The 22 Immutable Laws of Branding: How to Build a Product or Service into a World-Class Brand
Written by: Al Ries and Laura Ries
Summarized by: Amie Hansen
Chapter 7 – The Law of Quality
Quality is important, but brands are not built by quality alone.
You can’t build a quality product on sand, you can build greatness into it, but it’s still on sand.
If you want to build a powerful brand you have to build a powerful perception of quality in the mind- by following the laws of branding (contraction: narrow the focus and become a specialist rather than a generalist and a specialist is perceived to know more and have higher quality; have a better name, you will come out on top)
Expanding the brand and being a generalist tend to destroy your ability to select a powerful name.
Having a high price gives perception of high value, the customer who wears a rolex watch does so to show that he can afford it, not to tell the time better.
Chapter 8 – The Law of the Category
A leading brand should promote the category, not the brand.
Introduce a brand-new category.
The most efficient, most productive, most useful aspect of branding is creating a new category. In other words, narrowing the focus to nothing and starting something totally new. That’s the way to become the first brand in a new category and ultimately the leading brand in a rapidly growing new segment of the market.
Launch the brand in a way to create the perception that that brand was the first, the leader, the pioneer, or the original and use one of these words to describe your brand.
You have to PROMOTE the new category.
It might be easier to promote the brand and just forget about the category but it’s NOT as effective.
If the manufacturer doesn’t know what the category is, the prospect won’t either. Answer that question before you launch a new brand rather than after.
Customers don’t really care about new brands, they care about new categories.
By first preempting the category then aggressively promoting the category, you create both a powerful brand and a rapidly escalating market.
Promote the category, not the brand.
When you’re first, you can preempt the category. You are the only brand associated with the concept. You need to put your branding dollars behind the concept itself, so the concept will take off, pulling the brand along with it.
Leaders should continue to promote the category, to increase the size of the pie rather than their slice of the pie. The rightful share of a leading brand is never more than 50 percent. Instead of fighting competitive brands, a leader should fight competitive categories.
Contrary to popular belief what would help every category pioneer is competition. The rise of competitive brands can stimulate consumer interest in the category. Leading brands should promote the category, not the brand.