Al Ries is a well-known marketing strategist, who invented the concept of “positioning”, together with Jack Trout and developed the concept of branding through this book – “The 22 immutable laws of branding”. Written in a simple matter, along with plenty of examples to back up the theories, this book offers solutions to how a product or a service may be turned into a worldwide known brand. In order to do so, the authors present informations gathered from the multiple companies they have worked with along the years and range everything under the form of 22 “laws” that are considered to be the most important when taking care of a brand.
Company profiles and information regarding their evolution in time may be found useful for copywriters, art directors, PR-ists and brand managers, as well as freelancers. All examples are presented so as to assert each “law”, stated in the title and try to answer questions like “Should we extend our product line?”, “What shape and colour should our logo have?”, “How important is quality?”. For example, the latter is answered by following the activities of Rolex, Mercedes, Coca Cola and Chivas Regal.
This brings me to something I find discouraging about this book: most examples reffer to large brands. This makes it harder for people who want to improve their brand, but don`t have to make decisions for such large companies. It may be difficult to understand how to apply the rules to more common encountered situations.
One of the most important things to be understood from this book is the fact that it is crucial for a brand to remain consistent. Many companies tend to create different lines of products or sub brands in order to reach a larger target audience, but it can be a tricky move if the main idea of the brand is lost in the process. Regarding this situation, the book also oferrs solutions, like advising the companies to extend their market in different countries, instead of broadening the existing market (this is defined as “the law of borders”). It also emphasizes the fact that creating a brand is a long process, that may take several years to bring to a complete form, and too many changes in its structure may lead to failure (this is known as “the law of consistency”).
The book also makes mentions of another area of interest today, respectively internet branding. The two authors wrote a book on this subject as well – “The 11 immutable laws of internet branding”. One “law”that is stated in both books is “the law of singularity”, reffering to the importance of being first in a category in order to be succesful. I find this an essential matter to be discussed. In order to obtain success, a company should find a narrowed field or, why not, create one, and then be the first in that.
To my opinion this is an interesting lecture to take a look at. It presents ideas that many people may find useful, all of which are presented in an easy-going fashion, which is definitely more approachable than branch books.
All in all, I find it an useful reading for anyone who wants to familiarize with the concept of branding and start with a friendly and easy to understand way.