• About Tom Dougherty

    Tom Dougherty CEO, Stealing Share

    Tom Dougherty is the President and CEO of Stealing Share, Inc., and has helped national and global brands such as Lexus, IKEA and Tide steal market share over his 25-year career.

    An often-quoted source on business and brands, he has been featured recently by the New York Times and CNN, discussing topics ranging from television to Apple to airlines.

    Tom also regularly speaks at conferences as a keynote and break-out speaker. To find out more on inviting him to your speaking engagement and view a video of him speaking, click here.

    You can also reach him via email attomd@stealingshare.com.

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Lexus: Tip-toeing to being different and better

One of our mantras at Stealing Share is that you must be different and better to steal market share. In fact, the “different and better” makes up the definition of a powerful brand position, just as long as the “better” is more meaningful to target audiences than that of your competition.

We have taken our shots at the big automakers, including myself, for being no different and better than they are from each other. (I’d put them right down there with banks as the worst in marketing the same messages and having the same tone as each other.)

But there is a current car ad out there that intrigues me, even if I don’t think it closes the deal. Lexus has a new spot called the “Next Big Thing” that displays possibly the world’s largest driving simulator with the message that Lexus brand – “The pursuit of perfection” – is fulfilled by working on new technologies that will make it less likely you’ll get in an accident.

In the spirit of full disclosure, I have worked on the Lexus brand (mostly, in Europe) but have not had any input into the brand for a while. In fact, I think Lexus, for the most part, has fallen into the blend of same ideas, look and tone as its competition.


This spot interests me for one reason: It’s basically a video of that big ball of a simulator. In fact, I wasn’t sure what it was the first time I saw the spot, but that’s not a terrible thing. It was different. It looked a bit like a pod out of 2001: A Space Odyssey. It was different as was the promise of coming technology that’s not even here yet.

Of course, other car brands have been marketing the idea of “driver safe” technology, but the idea of using unusual imagery, showing only snippets of a car – including a nice shot of a near accident with a semi – and not linking it with a specific model but only to the Lexus brand caught my attention.

I’m not sure if it’s better yet, which is an important distinction: Is this a reason to choose? And it’s not that much different because the tone is the same, but at least it’s a step in the right direction in being different and better.

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