- Recap: 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing
# Recap: 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing
# 1. The Law of Leadership
It’s better to be first than it is to be better.
- Become a category leader, nobody remembers the "second place" - Neil Armstrong.
- Usually the the first in a category becomes synonymous (Xerox, Advil).
# 2. The Law of the Category
If you can’t be first in a category, set up a new category you can be first in.
- Amelia Hart isn't known as the third person to fly the Atlantic Ocean solo. She is the first woman to do so.
- When you’re the first in a new category, promote the category. In essence, you have no competition.
# 3. The Law of the Mind
It’s better to be first in the mind than to be first in the marketplace.
- Being first in the marketplace is important only to the extent that it allows you to get in the mind first.
- People don’t like to change their minds. Once they perceive you one way, that’s it. If you want to make a big impression on another person, you cannot worm your way into their mind and then slowly build up a favorable opinion over a period of time. The mind doesn’t work that way. You have to blast your way into the mind.
# 4. The Law of Perception
Marketing is not a battle of products, it’s a battle of perceptions.
- There are no best products. All that exists in the world of marketing are perceptions in the minds of the customer or prospect. The perception is the reality.
- Customers frequently make buying decisions based on second-hand perceptions. Instead of using their own perceptions, they base their buying decisions on someone else’s perception of reality.
# 5. The Law of Focus
The most powerful concept in marketing is owning a word in the prospect’s mind.
- 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.
- Federal Express was able to put the word overnight into the minds of its prospects because it sacrificed its product line and focused on overnight package delivery only.
- When you develop your word to focus on, be prepared to fend off the lawyers. They want to trademark everything you publish. The trick is to get others to use your word. (To be a leader you have to have followers.)
# 6. The Law of Exclusivity
Two companies cannot own the same word in the prospect’s mind.
# 7. The Law of the Ladder
The strategy to use depends on which rung you occupy on the ladder.
- While being first into the prospect’s mind ought to be your primary marketing objective, the battle isn’t lost if you fail in this endeavor.
- For years Avis advertised the high quality of its rent-a-car service. Then Avis did the one thing you have to do to make progress inside the mind of the prospect. They acknowledged their position on the ladder. “Avis is only No. 2 in rent-a-cars. So why go with us? We try harder.” Avis was successful because it related itself to the position of Hertz in the mind (not because they tried harder).
# 8. The Law of Duality
In the long run, every market becomes a two-horse race.
- In batteries, it’s Eveready and Duracell. In photographic film, it’s Kodak and Fuji. In rent-a-cars, it’s Hertz and Avis. In mouthwash, it’s Listerine and Scope. In hamburgers, it’s McDonald’s and Burger King. In sneakers, it’s Nike and Reebok. In toothpaste, it’s Crest and Colgate.
- The customer believes that marketing is a battle of products. It’s this kind of thinking that keeps the two brands on top: “They must be the best, they’re the leaders.”
# 9. The Law of the Opposite
If you are shooting for second place, your strategy is determined by the leader.
- In strength there is weakness. Wherever the leader is strong, there is an opportunity for a would-be No. 2 to turn the tables. If you want to establish a firm foothold on the second rung of the ladder, study the firm above you. Where is it strong? And how do you turn that strength into a weakness?
- You must discover the essence of the leader and then present the prospect with the opposite. In other words, don’t try to be better, try to be different.
- Coca-Cola is a 100-year-old product. Pepsi-Cola reversed the essence of Coca-Cola to become the choice of a new generation: the Pepsi Generation.
# 10. The Law of Division
Over time, a category will divide and become two or more categories.
- A category starts off as a single entity. Computers, for example. But over time, the category breaks up into other segments. Mainframes, minicomputers, workstations, personal computers, laptops, notebooks, pen computers.
- The way for the leader to maintain its dominance is to address each emerging category with a different brand name, as General Motors did in the early days with Chevrolet, Pontiac, Oldsmobile, Buick, and Cadillac (and recently with Geo and Saturn).
- Companies make a mistake when they try to take a well-known brand name in one category and use the same brand name in another category.
# 11. The Law of Perspective
Marketing effects take place over an extended period of time.
- Any sort of couponing, discounts, or sales tends to educate consumers to buy only when they can get a deal.
# 12. The Law of Line Extension
There’s an irresistible pressure to extend the equity of the brand.
- One day a company is tightly focused on a single product that is highly profitable. The next day the same company is spread thin over many products and is losing money.
- In a narrow sense, line extension involves taking the brand name of a successful product (e.g., A-1 steak sauce) and putting it on a new product you plan to introduce (e.g., A-1 poultry sauce).
- When you try to be all things to all people, you inevitably wind up in trouble. “I’d rather be strong somewhere,” said one manager, “than weak everywhere.”
- Less is more. If you want to be successful today, you have to narrow the focus in order to build a position in the prospect’s mind.
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