Mark Johnson
3 min readMay 20, 2021

The Law of Leadership

I would not say I am a marketing guru of any sort, but there have been rules set that you violate at your own risk from the beginning. In today’s piece, I will speak about only one of them, and that one is on Leadership.

As I have found my way through to a BA in Communication Design, Journalism, and back to Art, I have found a tremendous amount of information that has helped me in my self-promotion. One of these tools was the book THE 22 IMMUTABLE LAWS of MARKETING by Al Ries & Jack Trout.

I have read and reviewed this topic on my Youtbe channel, and you can watch the review here. In today’s piece, though, as I had stated, I will be talking about the first of these laws: Leadership.

This first Immutable law states: “It’s better to be first than it is to be better. It’s much easier to get into the mind first than to try to convince someone you have a better product than the one that did get there first.”

At my first read, I thought this idea didn’t make sense, let alone be correct, but think to yourself, who was the first person to fly the Atlantic Ocean solo? Yes, Charles Lindbergh. Do you remember who was second? The answer to that is Bert Hinkler, but you probably never heard of him, and he was the more skilled pilot.

This law applies to any product, any brand, and any category. Looking at magazines, TIME lead NEWSWEEK, PEOPLE lead US, and PLAYBOY led PENTHOUSE. We can even take it to our modern-day look at app-based car services as UBER leads LYFT or streaming services NETFLIX leads HULU.

Furthermore, a first to a position becomes the one prospects recognize because their name often becomes a generic reference for that product, brand, or category. For example, XEROX Copiers came first, and although others copy machines have developed since then, people have blanketed the process as making a Xerox copy.

People ask if you want a COKE when they only have PEPSI –COLA. The portion of the law may not hold as hard and fast as the rest of the law, yet when thinking of a name for your product, brand, or category, think of a name that can be used as a “generic” term to describe it making it superior in the mind of the prospect.

A few notable firsts would be Neil Armstrong, the firsts to walk on the moon. Roger Bannister first to run the four-minute mile. George Washington, the first president of the United States. Thomas English muffins the first English muffin. Gatorade the first sports drink. Can you name any of those in the second position?

As the law states, you are doomed to lay behind forever if you are second into the prospect’s mind. It may not in all actuality be, as I’ve stated, be so hard and fast a rule, but for the last championship team, you can remember what the team that came in second was? And it is that simple.

So I hope this information from the book THE 22 IMMUTABLE LAWS OF MARKETING was helpful to you somehow. And so, like we always do, have a blessed day, and I will see you on the flip side …Let’s GO!!!



Mark Johnson

Mark Johnson is a University of Chico graduate, a lover of the creative arts, avid photographer, with an undying entrepreneurial spirit.