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The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing: Explained in a Handy Listicle

Learn the 22 immutable laws of marketing devised by Al Ries and Jack Trout summarized in an easy-to-skim listicle. Get a digital marketer's commentary on applying these laws today.

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We all love listicles, don’t we? Easy to skim, quick to digest, perfect for sharing – what’s not to like?

In that spirit, I’m going to summarise marketing gurus Al Ries and Jack Trout’s classic guidebook “The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing” in bite-sized listicle form. Get ready for the quick and dirty on the 22 laws that have shaped marketing for decades. Here we go!

Cover of the ebook the 22 immutable laws of marketing.

Law of Marketing #1: The Law of Leadership

  • What it says: Being first in a new category is better than being better in an existing one.
  • My take: First mover advantage is huge, especially online. But also being disruptively better can let you leapfrog leaders.

Law #2: The Law of Category

  • What it says: If you can’t be first in a market, create a new category you can lead.
  • My take: Sometimes it’s better to redefine an existing space than fabricate a new bucket.

Law #3: The Law of The Mind

  • What it says: Getting into the consumer’s mind first matters more than being first to market.
  • My take: Clever marketing campaigns can still win mindshare even for later entrants.

Law #4: The Law of Perception

  • What it says: Marketing is a battle of perception, not products.
  • My take: Perception now stems heavily from customer experience and online opinions.

Law #5: The Law of Focus

  • What it says: Dominate a word in the consumer’s mind.
  • My take: But focus must also consider diversification into complementary categories.

Law #6: The Law of Exclusivity

  • What it says: Two brands can’t own the same word in a consumer’s mind.
  • My take: You can reshape what an established word means, however.

Law #7: The Law of The Ladder

  • What it says: Marketing strategy depends on your position relative to competitors.
  • My take: Digital environment enables faster movement between ladder rungs.

Law #8: The Law of Duality

  • What it says: Most categories become two-horse races.
  • My take: But the internet enables greater fragmentation and niches.

Law #9: The Law of The Opposite

  • What it says: If you’re second, do the opposite of the leader.
  • My take: Better to redefine the paradigm than merely react.

Law #10: The Law of Division

  • What it says: Categories fragment over time.
  • My take: But digital convergence also collapses categories.

Law #11: The Law of Perspective

  • What it says: Long-term brand building matters more than short-term gains.
  • My take: But you need both long and short-term strategies.

Law #12: The Law of Line Extension

  • What it says: Extending your brand risks diluting it.
  • My take: Done right, extensions can expand brand halo.

Law #13: The Law of Sacrifice

  • What it says: Sacrifice to stay focused.
  • My take: But rigid adherence risks missing opportunities.

Law #14: The Law of Attributes

  • What it says: Find an opposite attribute to the leader to compete.
  • My take: Complementing the leader also works.

Law #15: The Law of Candor

  • What it says: Admitting negatives builds trust.
  • My take: But don’t overfeed your weaknesses.

Law #16: The Law of Singularity

  • What it says: One game-changing move drives success.
  • My take: But compounding small gains also works.

Law #17: The Law of Unpredictability

Law #18: The Law of Success

  • What it says: Success breeds arrogance.
  • My take: But great marketers remain paranoid and hungry despite winning.

Law #19: The Law of Failure

  • What it says: Accept and learn from failures.
  • My take: But don’t become gun-shy about trying again.

Law #20: The Law of Hype

  • What it says: Ignore hype. Substance matters more.
  • My take: But hype doesn’t always correlate negatively with success.

Law #21: The Law of Acceleration

  • What it says: Build on trends, not fads.
  • My take: But fads can expose future trends.

Law #22: The Law of Resources

  • What it says: Marketing requires money.
  • My take: But leverage, timing and creativity can maximize limited resources.

There you have my abridged, listicle-style take on these seminal marketing laws! Let me know which ones you found most interesting or surprising. And go out there and put these lessons into action!

Jesus Guzman

M&G Speed Marketing LTD. CEO

Jesus Guzman is the CEO and founder of M&G Speed Marketing LTD, a digital marketing agency focused on rapidly growing businesses through strategies like SEO, PPC, social media, email campaigns, and website optimization. With an MBA and over 11 years of experience, Guzman combines his marketing expertise with web design skills to create captivating online experiences. His journey as an in-house SEO expert has given him insights into effective online marketing. Guzman is passionate about helping businesses achieve impressive growth through his honed skills. He has proud case studies to share and is eager to connect to take your business to the next level.