Once again drawing from the excellent marketing book The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing we come to law #3; “The Law Of The Mind.” I know that in law #1 we talked about “The Law Of Leadership” which basically says that if you are first to market you win. With every rule there are exceptions so let’s break one out now.
Being first into the market is HUGE so long as you can also be the first in mind. There are products that were first to market but couldn’t hang on like Hurley the first washing machine, or Duryea the first automobile. You can’t just beat people to market and expect the world to be delivered to your doorstep, you have to get the other laws of marketing right at the same time. If you can be first AND be remembered for something important that establishes you as the leader then you win. If your message and marketing approach isn’t right, the top spot is going to be elusive.
There is this big mis-conception out there that you have to have hundreds of millions of dollars to build a brand to stand out, and that is a bunch of hooey as my grandmother used to say. Hundreds of millions of dollars has been wasted in the mattress industry on marketing campaigns that didn’t work. I won’t call them out but I am sure you can think of a few. If throwing money at the issue would work then anyone could be the leader. The other side of that coin says you can also make a big impact with limited funds IF you have a unique product, story, or approach for the intended audience. Finding the sweet spot is the trick!
My last comment on the subject has to do with awareness vs. preference. Should you want people to be aware of your products? Of course. But you should be more interested in making sure that they prefer your products over all others. There is a MASSIVE difference there and one is much more difficult to attain but once you do, you can back up the money truck. Being the perceived/preferred leader in the mind of the consumer is the goal!
Can you think of a leader in the mattress category that is losing their current leadership position? How about brands in the past that once held that top spot but let it slip away because they became irrelevant? You know your thinking of someone, tell it to me in the comments section!