. For instance, it is better to be the first then it is to be better. It is because the first one always becomes generic name of that category and becomes the leading brand. As a result the prospects can easily recall you since yours product or service almost always the first brand into their mind. And that is the author say ¡§Marketing is a battle of perceptions, not products¡¨.
If anyone who wants to explore more about marketing, I highly recommend reading this book and I am sure you can gain a lot of insight from it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Adam F. Jewell on Aug. 20 2001
Format: Paperback
If you haven't yet read anything by Ries and Trout, this could be a five star book. In and of itself, it's a solid book, chock full of uncommon, common sense marketing approaches.
If, on the other hand you've read "Positioning" or "Focus" (Both Superb!) you will have just purchased that which you already have. Reading something by Reis/Trout is an absolute must; they are simply brilliant when it comes to defining, and illustrating, and writing about critical marketing principles.
If you've got the time, read "Positioning" and "Focus". If you'd prefer a Cliffs Notes of those two, "The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing" will fit the bill.
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Format: Paperback
A reader of this book said that 'the first law of successful marketing is to read and understand this book'. I agree with that and say that it is a must-read for everyone working in marketing.

I have been working in this field for almost 5 years and I have realised that marketing people tend to have a wide variety of their own ideas about marketing and how to do it. I know that in this field a lot of the success comes from 'the unsual' and 'the uncommon' strategies, but it also comes from certain rules that have to be respected, because a history of more than 25 years proved that they work.

This book is meant to eliminate myths and misconceptions someone might have about the marketing process. Companies spend millions of dollars on marketing thinking that they are chosing the best way to promote their products. But no matter how extraordinary those programs are, sometimes they fail and bring no benefit to the product or the service they promote. The result destroys the identity of the brands, market share decreases, and so do sales. Companies lose a lot of money.

The two authors have a lot of experience in this field and their theories are based clear examples. If marketing people would adjust their promotional programs according to these rules, companies would be much more successful.

There are 22 rules in total, applicable to every field, rules that will make you understand why things are the way they are. It will also help you analyse past experience and decide what was wrong and right and avoid doing the same mistakes in the future.

It is not an academic book . The language and style are accessible to everybody.
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Format: Paperback
The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing by Al Ries and Jack Trout is a concise listing of marketing tenets. It proves to be a valuable read that, in some cases, is a bit too simplistic. Even the appearance of the book with crude illustrations and large print, which I assume is intentional, give it a children's-book appearance. Given its size and detail, a fast reader could cover this text in under two hours.
While the book is a worthy read for anyone interested in marketing, the simplistic concepts and dichotomous thinking lead to some erroneous conclusions. In fact, since the book was written in 1993, some of the arguments on specific examples were proven to be incorrect. Like most marketing books, it somewhat neglects the informed consumer who can make buying decisions based on quality and product features. At the same time, it overlooks the effect of product superiority on market prominence.
One example in the "The Law of the Line Extension" argued against Microsoft's foray into business graphics, spreadsheet and word processing software because of the market leadership of Harvard Graphics, Lotus and WordPerfect, respectively. It suggests that trying "to be all things to all people, you inevitably wind up in trouble." Of course, what these arguments fail to acknowledge is that the *product* integration and distribution can a profound effect on market penetration.
In some cases, it makes the mistake of many marketing books suggesting that poor marketing and not junk products are the cause for the failure of products such as the Cadillac Allante. It would be nice if the authors, or any other authors for that matter, could develop a matrix of examples of bad/good marketing for bad/good products.
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