Positioning yourself as a brand leader

June 20, 2012

Becoming a Brand Leader is About Timing

Building a brand for your service or product involves strategy. Often convincing prospects that your service or product is better than your competitor’s is a pointless task. What many prospects value most is leadership. Brand leaders demonstrate their leadership by being the first to offer a service or product. Rather than waiting for a market to develop and jumping in with a better product a leader will create a market for themselves. Not every ‘first’ will be successful, timing is also key to gaining traction and relevance. A bad idea is a bad idea and no marketing strategy will save it.

People tend to stick with what they know, so if you can get in first you’ve won half the battle. Jeep, IBM and Gillette were all ‘firsts’ and are still leading brands in their categories today. Often the first brand in a market remains a leader and a sign of this is when their name/brand becomes generic. People will often ask for a Kleenex when the box clearly says Scott. Other generic brands include Velcro, Glad Wrap and Band-Aid. Interestingly, the order in which follow-up brands are introduced to the market often determines the order of their market share.

Despite this, most companies use a better-product strategy to benchmark their product against the leader in their field. This ignores one important fact in marketing, it’s a battle of perception, not products. It’s important to be first in the prospects mind, not better. If you are not the first, you need to implement strategies that will put you there but more on that in coming posts…