My favorite Guerilla Marketing gurus, Al Riesand Jack Trout, offer The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing. Although it was written almost 20 years ago, the innovative rules still provide a solid understanding of how to succeed in the marketplace
#1 The Law of Leadership It is better to be first than it is to be better. It’s much easier to get into the mind first than try to convince someone that you have a better product.
#2 The Law of Category If you can’t be first in a category, set up a new category you can be first in. Everyone is interested in what’s new. Few people are interested in what’s better.
#3 The Law of the Mind It’s better to be first in the mind than to be first in the market Being first in mind is everything. Being first in the market is only important in that it allows you to get into the mind first.
#4 The Law of Perception Marketing is not a battle of products, it’s a battle of perceptions There is no objective reality. There are no facts. There are no best products. All that exists in the world of marketing are perceptions in the mind of the customer.
#5 The Law of Focus The most powerful concept in marketing is owning a word in the prospect’s mind You “burn” your way into the mind by narrowing the focus to a single word or concept.
#6 The Law of Exclusivity Two companies cannot own the same word in the prospects mind When the competitor owns a word or position in the prospects mind, it is futile to attempt to own the same word.
#7 The Law of the Ladder The strategy to use depends on which rung you occupy on the ladder. It might be better to be a small fish in a big pond than a big fish in a small pond.
#8 The Law of Duality In the long run, every market becomes a two horse race In every new category is a ladder with many rungs. Gradually, the ladder becomes a two-rung affair.
#9 The Law of the Opposite If you’re shooting for second place, your strategy is determined by the leader. The key for #2 is to leverage an opponents strengths into a weakness.
#10 The Law of Division Over time, a category will divide and become two or more categories. As a result of law #2, the marketing arena will always be an ever expanding sea of categories.
#11 The Law of Perspective Marketing effects take place over an extended period of time Long term effects are often the exact opposite of the short term effect. Think of the “always a sale” retail mentality training a customer to never buy at full price.
#12 The Law of Line Extension There’s an irresistible pressure to extend the equity of the brand A company tightly focused on a profitable product may quickly find themselves thinly spread over many products and losing a lot of money.
#13 The Law of Sacrifice You have to give up something in order to get something. There are three areas of sacrifice the product line, the target market and constant change. Pick your poison carefully.
#14 The Law of Attributes For every attribute, there is an opposite, effective, attribute. Rule #6 dictates you must find an attribute to own and that attribute may just be the opposite of the leader. Hint hint.
#15 The Law of Candor When you admit a negative, the prospect will give you a positive. One of the most effective ways to get into a prospects mind is to admit a negative and then twist into a positive. Think Listerine.
#16 The Law of Singularity In each situation, only one move will produce substantial results. History teaches that the only thing that works in marketing is a committed, single bold stroke that is least expected by the competition.
#17 The Law of Unpredictability Unless you write your competitor’s plans, you can’t predict the future. You can not predict the future but you can get a handle on trends and take advantage of change.
#18 The Law of Success Success often leads to arrogance and arrogance to failure. Those that think they are market leaders tend to substitute what they think for what the market wants.
#19 The Law of Failure Failure is to be expected and accepted. Recognize failure early and cut your losses. Sometimes it is better to drop things and move on rather than ‘reorg’ and try again.
#20 The Law of Hype The situation is often the opposite of the way it appears in the press. When things are going well, you do not need hype. When you need hype, it usually means you are in trouble.
#21 The Law of Acceleration Successful programs are not built on fads, they’re built on trends. A fad is a wave in the ocean, a trend is the tide. A fad gets a lot of hype while a trend gets very little.
#22 The Law of Resources Without adequate funding, an idea won’t get off the ground. The unfortunate reality is that a mediocre idea backed by a million dollars will get further than a great idea alone. Sorry.
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