#MarketingMonday: The Irrefutable Laws of Marketing


“I’m not a teacher, or a preacher. I’m a reacher” – Michael Cimino writer-director, editor of Academy Award Winning Film The Deerhunter. 

The book is titled 22 Laws of Marketing by Al Ries and Jack Trout

To avoid being a teacher or a preacher. I would just like to say, before I lay out what the authors have described and provided many examples of 22 laws of marketing. That I’m currently in exploration phase, and hopefully, and when I do find something to market and hence put it on the net. I will take these laws into high consideration. As it brings a lot of past and current events of marketing gone wrong to light. Without further ado,

#1 The Law of Leadership

-It’s not about being better. It’s about getting there first. Today, see the online real estate rumors of Zillow (got there first by a couple months is now buying it’s competitor Trulia for $3.5B in all stock)

Zillow buys competitor out.

#2 The Law of Category

– If you can’t get there first in a category set up a category you can be first in.

Book example: “After Heineken became a big success in America, the people at Anheuser-Busch could have said, ‘We should bring in an imported beer, too.’ But they didn’t. Instead, they said “If there’s a market for a high-priced imprted beer, maybe there’s a marked for a high priced domestic beer.” See Marketing to the Affluent

#3 The Law of the Mind

It’s better to be first in mind than to be first in the marketplace.

– Nike. Enough said.

#4 The Law of Perception – My personal favorite

-Marketing is not a battle of products, it’s a battle of perceptions.

-*This is a good one for people who have traveled.

#5 The Law of Focus

-The most powerful concept in marketing is owning a word in the prospect’s mind.

Like – Facebook

Followers – Twitter

Thick – Heinz

Fast – Ferrari


#6 The Law of Exclusivity

Two companies cannot own the same word in the prospect’s mind. (Peer Pressure)

Ex: Fed Ex walked away from overnight and trying to take away worldwide from DHL.

Someone already owns it. Long-lasting – Duracell, Energizer tries to steal it.

#7 The Law of the Ladder

The strategy to use depends on which rung you occupy on the ladder.

Don’t try to follow and be number one if you’re number two or three. Own number three and take Law number 2 into consideration.

1. Marc Jacobs – High end to discount

2. Tom Ford – Specialized in high end

“It might be better to be a small fish in a big pond than a big fish in a small pond.”

“It’s sometimes better to be No. 3 on a big ladder than number 1. on a small ladder.

#8 The Law of Duality

– In the long run, every market becomes a two horse race.

Apple versus Samsung/Google in smartphones.

Remember Blackberry and the Microsoft Zune?

The market always shakes out to a two horse race.

#9 The Law of the Opposite

-If you’re shooting for second place your strategy is determined by the leader.

Position yourself as the only alternative. From 37signals’ book Rework.

Pick a Fight and present the only alternative.

#10 The Law of Division

– Overtime, a category will divide and become two or more categories.

The media industry – First started out as 3 TV stations, now there’s HBO’s pay per view, YouTube, cable, PBS-public TV, satellite and streaming media) All on the Net!

#11 The Law of Perspective

Marketing effects take place over an extended period of time.

“Is Alcohol a stimulant or a depressant?”

Happy Hour = Stimulant

Morning after = Depressant

Look at what the stock market does in the name of short term profit vs long term sustainability.

See Collin’s book Built to Last.

#12 The Law of Line Extension

There’s an irresistible pressure to extend the equity of the brand.

Coca-Cola – New Coke, Coke Cherry, Coke Zero, etc

#13 The Law of Sacrifice

Most brands are doing this, and it seems acceptable to the eye, but think of it as good marketing gloss compared to the real numbers. Ferrari selling shoes and clothes.

Exploit Specializations.

#14 The Law of Attributes

For every attribute, there is an opposite, effective attribute.

When competing, use the opposite attribute to exploit the leader.

#15 The Law of Candor

-Being brutally honest of your product even if it is negative.

Buckley’s Cough Syrup “It tastes awful, but it works!”

#16 The Law of Singularity

– In each situation, only one move will produce substantial results.

Marketing is warfare. The big guys are far away from reality and the start ups are on the front lines to gain edge, a singular concept to break through the wall of competing ideas, to challenge the consumer to come over the “right” side

#17 The Law of Unpredictability

– Unless you write your competitors’ plans, you cant predict the future.

“Most companies live from quarterly report to quarterly report. = problems”

Good short term planning is differentiating yourself from the pack. Then set up for not a long term plan, but a long term direction.

#18 The Law of Success

Success often leads to arrogance, and arrogance to failure.

Case and point Blackberry. When Barack Obama was sporting the hottest BB device, it was only destiny to unfold that Blackberry was going to be an invincible industry leader in the business smartphone market. He took his eyes off the prize, got distracted by trying to bid for the Phoenix Coyotes and then the iPhone slipped in under radar.

#19 The Law of Failure

– Failure is to be expected and accepted.

The Japanese anticipate failure, readjust and keep firing.

Walmart: “ready, fire, aim”

Don’t play it safe.

#20 The Law of Hype

The situation is often the opposite of the way it appears in the press.

Chances are if it’s in the press it’s the opposite of what’s really happening.

The frequent Facebook updater…Life is ruins. Even I can attest to that!

Spin doctors and Publicists usually churn the media frenzies.

#21 The Law of Acceleration

Successful programs are not built on fads, they are built on trends.

I’ll argue that fads are a trend.

#22 The Law of Resources

Without adequate funding an idea won’t get off the ground.

The numbers simply suck for funding.

The book even admits that the most real ways to attain funding is for you to marry, divorce or inherit it to get the funds you need.(This book was written in 1993.

Self mades are more prevalent today then any time in history.

But the man or woman who has the power, controls the idea’s destiny.


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