Dynamic Marketing Communiqué

These IMMUTABLE branding principles will help you brand your offerings effectively through the years! [Tuesdays: Return Driven Strategy]

April 4, 2023

Miles Everson’s Business Builder Daily speaks to the heart of what great marketers, business leaders, and other professionals need to succeed in advertising, communications, managing their investments, career strategy, and more. 

A Note from Miles Everson

As someone who’s been in the business and consulting industry for 30+ years now, one of the frameworks I truly find effective is Return Driven Strategy (RDS). 

Explained in the book, “Driven,” this pyramid-shaped framework has 11 tenets and 3 foundations that help businesses effectively implement their branding and marketing strategies. 

You might want to read about RDS during your spare time too. This framework offers lots of insights that will guide you towards success! 

Today, let’s focus on the sixth tenet of RDS: Brand offerings

Continue reading to know what true branding is and how you can use it to build world-class products or services. 

Miles Everson
CEO, MBO Partners
Chairman of the Advisory Board, The I Institute

Return Driven Strategy 

One of the ways to stand out in today’s—and tomorrow’s—cluttered marketplace is to build your product or service into a BRAND. 

Imagine Nike, Starbucks, Kleenex, Apple, and more, and you’re thinking of brands in their biggest and most lucrative sense. 

However, is it all that there is to the term, “brand”—large businesses and huge profits? 

In today’s article, we’ll talk about how enterprises, both big and small, can effectively brand their offerings and leave a lasting impression on their target market’s minds. 

The 22 Immutable Laws of Branding 

“Marketing has become more complicated, too confusing, and too full of jargon.” 
– Al Ries, Co-founder and Chairman of Atlanta-based consulting firm Ries & Ries 

Are you familiar with the book, “The 22 Immutable Laws of Branding”?

Photo from Goodreads

Co-authored by father-and-daughter duo Al Ries and Laura Ries, this book is a compilation of laws that provide insights for conducting successful marketing campaigns through focusing on the essence of branding, and how brands must be created and managed to survive and thrive in a competitive marketplace. 

Basically, “The 22 Immutable Laws of Branding” is a practical, hands-on guide to the DOs and DON’Ts of branding. Here, the Rieses define “brand” as a promise rather than a feeling… and it’s possible for businesses to build strong brands through effective marketing. 

Before we proceed with our main topic, let’s first define what “brand” is… 

Personally, what first comes to your mind when you hear that word? 

A company name? 

A logo? 

A popular product or service? 

In the book, the Rieses define “brand” as the intangible sum of an offering’s attributes: Its name, packaging, price, history, and reputation with customers. Simply said, these attributes impact how consumers perceive a particular product or service. 

According to the Rieses, there are 22 laws that govern successful branding—hence, the title of the book. These are the laws of: 

  • Expansion
  • Contraction
  • Publicity
  • Advertising
  • Word
  • Credentials
  • Quality
  • Category
  • Name
  • Extensions
  • Fellowship
  • Generic
  • Company
  • Sub-brands
  • Siblings
  • Shape
  • Color
  • Borders
  • Consistency
  • Change
  • Mortality
  • Singularity

In our future “Return Driven Strategy” articles, we’ll talk about these laws one by one to help you better understand them. 

Focus is Fundamental in Branding 

The Rieses also explain the importance of strategic focus. This is discussed via the laws of: 

  • Expansion – People want brands that are distinguishable by 1 word. 
  • Contraction – A brand becomes stronger with narrower focus. 
  • Singularity – Single-mindedness is important in branding. 

So… how do these concepts apply to today’s business world? 

Currently, every new trend is seen as a growth opportunity as the COVID-19 pandemic forces many businesses to diversify their offer. As a result, there’s temptation to breach the Rieses’ laws and chase each of these opportunities. 

Here’s the thing: Losing your focus risks diluting your brand’s identity and hurting its credibility to your target market

That’s why despite lots of new and available trends and opportunities, you must be selective on which you’ll use. Focus on those that’s in line with the nature of your business. This will enable you to brand your offerings better and attract more customers. 

The 22 Immutable Laws of Branding and Return Driven Strategy’s (RDS) Tenet 6 

“The 22 Immutable Laws of Branding” is based on solid marketing concepts written for marketers and business owners who not only need to understand these principles but also apply them to their careers. 

The book teaches that “brand” is more than just a logo and should be part of every aspect of the business, whether it’s marketing or production. This is seen when customers are willing to pay even a premium for goods or services because they associate these offerings with a particular brand. 

This concept coincides with Professor Joel Litman and Dr. Mark L. Frigo’s teaching in the book, “Driven.” According to them, proper branding activities build an indelible connection in the minds of customers between their explicitly understood need and the offering that fulfills it. 

Simply said, in the process of creating wealth, effective brands serve as strong bridges. 

We hope you learned a lot from today’s article! 

Despite being published in 1998, the Rieses’ book stays true to its title—IMMUTABLE—until today. Regardless of the changes in the marketing landscape, these laws remain as “universal truths.” 

The reason for that? 

Year after year, the definition of “brand” remains the same: It’s what turns an offering from a commodity into something of meaning and value for customers. 

If you’re looking to gain a better understanding of branding and Return Driven Strategy, we highly recommend checking out “Driven” by Professor Litman and Dr. Frigo. 

Click here to get your copy and learn how proper branding can build a strong connection between customers’ explicitly understood needs and the offering that addresses those needs.

(This article is from The Business Builder Daily, a newsletter by The I Institute in collaboration with MBO Partners.) 

About The Dynamic Marketing Communiqué’s
“Tuesdays: Return Driven Strategy”

In the book, “Driven,” authors Professor Joel Litman and Dr. Mark L. Frigo said that the goal of every long-term successful business strategy should incorporate the combined necessity of “making the world a better place” and “getting wealthy.” 

That is why they created Return Driven Strategy and Career Driven Strategy―frameworks that were built to help leaders and professionals plan and evaluate businesses so they can also help others achieve their organizational goals and career goals. 

The frameworks describe the plans and actions that drive returns for anyone in an organization such as independent contractors, marketers, brand managers, communicators, and other people in any field. These actions lead to the creation of wealth and value for customers, employees, shareholders, and the society. 

Every Tuesday, we’ll highlight case studies, business strategies, tips, and insights related to Return Driven Strategy and Career Driven Strategy. 

In planning, building, or managing brands and businesses, these strategies, case studies, and guidelines will help you choose what specific actions to take and when to take them. 

Hope you found this week’s insights interesting and helpful.

Stay tuned for next Tuesday’s “Return Driven Strategy!”


Kyle Yu 
Head of Marketing 
Valens Dynamic Marketing Capabilities 
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