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Thursday, September 19, 2019

The 22 Immutable Laws of Branding
by Al Ries & Laura Ries. New York: HarperCollins, 1998.

"A branding program should be designed to differentiate your cow from all the other cattle on the range. Even if all the cattle on the range look pretty much alike."

"A successful branding program is based on the concept of singularity. It creates in the mind of the prospect the perception that there is no product on the market quite like your product." (page 7)


"The Law of Publicity - The birth of a brand is achieved with publicity, not advertising."

"In the past, it may have been true that a beefy advertising budget was the key ingredient in the brand-building process. But what worked in the past doesn't necessarily work today. We live in an overcommunicated society, where each of us gets hit with hundreds of commercial messages daily."

"Today brands are born, not made. A new brand must be capable of generating favorable publicity in the media or it won't have a chance in the marketplace."

"And just how do you generate publicity? The best way to generate publicity is by being first. In other words, by being the first brand in a new category."

"What others say about your brand is so much more powerful than what you can say about it yourself. That's why publicity in general is more powerful than advertising. And why over the past two decades, public relations has eclipsed advertising as the most powerful force in branding." (pages 25, 26, 27, 28)


"Your advertising budget is like a country's defense budget. Those massive advertising dollars don't buy you anything; they just keep you from losing market share to your competition.…Sooner or later a leader has to shift its branding strategy from publicity to advertising. By raising the price of admission, advertising makes it difficult for a competitor to carve out a substantial share of the market.

To attack a heavily defended neighboring country requires substantial military expenditures. To attack a heavily defended brand leader like Coca-Cola, Nike, or McDonald's requires substantial marketing expenditures.

Leaders should not look on their advertising budgets as investments that will pay dividends. Instead leaders should look on their advertising budgets as insurance that will protect them against losses caused by competitive attacks.

Advertising is a powerful tool, not to build leadership for a fledgling brand, but to maintain that leadership once it is obtained. Companies that want to protect their well established brands should not hesitate to use massive advertising programs to smother the competition.

Advertising may not pay for itself, but if you're the leader, advertising will make your competitor pay though the nose for the privilege of competing with you. Many won't be able to afford it; those who can won't bother. Instead they'll be content to nibble on the crumbs around your huge piece of the pie." (pages 33, 34, 35, 37)


"The Law of Fellowship - In order to build the category, a brand should welcome other brands." (page 89)