The 22 Immutable Laws of Branding, Al Ries & Laura Ries
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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
- 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
- Advertising claims are perceived as puffery -- unless
they are structured around some aspect of the brand's credentials.
- Quality has little to do with success in the marketplace.
- Quality -- or the perception of quality -- resides in the mind.
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
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.
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
- 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
- Keep the brand's narrow focus in its home country, and then
- 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
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
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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