I just read an interesting blog post at Nick Inglis Web & Marketing Group with the title First In Wins.
The question he is asking is this: is it a marketing mistake to be second in?
I’ll try to explain it.
If you’re the first to grab a position in a consumer’s mind, it is very difficult to be pushed out of that position. When you are the second company to do it (or the third, fourth or whatever), shouldn’t you try to be unique instead?
Should you always try to be different when you know that there are at least one of your competitiors that are marketing themselves in a certain way (the way you wanted to in the first place), for instance:
There are about 100 dentists who are advertising in radio, print and television that say that they are gentle and that they are family friendly. You know who I remember? The guy who has sedation dentistry. Why? He was the first one to advertise it. Now if anyone else advertises that they have sedation dentistry, my mind will think of the person who advertised it first.
I think that I do agree, but on the other hand, you can always improve when it comes to marketing. You can do it better, and if you think you can, then it might be worth your while to try it. And it’s not always that, even though you know that you are second in, most consumers might not know that you are.
So, in my mind, second in is not always a marketing mistake. But you should be aware that the competition is harder if you are not first in.