The 22 Immutable Laws of Branding: Part 3 of 12 — chapters 5 & 6

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

Forget to read Part 2? Click Here.


Part 3

Chapter 5 – The Law of the Word
A brand should strive to own a word in the mind of the consumer.

Focus on owning a word in the prospects mind…..a word that no one else owns.

  • Volvo = safety
  • Mercedes = Prestige however they have violated the law by making less expensive cars to broaden the base which is an error

Jello owns gelatin dessert, hand me a q-tip, pass me a Kleenex, Reynolds wrap, Xerox and scotch tape all examples of this “owning” the brand.

Narrow the focus.

Expansion hurts the brand, not the company (it just weakens it)

  • Every brand that was really big went from owning a specific category and once they established that category they move into other realms gradually.

Words are the key to brand building!

Brand name and it’s associations that create a lasting effect and create meaning in the consumers mind. To get into the consumers mind you have to sacrifice. You have to reduce the essence of your brand to a single thought or attribute – an attribute that nobody else owns in that category = highly qualified appointments, top-of-the-line, growth

To be successful in branding a “prestige” product or service you need to: 1.) make your brand more expensive than the competition; 2.) find a code word for prestige (Launch’s code word?)

The most successful are those that narrow their focus first to build the brand.
Ask how large a market your brand can create by narrowing its focus and owning a word in the mind.

Chapter 6 – The Law of Credentials
The crucial ingredient in the success of any brand is its claim to authenticity.

The real thing, the claim to authenticity; the brands credentials.
The right credentials the prospect is likely to believe anything you say about your brand.

Never assume people know which brand is the leader.


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