The First Mover Advantage
Being First Mover is Secondary. Smart wins.
Being First Mover in the market. Dispelling Myths
“Being first mover in the market is most important — Being best ensures your success” No, being first only assures your brand of an entrance opportunity. Remember, the market graveyard is littered with failed and failing “firsts.”
Miller Lite is a perfect example. Being biggest simply says no one has successfully challenged you. SONY was once the world’s biggest electronics brand. Today they have given up leadership in TV’s and just about every other category that they once dominated.
A Telling Example- Pampers and Luvs
Over 40 years ago P&G launched Pampers brand disposable diapers.
And, Pampers built the category and by 1968 they owned the category — with the brand name becoming synonymous with the delivery system. Plus, it quickly became P&Gs most profitable and dominant brand. The brand continued to build the category stressing product efficacy and innovation. But something happened in 1968.
Kimberly-Clark entered the market with Huggies. It quickly became P&Gs biggest competitor. But Pampers forged on. They sold leakage protection, barrier leg cuffs, absorbency and a host of other product innovations. What they did not sell was a brand. P&G looked to further segment its market and launched LUVS.
The First Mover advantages loses to smart mover
No one is saying there is not an inherent advantage for FIRSTS. Being first should be the springboard to market dominance. But, all to often the first mover advantage causes complacency.
The market is littered with former first who gava up market leadership.
If you think it is harder to stay at the top, than get to the top. You’re wrong.
Sucess uses the same discipline. Newness is fleeting. And, the exploitation of filling a new need has a short life.
Smart branding infuses even new categories with emotion. The leader can get to the top by being first. To saty there, they need to be important.
Important is MORE important than first. Why? Because it is ties to the value of better.