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Marketing Laws of Category and Mind


In an earlier blog post we confirmed Al Ries & Jack Trout’s 1994 Immutable Laws of Marketing are as relevant to day as they were 25 years ago. Therefore it’s worth revisiting each of them and how we can use them today.

With the laws of resources and perception covered in the earlier post, in this article we’ve chosen to provide our thoughts on how to use the laws of category and mind in business marketing right now.

When we start a business, it’s often not due to careful planning and funding. Entrepreneurs may just run with an idea and use their usual marketing and sales tactics to work out if it’s commercially viable.

Later on with revenue growing and a team onboard more analysis of how you got there and what is next follows. More goals are created etc. At this time you probably know what category you’re in and where you’re placed in the pecking order of status and power so how do you use it to get better outcomes from your marketing spend?

The Law of Category

The law of category is about being first. Not second or third but right at the top and if ‘being first in a category’ is not where you’re at then the law says you need to ‘set up new category you can be first in’.

Essentially marketing is a whole lot easier when you’re first in a category. It’s more efficient so it provides better rates of conversion. You can do less and achieve more. Think carefully of the category you’re in right now and if it’s working for you. If your marketing is an uphill battle and costs a lot for little return then maybe it’s not the marketing – it’s the perception of your business that needs to change.

When your business is nimble and can change quickly, competitors take notice. If you’re not top in a category work out how you achieve it. This is really about ‘point of difference’ and presenting to consumers that what you have to offer is superior. It could be a price difference, or your brand reputation. Tweak the perception of your business so you’re in a new category

With a new category, marketing becomes a lot easier. You can get a lot more done in less time especially when you put your mind to it. If you need some help with that focus use the Promodoro timer.

With your chosen category, you know why you’re different and why it’s better than the rest. You’re the big fish in a small pond and if you keep the number one place in it, as the category grows, your business will soon be the big fish in the big pond and with it marketing success.

There are plenty of examples to suggest this law is relevant today. Take the smart phone industry and look at how the manufacturers pitch their phones to different target markets. Apple arguably still lead the category on quality, design and security.

This leads us onto the next law, the law of the mind.

The Law of The Mind

Is Apple’s smartphones really superior in some categories or is that that they’ve got the ‘first in mind’ status They weren’t the first mobile phone in the market, so they changed the category and they are ‘first in mind’ for many consumers for ‘smartphones’ a new category.

Once you’ve worked out your category focus on how to become the first in consumers mind. Use inbound digital marketing and be brave – mix it up.

Email Newsletters

Commit to your email marketing newsletters, remember with a targeted email list, your reach is instant so focus on sharing information that’s useful to your email list subscribers and let them know what your business is up to, with it’s people, products and services.

Create & Share Content

Share content with other blogs, and on social media. Use agencies to manage content creation and where it’s published. This is a service that has gained huge traction in recent years.

It’s tough to be patient, and inbound marketing demands it. You can not shout and expect instant response. Marketing is typically long tail, but it’s measurable so results are realised with more website traffic, shares, lower bounce rates and with email you can get instant response that leads to direct sales.


There’s no doubting the relevancy of these two laws of marketing. Click here for more marketing tips.

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