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Book notes: The 22 immutable laws of marketing

Book notes: The 22 immutable laws of marketing


I don’t read book summaries. Neither should you. The following are mostly notes to myself, and are my interpretations.

  • When you launch a new product, the first question to ask yourself is not "How is this new product better than the competition?" but "First what?" In other words, what category is this new product first in?

  • Change numeric nomenclature (probably M1/M2) to something else. Unlike smartphones and cars, there is no pride in value numbers. Probably look at how others do to better resonate with buyers' recall.

  • 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 favourable opinion over a period of time. The mind doesn't work that way. You have to blast your way into the mind. The reason you blast instead of worm is that people don't like to change their minds.

  • 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.

  • IBM owns computer. Computer, copier, chocolate bar, and cola are mostly associated with IBM, Xerox, Hershey's, and Coke respectively.

  • Heinz owns the word ketchup. They went on to isolate the most important ketchup attribute: "Slowest ketchup in the West". The word slow helps Heinz maintain a 50% market share.

  • Examples of owning a word: Volvo = Safety, BMW = Driving, Mercedes = Engineering, Pepsi-Cola = Youth, Crest = Cavities, Lotus = Spreadsheets (OLD)

  • You can't position yourself as an honest politician, because nobody is willing to take the opposite position (although there are plenty of potential candidates)

  • 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". Takeaway is to consistently land the core user-first and highest-quality product messaging.

  • Does a sale increase a company's business or decrease it? Obviously, in the short term, a sale increases business. But there's more and more evidence to show that sales decrease business in the long term by educating customers not to buy at "regular" prices.

  • There is an entire chapter on Line extension — which involves taking the brand name of a successful product and putting it on a new product you plan to introduce. No notes on this — recommend re-reading this chapter whenever the time comes.

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

  • "Avis is only No. 2 in rent-a-cars."

  • "With a name like Smucker's, it has to be good."

  • "Joy. The most expensive perfume in the world."

  • "The 1970 Volkswagen will stay ugly longer."

  • The law of candour must be used carefully and with great skill. First, your "negative" must be widely perceived as a negative. It has to trigger an instant agreement with your prospect's mind. If the negative doesn't register quickly, your prospect will be confused and will wonder, "What's this all about?"

  • Next, you have to shift quickly to the positive. The purpose of candour isn't to apologise. The purpose of candour is to set up a benefit that will convince your prospect.

  • When things are going well, a company doesn't need the hype. When you need the hype, it usually means you're in trouble.

  • One way to maintain a long-term demand for your product is to never totally satisfy the demand.

© Copyright 2023, I guess.

© Copyright 2023, I guess.