If You're Not First, You're Last
Ricky Bobby, the famous fictitious character in the movie Talladega Nights once said, "If you're not first you're last."
This is true, and especially in the world of branding.
You see, in the minds of your market, there are several categories for products and services. And in those categories is a leader. Now, this "leader" isn't necessarily the best in terms of quality, but instead, in terms of PUBLICITY.
I.e. They were the first ones to imprint themselves as the leader in the minds of their market.
Create a Category to be First In
Now you may be thinking, "well Matt, I'm a defense attorney in New York City. How can I be first in anything?"
Don't worry, you're just not seeing the big picture.. yet.
Take Charles Schwab for example. They weren't the first Brokerage Firm, they were the first DISCOUNT brokerage firm.
Mercedes Benz didn't invent the first car, they invented the first EXPENSIVE luxury car.
Donald Trump wasn't even the first successful businessman, but he is probably the MOST successful businessman.
Are you seeing how this works?
You need to create a category you can be #1 in that is logical to your target market.
Some Examples for Your Business
"EMERGENCY Plumbing Company"
"AMERICAN MADE Furniture Store"
"SMALL PETS ONLY Dog Kennel"
"VINYL EXPERTS Fencing Contractors"
Why This Works
First of all, people tend to categorize things as they are when they were first presented to them.
For example, "Oh, that's Bob, he's a drunk jerk." Or, "I don't think Mattress Giant sells sheets." Or, "Go to Sherman Williams to get paint because they have more of a selection than Home Depot."
Now, is the last statement true? Who knows? But to people looking to solve a specific problem, they want the #1 solution, and branding yourself as that solution is a critical step toward being louder than the noise of your competitors, and sitting right in the mindspace of your customers when they need you.
Don't compete — DOMINATE.
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Matt Steffen was Listed by Forbes as the #1 Marketing Consultant Who Avoids the B.S.