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Do "The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing" Still Apply?

"The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing," by Al Reis & Jack Trout. What are your thoughts on the opinions and positions of Ries and Trout? Do their laws still apply? Considering how we communicate and respond in the 21st century, do basic laws of marketing change over time.

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I am not a fan of "The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing" by Reis & Trout, primarily because having read the "22 Immutable Laws of Branding," by Ries & Ries first it seemed like a bunch of catchy phases strung together with examples from top companies, used to illustrate the authors' points blindly. Let's look at some of the laws and see if they still apply, in this world of social media, fast paced interactions, and integrated marketing.
1. THE LAW OF LEADERSHIP. It is better to be first than it is to be better.
This law does not apply, and actually, one could argue if it ever did. Neither Wal-Mart not Costco was the first drugstore/superstore yet both are market leaders. Why? They are better retailers than others that started before them. There are carcasses of retailers that were 'first'. Starting a business isn't as difficult as adjusting to the market place demands and running a tight operation.
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.
A marketer should concentrate on their products attributes, not setting up new categories. This seems inane.
3. THE LAW OF THE MIND. It is better to be first in the mind than to be first in the marketplace.
This seems to go against the first law. I agree that being first in the mind is of great importance. Again, this is most likely to occur should you get the word out through creative marketing, good service, honest dealings, and fair pricing.
4. THE LAW OF PERCEPTION. Marketing is not a battle of products; it's a battle of perceptions.
I agree with this law as well. Your customers' perceptions are key to the success of the company. In order to succeed you must market and carry out your business in a manner that will increase brand/market awareness and make a positive impression on your customers' perceptions.
5. THE LAW OF FOCUS. The most powerful concept in marketing is owning a word in the prospect's mind.
Really? Apple is huge. What word is it that they "own"? McDonald's? Missing this point. Certainly marketers are well served to have a narrow focus and clear offer but retailers mean different things to different people. Starbucks may be "the third place" (as Howard Schultz suggests) or it could just mean coffee or perhaps a lavish treat...or really expensive coffee. Regardless Starbucks is successful. Focus and ...

Solution Summary

This detailed solution gives an outline of the 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing by Al Ries and Jack Trout, as well as a personal opinion of these laws. It discusses if the suggested laws still apply, and if the basic laws of marketing change over time. It gives links and examples.