The 22 Immutable Laws of Branding, Al Ries & Laura Ries

Product Description
This marketing classic has been expanded to include new commentary, new illustrations, and a bonus book: The 11 Immutable Laws of Internet Branding.

Smart and accessible, The 22 Immutable Laws of Branding is the definitive text on branding, pairing anecdotes about some of the best brands in the world, like Rolex, Volvo, and Heineken, with the signature savvy of marketing gurus Al and Laura Ries. Combining The 22 Immutable Laws of Branding and The 11 Immutable Laws of Internet Branding, this book proclaims that the only way to stand out in today's marketplace is to build your product or service into a brand -- and provides the step-by-step instructions you need to do so.

The 22 Immutable Laws of Branding also tackles one of the most challenging marketing problems today: branding on the Web. The Rieses divulge the controversial and counterintuitive strategies and secrets that both small and large companies have used to establish internet brands. The 22 Immutable Laws of Branding is the essential primer on building a category-dominating, world-class brand.

“When you call a book The 22 Immutable Laws of Branding, you're pretty much ruling out Oprah's Book Club as potential buyers. (Not that Oprah herself isn't a terrific brand.) This is an book for a narrow demographic: entrepreneurs, top managers, and public-relations directors. Coauthor Al Ries comes off like the eccentric genius that most of these managers keep in a basement office, only listening to when necessary. When he says, "The power of a brand is inversely proportional to its scope," and hectors managers with the idea that "customers want brands that are narrow in scope," you know he's right (he backs himself up with dozens of examples), and you know it's the last thing powerful, expansion-minded businesspeople want to hear. Coauthor Laura Ries, his daughter and marketing-firm partner, also reads sections.” --Lou Schuler

"Al Ries demonstrates that marketers need two skills: building a brand and keeping it alive. Through stellar company profiles and keen insights, this book will show them how, whether they're entrepreneurs or seasoned veterans." -- Philip Kotler, Professor of International Marketing, J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management, Northwestern University

"Al Ries's laws of marketing turned my software company into a worldwide brand and the dominant player in a whole new software category. Anyone looking to market their company successfully has to read The 22 Immutable Laws of Branding." -- Patrick M. Sullivan, CEO, SalesLogix

"I could only wish that I'd had access to this book at the start of my career, the insights it provides are indispensable to anyone seeking to build their business into a recognized brand." -- Philip J. Romano, CEO, Romano Enterprises

"This book is like a synthesizer. Using an impressive list of the world's best-known brands, it fine tunes the art of branding to its optimum levels, enabling you to make the right marketing decisions with utmost confidence." -- Scott Kay, CEO, Scott Kay Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

My notes from The 22 Immutable Laws of Branding

Law of Expansion

  • The power of a brand is inversely proportional to its scope.
  • Customers want brands that are narrow in scope and are distinguishable by a word; the shorter, the better.
  • If you want to build a powerful brand in the minds of consumers, you need to contract your brand, not expand it.

Law of Contraction

  • Narrow the focus. Contract your brand rather than expand it.
  • Once narrowed, dominate the category.

Law of Publicity

  • The birth of a brand is achieved with publicity, not advertising.
  • Be the first brand in a new category to generate publicity.
  • The news media wants to talk about what's new, what's first, what's hot -- not what's better. And the best way to make news is to announce a new category, not a new product.

Law of Advertising

  • Be a brand leader because it's the single most important motivating factor in consumer behavior.
  • When your product/service is the leader, people think it must be better.
  • If you tell them in you advertising that your product is better, they'll think, “that's what they all say.”
  • Advertising is a powerful tool to maintain leadership and protection from competition.

Law of the Word

  • If you want to build a brand, you must focus your efforts on owning a word in the prospects’ mind. A word nobody else owns.
  • Looking for ways to broaden the base, to get into other markets, capture other attributes, is one of the most common branding mistakes.
  • You can only become generic (Kleenex, Band-Aid, Xerox) by being the first brand to establish the category. To be first in a category, create a new one by narrowing your focus.
  • The most successful brands are those that kept a narrow focus and the expanded the category as opposed to expanding the name into other categories.

Law of Credentials

  • Claim authenticity.
  • Advertising claims are perceived as puffery -- unless they are structured around some aspect of the brand's credentials.

Law of Quality

  • Quality has little to do with success in the marketplace.
  • Quality -- or the perception of quality -- resides in the mind.
  • A specialist (narrow focus) is perceived to know more.

Law of the Category

  • The leading brand should promote the category, not he brand.
  • Increasing market share is not the most useful aspect of branding; it's creating a new category -- starting something totally new.

Law of the Name

  • A brand is nothing more than a name.
  • In time, the unique idea or concept of your company or product disappears. All that's left is the difference between your brand name and the brand names of your competitors.

Law of Extensions

  • The easiest way to destroy a brand is to put its name on everything.
  • If the market is moving out from under you, stay where you are and launch a second brand. If it's not stay where you are and continue building your brand.

Law of Fellowship

  • To build a category, a brand should welcome other brands.
  • Competition broadens the category and allows the brands to stay focused.
  • No brand can own the entire market. Around 50% is the upper limit.

Law of the Generic

Law of the Company

  • There is a difference between the brand and the company.
  • Customers care only about brands, not companies.

Law of the Sub-brands

  • What branding builds, sub-branding can destroy.
  • What "name" places an ad in the yellow pages?

Law of Siblings

  • There is a time and place to launch a second brand.
  • The key to a family approach is to make each sibling a unique individual brand with its own identity -- as different and distinct as possible.
  • The parent brand should not have to support the generic sibling.
  • Resist the temptation to take advantage of the parent brand's equity.

Law of Shape

  • A logotype should be designed to fit both eyes.
  • The real power of the brand name lies in the meaning of the word in the mind.

Law of Color

  • A brand should use a color that is the opposite of its major competitor's.
  • By standardizing on a single color and using it consistently over the years, you can build a powerful visual presence in a clutter-filled world.

Law of Borders

  • A brand should know no borders.
  • Keep the brand's narrow focus in its home country, and then go global.
  • But...You need to be first. Your product needs to fit the perceptions of its country of origin.

Law of Consistency

  • Brand success is measured in decades, not years.
  • A brand cannot get into the mind unless it stands for something. Once it occupies a position, it shouldn't change (bend, yes).
  • Markets may change, but brands should stay the same.
  • Brand building is boring. What works best is absolute consistency over an extended period of time.
  • The essence of branding is limiting the brand to stand for something simple and narrow -- then combine it with consistency.

Law of Change

  • Brands can be changed, but only infrequently and only very carefully.
  • If you want to change your brand, first look into the prospect’s mind. What’s there? If you’re not in the mind at all, change away.

Law of Mortality

  • No brand will live forever. Sometimes euthanasia is the best solution.
  • A well-known brand that doesn’t stand for anything (or stands for something irrelevant) has no value.

Law of Singularity

  • The most important aspect of a brand is its single-mindedness.
  • A brand is a proper noun that can be used in the place of a common word. “What’s a ______?”
  • A brand is a singular idea or concept that you own inside the mind of a prospect.

About the Authors
Al Ries is perhaps the world's best-known marketing strategist. He is the coauthor of such international bestsellers as The 22 Immutable Laws of Branding and Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind and the author of Focus: The Future of Your Company Depends on It.

His daughter Laura Ries is a graduate of Northwestern University and a partner in their marketing strategy firm, Ries & Ries in Roswell, Georgia. She is the coauthor of The 22 Immutable Laws of Branding. Together they speak and consult with major companies around the globe.

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