The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing by Al Ries & Jack Trout

Book Summary: The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing by Al Ries & Jack Trout - Ryan Delaney

The Book in a Few Sentences

One of the best books about marketing by two of the most influential marketers.

An absolute must-read (and re-read) for entrepreneurs, business people, photographers, musicians and bloggers alike.

If you're interested in process-driven business execution, I highly recommend Working Backwards, Amazon's methodology for building great businesses with strong moats.

The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing summary

This is my book summary of The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing by Al Ries & Jack Trout. My summary and notes include the key lessons and most important insights from the book.


We have been studying what works in marketing and what doesn't for more than 25 years…programs that work are almost always in tune with some fundamental force in the marketplace.

1: The Law of Leadership  

It’s better to be first than it is to be better.

2: The Law of Category

If you can't be first in a category, set up a new category you can be first in.  

3: The Law of the Mind

It's better to be first in the mind than to be first in the marketplace.

4: The Law of Perception  

Marketing is not a Battle of products, it's a battle of perceptions.

5: The law of Focus  

The most powerful concept in marketing is owning a word in the prospect’s mind.

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.

8: The Law of Duality

In the long run, every market becomes a two- horse race.

9:  The Law of Opposite

If you’re shooting for second place, your strategy is determined by the leader.

10: The Law of Division.  

Over time, a category will divide and become two or more categories.

11: The Law of Perspective  

Marketing effects take place over an extended period of time period.

12: The Law of Line Extension

There’s an irresistible pressure to extend the equity of the brand.

13: The Law of Sacrifice

You have to give up something in order to get something.

14: The Law of Attributes  

For every attribute, there is an opposite, effective attribute.

15: The Law of Candor  

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

16: The Law of Singularity

In each situation, only one move will produce substantial results.

17: The Law of Unpredictability

Unless you write your competitors’ plans, you can't predict the future.

18: The Law of Success  

Success often leads to arrogance, and arrogance to failure.

19: The Law of Failure  

Failure is to be expected and accepted.

20: The Law of Hype  

The situation is often the opposite of the way it appears in the press.

21: The Law of Acceleration  

Successful programs are not built on fads, they're built on trends.

22: The Law of Resources  

Without adequate funding an idea won't get off the ground.


If you violate the immutable laws, you run the risk of failure. If you apply the immutable laws, you run the risk of being bad–mouthed, ignored, or even ostracized.

Have patience. The immutable laws of marketing will help you achieve success. And success is the best revenge of all.

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