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am 6. Juli 2000
Focus. Don't do a line extension to save your life.
OK, this book is great and should be read by anyone involved in marketing (I mean come on, who doesn't have the 3 hours it takes to read this book). Unfortunately one serious drawback is that he uses plenty of examples to support his claims. Huh? Why is that a negative? Here's why: because it gets the reader to think of plenty of counter-examples that contradict his points. As another reviewer suggested the claim of "immutable" laws of marketing is a bit bold, but what the book does provide is food for thought in a highly readable context.
You gotta give the guy credit though. He takes a stand. And there's a lot to be said for taking a viewpoint and standing by it in today's middle of the road world.
If you don't feel up to reading "Focus," "Positioning," or some of the other texts by Al Ries, this one provides a lot of the insights in bite size pieces.
Despite the knocks against it listed above there are a few points worth acknowledging: 1. Al Ries is a legend in marketing. 2. It's a good, fun read with many useful examples worth keeping in mind when developing marketing strategies. 3. By reading it for yourself you can develop examples to refute a lot fo the laws and move along the path towards critically evaluating branding strategies.
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am 28. Mai 2000
This is a father and daugther book that in fact tries to use the brand of The 22 Immutable Laws of Mrketing (in itself an excellent book) by the father and Trout. Unfortunately, they manage to sell this book, because they use this branding (title, cover, structure, the Reis name) to suggest that it is as good and revolutionary as the original. Unfortunately, it is neither. There exists a number of good books on the market what regards branding, this is not one of them. But you have to admire their use of branding in selling the book to an unsuspecting public, even though I find it morally questionable.
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am 18. Februar 1999
I can't believe some of these other reviews. Some guy gave it 5 stars and admitted that he hadn't read it yet! I assume that isn't a plant, because it's too stupid to be a plant.
The book is good, thought-provoking, and has some real insights. HOWEVER, it is a little simplistic, and it's written for the brand manager of Coke. For those of us without 80+ years of brand history behind us yet, some of his advice isn't relevant. Also, some of his conclusions are just too simplistic: "Symbols are overrated and don't matter much anyway" (paraphrasing). Come on. You can't tell me the swoosh isn't a powerful asset, and the authors admit it, but they poo-poo the entire concept.
Section on naming is very insightful. And the hard advice on expansion is right on! Overall, good, and worth buying for any marketing person. But, this is definitely NOT the bible. Come on, people!
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am 25. Juli 2000
The best thing about this book is the short chapters: it isn't some unweildly volume that will gather dust on the shelf. It's a resource to re-visit, re-read and bring more fresh thoughts to mind. Whilst the 'laws' are integrated, and you'll find references in some chapters to other 'laws' in the book, you don't have to read it cover-to-cover every time you pick it up. Having said that, you could do so in a spare afternoon! Worth keeping close to hand.
am 24. Juni 2015
This book boils down to a few points, that are repeated many times. 22 laws? Probably a lot fewer.
- The more focused a brand is, the more powerful it is. A brand's power is determined by the customer. If your brand is unfocused, the brand image is weaker. For example, What’s a Chevrolet? A large, small, cheap, expensive car or truck.
- A narrow focus can lead to advantages: Greater selection than competitors in your category, better purchasing deals, cheaper prices than competitors. ---> Dominate the category
- Publicity more important than advertisements
Great way to generate publicity is by being the first brand in a category.
- Be the first to dominate your category, use advertising budget as a defence against competition. Basically you use advertisement to remind people you're already number one, the original, the real thing.
- A brand should strive to own a word in the mind of the consumer. You have to reduce the essence of your brand to a single thought or attribute. An attribute that nobody else already owns in your category. For example, Volvo is konwn for safety, BMW for being the ultimate driving machine.
- Authenticity and credentials. The leading brand usually gets automatic authenticity. When you don't have the leading brand, create a new category in which to claim leadership.
- The easiest way to destroy a brand is to put its name on everything. If you absolutely have to enter new categories, launch a new brand. Don't wind up with a Miller Lite. You want to make each brand as different and distinct as possible.
These are some of the good points made, the book could have been more concise however. Also, here an example of something the authors got wrong:
An exceprt from the book: --- When asked by Fortune magazine what unique opportunities Compaq was looking at, the new CEO, Michael Capellas, said: “You’ll start to see devices converge. Who in the world doesn’t want to have their PalmPilot, their telephone, and their CD player all wrapped into one so they don’t have to carry three things on their belt?”
It will never happen. Technologies don’t converge. They diverge. Yet the hype marches on. ---
This was towards the end of the book, in the 2002 addition, I believe. So a mere 5 years later smartphones showed up and it turns out the Compaq CEO was right. Technologies can converge and people do want a single device that can rule them all.
am 10. April 2001
When I saw this book sitting on my boy-friends desk I picked it up and flipped through it just for fun. However, a couple of hours later I finished up reading it. The book is fun to read although it is consided a business book.
In terms of the book itself: Ries & Trout make a substantial contribution to our understanding of a subject which many people really do not understand. In essence, marketing is the process by which to create or increase demand for whatever is sold. In fact, Ries & Trout provide a convincing argument for Law 23: There are no immutable laws of marketing. The great value of this book lies in the challenges it poses to conventional thinking. The book is dedicated to "the elimination of myths and misconceptions from the marketing process." So many organizations combine the responsibilities for marketing and sales in the same position (e.g. Vice President of Sales & Marketing); the predictable result is that neither marketing nor sales is effective...nor could it be.
How reliable are those 22 "immutable laws"? Obviously, Ries & Trout believe in them. Check them out. Judge for yourself. Consider each in direct correlation with what your organization has done, is doing now, and currently plans to do in the future. And be especially skeptical of all assumptions and premises which, could well nourish and thereby perpetuate the ideology of comfort and the tyranny of custom. Ries & Trout presumably share O'Toole's concern about organizational decay which inevitably results from efforts to sustain the status quo. As Ries & Trout explain with compelling clarity, in marketing as in every other other area of organizational operations, all assumptions and premises should be suspect.
However, check it out yourself!
am 18. April 1999
Overall, this is a good read. But, don't fall into the robotic trap of believing EVERYTHING you read! Take what is good from this book (and there is some) and digest it with all your marketing AND common sense wisdom. The author claims that "symbols" are really NOT that important!... This sort of reckless disinformation only furthers the authors 'hidden agenda?' I have been a top international brand manager for numerous household names the past 35 years and I can tell you without a doubt that "SYMBOLS SELL." Now, don't get me wrong, I am not implying that the symbol is everything, but, A BAD, UNPROFESSIONAL AND CHEAPLY ACQUIRED LOGO DESIGN CAN SEVERELY AND SOMETIMES IRREVERSIBLY KILL YOUR BEST MARKETING EFFORTS OVER A PERIOD OF TIME. I have fallen victim to this problem more than once. Don't let it happen to you too!! We are a visual species; our unique and wonderful genetic disposition as humans endows us with the great gift of an advanced visual cortex within our brains. We see, we react, we think. But, by the time we get around to thinking, our subconscious mind has already assimilated a mountain of data about what we just took in. We innately gravitate towards that which is appealing to us visually; whether it be someone of the opposite sex or our favorite product (or LOGO) which captures our fancy in a magical way. Examples of logos like these are too numerous to mention here. Just look around your own little universe and "see" what it is that you yourself have become attached to over the years and think..."why?" The bottom line is this: Don't cut corners when it comes time to position your product or service in the global marketplace. A world class logo done right should be one of the FIRST things considered BEFORE launching your new product, business or service. You wouldn't set off to run a marathon with shoes from Wal-Mart. - Would you?? Shame on you, Al and Laura Ries for your gross error of judgement regarding the REAL WORLD facts.
am 11. Januar 2000
Al Ries and Jack Trout make another substantial contribution to our understanding of a subject which many people really do not understand. In essence, marketing is the process by which to create or increase demand for whatever is sold. In fact, Ries and Trout provide a convincing argument for Law 23: There are no immutable laws of marketing. The great value of this book lies in the challenges it poses to conventional thinking. The book is dedicated to "the elimination of myths and misconceptions from the marketing process." So many organizations combine the responsibilities for marketing and sales in the same position (eg Vice President of Sales & Marketing); the predictable result is that neither marketing nor sales is effective...nor could it be.
How reliable are those 22 "immutable laws"? Obviously, Ries and Trout believe in them. Check them out. Judge for yourself. Consider each in direct correlation with what your organization has done, is doing now, and currently plans to do in the future. And be especially skeptical of all assumptions and premises which, as James O'Toole suggests in Leading Change, could well nourish and thereby perpetuate "the ideology of comfort and the tyranny of custom." Ries and Trout presumably share O'Toole's concern about organizational decay which inevitably results from efforts to sustain the status quo. As Ries and Trout explain with compelling clarity, in marketing as in every other other area of organizational operations, all assumptions and premises should be suspect. See Law #23.
am 24. Juli 2014
Well worth reading, and although written a number of years ago, I still find it useful in getting the all-important topic of branding right. This book is useful whether you are a big company or a one-man show. The most useful theme for me is the need to focus in terms of products or services. They give great examples of mega famous companies who got it right - and who got it wrong and lost their focus.
Their initial predictions on convergence held true for many years, although these days where media and channels are in fact merging may mean that that is open to debate, however their immutable laws still seem to hold.
Highly accessible and readable with plenty of practical suggestions.
am 1. Juni 2000
They never taught you any of this stuff while you were getting your MBA! This book is a must read, must have for anyone who has anything to do with marketing. The book definitely has a product focus, but many of the ideas can also be used for services. (Selling the Invisible is a good book if you are more into the service area - but definitely read this one as well.) The author does tend to overplay his ideas of the success or failure of a product strictly on branding (without looking at marketplace changes) but if you can overlook his bias - you will get a lot of mileage out of this book.