It’s better to be first than it is better.
It’s much easier to get into the mind first than try to demolish the existing beliefs and build from the ground up. Be first, but don’t be late too. The first brand to get into the minds of customers become generic (How do I make a Xerox?)
Be first in the mind than in the marketplace.
Don’t get this wrong. It’s not about going to market first, it’s about getting into the minds of prospects first.
Single most wasteful thing you can do in marketing is trying to change a mind. You can’t slowly build up a favorable opinion over a period of time. You have to last your way into the mind.
If you can’t be first, narrow down until you can.
People are more interested in what’s new than in what’s better. Be the first in new niche, promote the niche so you have no competition.
It’s not a battle of products, it’s perception.
If it’s about the products, Samsung would dominate in USA, and Ford would be a leader in Japan.
Own a word in prospect’s mind.
Own a simple dictionary word that prospects can associate with your product. It can be benefit-related, service-related, audience-related, or sales-related.
Fend off your own word.
Two companies cannot share the same word in prospect’s mind.
Adopt strategy tailored to your position.
Products that are purchased infrequently and involve unpleasant experience usually have few rungs. Sometimes, it might be better off as a small fish in a big pond than as a big fish in a small pond. In other words, sometimes No.3 on a big ladder can be better than No.1 on a small ladder.
In the long run, every market becomes a two-horse race.
In a matured industry, 3rd place is a defunct position to be in.
If you’re shooting for second, your strategy is determined by the leader.
Discover essence of the leader and present the prospect with the opposite. In other words, try to be different than to be better.
Over time, companies launch more than one brands.
Instead of taking a well-known brand new to multiple categories, try launching a different brand to cover a new category.
Line extension involves taking brand name of a success product and putting it on a new product you plan to introduce. Line extension can work in the short-term, but in the long run, line extension almost never works.
Marketing effects last over extended periods of time.
When you try to be all things to everyone, you wind up with nothing to everyone. Be all things to some people, you wind up with everything to them.
Sacrifice something to win something.
Law of sacrifice is the opposite of law of extension. You want to be successful today, you sacrifice today. If you want to be successful, you have to reduce your product line, not extend it. Business is populated by highly diversified generalists than narrowly focused specialists.
For every attribute, there’s an opposite effective attribute to tap.
Since Crest owned cavities, other brands avoided cavities and jumped on other attributes like taste, whitening, breath protection. Without your own attribute to focus on, you better have a low price, a very low price.
Sometimes when you admit a negative, the prospect will give you a positive.
Every negative statement you make about yourself is instantly accepted. Positive statements on the other hand are taken dubious at best.
Remember your negative must be widely perceived as negative.
Unless you write your competitor’s plan, you can’t predict the future.
It’s not a long-term plan, its’ a long-term direction. You can’t predict the future but you can get a handle on trends, which is a way to take advantage of change. Be open to change quickly when changes come sweeping through your category.
To fight a trend is to fight a tide.
Successful programs are not built on fads (crazes), they’re built on trends.
Success often leads to arrogance and arrogance to failure.
When a brand is successful, they often attribute their success to their names. So, they promptly look for other products to plaster the name on.
Remember to think what the prospect thinks.
The bigger the company, the more likely it is that C-levels will lose in touch with front lines and lose sight of want the market really wants.
Failure is to be accepted and expected.
Nobody has ever been fired for a bold move they did not make. Too many try to fix things rather than drop things all together.
What the press says doesn’t always reflect reality.
When things are going well, a company rarely needs the hype. When you need the hype, it usually means you’re in trouble.