Saturday, June 8, 2013

Axiom 35: First & Best

"If you can't be first in a category, set up a new category you can be first in." -The Law of Category from the book, The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing

"If you ain't first, you're last." -Ricky Bobby

Do you know who was the second person to walk on the moon? The team that came in second in last year's Super Bowl? The second person you kissed? Remembering firsts is easy, remembering seconds is a struggle. 

Society tends to remember the first person to do something new and forget the people that follow in that same path. That's why you should try to be the first at something. It doesn't always guarantee success, but it does help your chances a lot.

First, find your USP (Unique Selling Point). This is the thing that makes you number one in a particular category. If you're not sure what your USP is take a little time to do some self-reflection. Everyone has a USP you just have to figure out consciously what yours is. Once you have identified your USP then create a category and market yourself as a first.

Here are some examples defining your USP and becoming #1:

  • John is an independent accountant. There are thousands of accountants in the city John lives in and he struggles to find clients as a general accountant. John also has knowledge of industrial manufacturing and import/export laws. This additional experience is John's USP. John then markets himself as the only industrial manufacturing accountant in his city with an emphasis on import/export accounting.
  • Sherry graduated with a film degree. She always wanted to work in Hollywood but the never got a break. Her father owns a dry-cleaning shop and pays Sherry to shoot a commercial for local TV. Next thing you know another shop in the same shopping center sees the commercial and hires Sherry to do a commercial for them also. Now Sherry is known for being the #1 person in her community for filming local TV spots.
  • Jack starts a local grocery store in his city. Before he knows it a huge big-box grocery store opens nearby and he starts losing business. Jack decides he can't compete on price, but he can compete on service and gourmet products. This is Jack's USP. Soon he is running ads touting, "less crowds, faster checkout, quality high-end products". Pretty soon the wealthier people in town choose Jack's store over the "heard of cattle" approach the other store takes.   
Once you set your self apart from the crowd and become first at something everything becomes easier. Doors open, people remember you, people want to do business with you, and so on.

If you want to read more on this idea and other great ideas pick up a copy of The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing.