10 Immutable Laws of Marketing

May 16, 2023

10 Immutable Laws of Marketing (that every business should follow)

Marketing is an essential aspect of any business that seeks to grow and succeed. To excel in the world of marketing, there are certain fundamental principles every business should adhere to. Here’s what you need to know about the first 10 laws from Al Ries & Jack Trout’s book The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing.


1.The Law of Leadership

The first law of marketing states that it’s better to be first than it is to be better. It’s much easier to get into someone’s mind first than it is to convince them you have a better product. For instance, when you think of cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin is most likely the first one that comes to mind, even though it’s not necessarily the best. Therefore, the key to success is to become the first in your market niche.


2. The Law of the Category

The second law states that if you can’t be first in a category, create a new one you can be first in. It’s more important to be different than to be better. Microsoft became the gold standard for computers, but Apple successfully differentiated itself by creating a different category of computing.


3. The Law of the Mind

The third law states that it’s better to be first on the mind than to be first in the market. Being first in the market is only important because it lets you get into the mind first. Therefore, to succeed in marketing, you need to be the first brand that comes to mind when a prospect thinks of your product or service.


4. The Law of Perception

The fourth law states that marketing is not a battle of products, but a battle of perceptions. There’s no objective reality as far as marketing is concerned. All that exists are the perceptions of the customer. Therefore, instead of trying to create a better product, create a product that’s better for a specific group of people with specific problems that aren’t being solved by others.


5. The Law of Focus

The fifth law states that the most powerful concept in marketing is owning a word in the prospect’s mind. For example, FedEx put the word “overnight” in the minds of prospects, and Heinz owns the word “ketchup.” To achieve this, you need to focus on a specific aspect of your product or service that sets you apart from your competitors.


6. The Law of Exclusivity

The sixth law states that two companies cannot own the same word in the prospect’s mind. Therefore, find a word that isn’t taken by other competitors. Don’t try to hijack a word that’s already taken; that would be violating the first law of leadership.


7. The Law of the Ladder

The seventh law states that the strategy to use depends on your rung on the ladder. When a second rung brand tries to convince you it’s number one, you don’t believe their words. It’s better to acknowledge your position and adjust the message appropriately. For instance, “We are only No. 2, so we try harder.”


8. The Law of Duality

The eighth law states that in the long run, every market becomes a two-horse race. If there’s one company that starts out in a category, a competitor will eventually emerge. Examples include Coke vs. Pepsi, PC vs. Mac, and Canon vs. Nikon.


9. The Law of the Opposite

The ninth law states that if you’re shooting for second place, your strategy is determined by the leader. Try to do the opposite of the market leader. For example, Coke was an old brand, so Pepsi appealed to the “taste of a new generation.” Time is known for colorful writing, so Newsweek uses a straightforward writing style.


10. The Law of Division

The tenth law states that Over time, markets undergo division, resulting in the emergence of multiple categories. These divisions occur as customer needs and preferences evolve, giving rise to distinct sub-categories. Each sub-category caters to specific desires and requirements of prospects. Adapting to these divisions allows businesses to effectively target and meet the diverse demands of each sub-category, ensuring their continued relevance and success in the market.

Understanding and applying the 10 laws of marketing can give businesses an edge in a highly competitive marketplace. By focusing on being first in the customer’s mind, owning a word or concept, and differentiating oneself from competitors, businesses can carve out a unique position in the market.

Additionally, understanding the concept of perception and the importance of catering to specific customer needs can help businesses create successful marketing campaigns that resonate with their target audience.

These laws provide a valuable framework for businesses to approach marketing and can serve as a guide for creating successful marketing strategies.

By paying attention to these laws and being willing to adjust strategies as needed, businesses can stay ahead of the competition and thrive in today’s ever-changing marketplace.