There are some books that instantly connect with me because they take various vantage points I hold and put it together in a single coherent narrative.
The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing has it all; good research, umpteen number of examples that are woven into a compelling narrative and an easy to understand explanation of marketing rules that any and every founder must follow. I found this book so engaging that I just couldn’t put it down. I finished reading it in a day (which could’ve been done in a couple of hours if I wasn’t so busy underlining or writing in the margins).
The book was written in 1993, by two marketing gurus and best-selling authors Al Ries & Jack Trout, so most of the examples they describe are dated. Yet, it amazes me how accurate their predictions about the decline of brands like New Coke, GM, IBM, 7UP, etc. were and how they pinpointed the exact laws of marketing that these brands flouted that got them there.
In fact, I can easily identify present day companies that are underperforming due to flouting a marketing law and companies that are winning by meticulously following one. It is extremely engaging stuff.
What did I like about this book?
Its simplicity. The laws are extremely easy to understand, and the marketing rationale is explained using real world examples. The authors avoided being verbose and have kept the book concise and engaging.
I love the way in which they’ve given the laws because if I ever find myself in a quandary regarding a marketing decision, I can simply just open the relevant chapter and read it, to guide my thinking. In a way it will be my personal bible for marketing problems.
My favourite laws?
In order of preference:
- The Law of Sacrifice – this one hits close to home because I have seen how flouting this law has hurt several of our companies i.e. when they tried to do everything and ended up becoming nothing.
- The Law of Leadership – learning that a leading brand is perceived as the better-quality brand was an eye opener. It answered the question on why investing in a challenger has (for the lack of better word) challenges.
- The Law of Category – This taught me that when you cannot win a category… you should create one!
- The Law of Focus – the most successful marketing teams are pros at associating their product or service with a single word – a word that they’ll always own.
Who is this book for?
This book is for anyone who is involved in making marketing (digital or otherwise) and branding decisions for the company that they founded or are employed at. It can be helpful to adjust their marketing efforts to work for and not against their company.
This book should be in the purse, bag or back pocket of any founder or marketer – it just that relevant!