The 22 Immutable Laws of Branding Summary

1-Sentence-Summary: The 22 Immutable Laws of Branding is a compilation of laws that provides insights for conducting successful marketing campaigns by focusing on the essence of branding and how brands must be created and managed in order to survive in the competitive world.

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The 22 Immutable Laws of Branding Summary

The 22 Immutable Laws of Branding by Al Ries, is a practical, hands-on guide to the dos and don’ts of branding. Defining brand as a promise rather than a feeling, authors Al Ries and Jack Trout present their own set of rules for building strong brands through effective marketing. 

The book defines a “brand” as “the intangible sum of a product’s attributes: its name, packaging, and price, its history, its reputation with the customer.” These attributes are further described as being either tangible or intangible. However, this is not the truly essential lesson of this book.

Let’s explore the three most meaningful lessons from these marketing experts:

  1. To promote a brand, you’ll need to follow the first three rules of advertising. 
  2. Building a brand starts with the Law of Publicity and the Law of Advertising.
  3.  The laws six to ten will prove to be the most valuable for your brand.

Branding is an ever-changing field, but some laws remain forever. Fortunately, we’ve uncovered the ten most important ones in these lessons. Let’s explore them!

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Lesson 1: There are three core rules of advertising that you can use to market a successful brand.

There are a lot of misconceptions associated with advertising. Marketers worldwide often promote products to the wrong market, at the wrong time, in all the wrong way. Fortunately, there is indeed a success formula – sort of – to use if you want to maximize your efforts. 

The first rule of branding is the Law of Expansion. This law states that companies become weaker as they try to advertise a broad range of products or services. Take street shops and deli businesses that sell an incredible array of items. Do you have a brand in mind? Not really. 

The first company to narrow its deli business was Subway, and it did the right move as it became an internationally recognized brand. The second law of branding is the Law of Contraction, which is practically the opposite of the first law. The more you narrow your offering, the easier it becomes to advertise.

This is how brands form and become recognizable. Similar to the first two laws, we’ve got the Law of Singularity, which preaches the importance of focusing efforts on creating a brand that’s synonym to an everyday object or idea. Prego is the spaghetti sauce, Rolex is the highly luxurious watch, and Walmart is the go-to place for cheap products.

Lesson 2: The Law of Publicity and the Law of Advertising can help you build a brand that sells.

The fourth law of marketing and branding is the Law of Publicity, which is key when it comes to building a brand from scratch. Publicity is essential to any brand looking to scale, regardless of its size. Without it, your business isn’t going to be successful. A great start is by being the first within an industry.

However, in such a competitive market, that can get tough. Still, you can make your product stand out by delivering extra features, implementing unique selling points, and just by being original overall. However, when it comes to advertising your already existing brand, the Law of Advertising comes in.

This law states that your purpose as a business is to defend your gain in the market after launch. You don’t do so by overly advertising your superiority over your competitors, or by spamming users with ads – all those strategies fail in the long run. 

Users want to know that your product is the top choice within its category – and that’s what you should advertise. Focus on your offerings and why your product can change your customer’s life for the better, and not on what your competitor is doing. Make yourself stand out and hold on tight to the ground you’ve got.

Lesson 3: The last four laws of branding will get your product from average to exceptional.

The sixth law of branding is the Law of the Word, which states that you should associate your brand with a powerful word. Mercedes is highly associated with “prestige”, while Honda is thought to be “well-engineered”. What’s your catchword? 

What’s even better is to make the world associate your product with a concept itself. Think of companies like Xerox or Pampers who became worldwide used words. Now, on to the next law, which is the Law of Category. This one presents the idea of advertising an entire category of products once you’ve achieved leadership.

It will probably help your competition too, which is why it may sound counter-intuitive to do so. However, the more attention there is in the field, the more likely it is to have people buy even more from you. The eighth law is the Law of Credentials. This once states that you should build authority through factual claims. 

You only need a great first impression and a one-time proven claim. Then, you’ll be able to make secondary assumptions based on your trust. This concept goes hand in hand with the tenth Law of Quality. This one is about the importance of the perception of quality. If you advertise your product as a top-quality one well-enough, people will buy it.

The 22 Immutable Laws of Branding Review

The 22 Immutable Laws of Branding is based on solid marketing principles and concepts written for marketers who not only need to understand these principles but also apply them in their careers. 

The book teaches us that brand is more than just a logo and should be part of every aspect of the business, whether it’s marketing or production. Brands emerge when customers are willing to pay a premium for goods or services simply because they associate them with your brand

There are numerous ways to achieve that and the dynamic business world changes continuously, but some laws remain universal truths.

Who would I recommend The 22 Immutable Laws of Branding summary to?

The 24-year-old marketing student who wants to study their field in-depth, the 35-year-old old who wants to learn how to advertise their start-up, or the 40-year-old marketing manager who wants to upgrade their company’s marketing strategy from scratch.

Last Updated on October 6, 2022

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Maria Deac

While working with my friend Ovi's company SocialBee, I had the good fortune of Maria writing over 200 summaries for us over the course of 18 months. Maria is a professional SEO copywriter, content writer, and social media marketing specialist. When she's not writing or learning more about marketing, she loves to dance and travel all over the world.