1. The first law of marketing “It is better to be first, than to be better”.
The main task in marketing is to create a category in which you will be the first. It is not the client’s belief that you are better than not fighting with competitors.
The first is not always the best. For example: Yuri Gagarin made only one turn around the Earth. After him, the astronauts flew years and years of space flights. They went out into space, flew the moon, but the first one will always be the first! Imagine a man who asked for a cellophane adhesive tape instead of Scotch in the store ?! Or why the copier, no matter what brand it is, will always be a “copier”. Why is that? It is much easier to get into consciousness first than to try to convince everyone later that your product is better than that of the one, who did it.
What can do if did not manage to become the first in niche?
Marketing Warfare Strategies!
Many believe that the core of marketing is to identify and profitably satisfy the needs of the customer. Yet, why does fulfilling that goal not always lead to business success? The key could be that a shift in focus is needed. Instead of a customer-oriented product development and marketing strategy, maybe businesses need to become competitor-oriented. If the key to succeeding in business were to focus on products closest to those the customers want, the market leader would be the one that performs the best market research and testing.
Assuming that all other things are equal, larger armies have a distinct advantage over smaller armies. Size matters. If several businesses enter the market at the same time with a similar product offering, the larger company, the one with the bigger sales force, is likely to win. The larger company can afford the resources to outnumber and overpower their competition. This, of course, does not mean that small companies don’t stand a chance. Smaller companies need to realize that the way to success is a superior strategy, rather than a brute force attack on a larger competitor.
To understand what kind of marketing warfare strategy a company should adopt, let’s assume four hypothetical companies – each one half the size of the larger. Each firm will have a different objective to their marketing war:
Company 1: Continued Market Domination
Company 2: Increase Market Share
Company 3: Profitable Survival
Company 4: Survival
Market Shares of Our Hypothetical Companies
Why isn’t the goal of the number 1 company to further increase market share? The main reason is due to the existence of antitrust laws, built to protect the consumers. If the market leader is continually growing larger, this anti-trust legislation could come into play, especially if they were to cause a smaller competitor to close its doors, either through bankruptcy or purchase. For that reason, defending the leading market share is more important than offensively attacking the market.
The second company’s ideal strategy would be an offensive against the market leader. Well, that is, if there is a large market share gap between the second and third company – if they are close competitors roughly the same size, they would likely each be the other’s main strategic focus). If there is a large gap between those two companies – gaining the market share of the third company will do little, relative to the much larger second company. Instead, there are potentially significant rewards, and perhaps even potentially becoming the market leader if shares can be gained from the first company – the dominant firm.
The third company, at least in our example, would be too small to sustain a prolonged offensive on the largest company.That company’s best strategy would be to utilize a flanking attack. A flank will avoid direct competition with the other companies – perhaps by launching a product that is significantly different from that of the larger firms, courting a niche audience.
The fourth company, the smallest one, would not have the resources to attack anyone. It can’t flank, because any one of the larger competitors can launch a similar product, and have vastly greater resources at their disposal to assure success. The smallest firm needs to use a guerrilla warfare strategy, by identifying segments big enough to be profitable for the smaller firm, but not large enough to attract larger competition.