The Laws that stood out in the 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing

Recently I finished the 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing by Al Ries and Jack Trout and shall I say it was a mix of up and down laws. There were a couple of laws that I did not agree but there were some which really stood out.


1. Law of Perception

The law states that all that exists in the world of marketing are perceptions in the minds of the customer or prospect.


The perception is reality. Everything else is an illusion.


Only by studying how perceptions are formed in the mind and focusing your marketing programs on those perceptions can you overcome a lot of challenges. Once you have the right perception set, it’s all about scaling your business.


Taking an example from the book, the automobile company Nissan means different things across different countries. It means a car for the wealthy in one part of the world and a car for the middle-class consumers in the other. So let's say if you're driving a Nissan in America you might be considered as a middle-class consumer with an average income to sustain your family. The similar can't be said for people holding a Nissan in the South Asian countries.


Marketing is a game of perception, it all depends on what you want the people to think about you, and once you achieve it half of your game is done.

2. Law of Focus

A company can become incredibly successful if it can find a way to own a word in the mind of the prospect.


Not a complicated word. Not an invented one. The simple words are best, words taken right out of the dictionary.


For Example, FedEx has the word overnight embedded in the minds of its consumers. This makes it easier for them to get orders which have to shipped across destinations with an urgency. So whenever you think about shipping your package, FedEx automatically comes to your mind so much so that some of the consumers use it as a verb.


3. Law of Ladder


For each category, there is a product ladder in the mind.


On each rung is a brand name. Your marketing strategy should depend on how soon you got into the mind and consequently which rung of the ladder you occupy. The higher the better, of course.


The ultimate product that involves the least amount of pleasure and it purchased once in a lifetime has no rungs on its ladder.


Before starting any marketing program, ask yourself, “Where are we on the ladder in the prospect’s mind?”


This gives you the power to negotiate and not only in terms of marketing as a product to your consumers but also marketing yourself as a prospect to the right and to your dream opportunity.


4. The Law of Candor


When you admit a negative, the prospect will give you a positive.


One of the laws that really stood out to me was the law of Candor.


Every negative statement you make about yourself is instantly accepted as truth.


Positive statements, on the other hand, are looked at as dubious at best. Especially in advertising and they become harder to prove when they take the path of 'Reason to Believe'.


You have to prove a positive statement to the prospect’s satisfaction. No proof is needed for a negative statement. Negative marketing rather spikes curiosity.


The law of candor must be used carefully and with great skill. First, your “negative” must be widely perceived as negative. It has to trigger an instant agreement with your prospect’s mind.


If the negative doesn't register quickly, your prospect will be confused and will wonder, “What’s this all about?” Next, you have to shift quickly to the positive.


The purpose of candor isn’t to apologize. The purpose of candor is to set up a benefit that will convince your prospect.


These are some of the las that really stood out and make sense in the present world of marketing.


Let me know your thoughts