It’s human nature for us to remember what was or who was always first, like the first person to walk on the moon or the first people who created certain types of products. It’s been shown that it’s always better to be number one or first in the mind of your potential customer. When we’re first, we are able to shape perceptions and get people to see us the way that we want them to see us. On today’s show, Gerry Foster shares the secret sauce to being number one and talks about positioning your brand that will give you an amazing advantage over the competition.
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Be Number One
This is Be Number One. I’ve got a question for you. Do you remember your first kiss? More than likely you do. The reason why besides the obvious is that it’s human nature for us to remember what always was first or who was always first. Think about that. We can remember the first person to walk on the moon. We can remember the first people who created certain types of products. We have a tendency to remember that whoever was first in a category or first to do something or first in the marketplace, we gravitate towards these types of individuals or companies because they were the first. That’s a very incredible thing to latch onto.
This whole idea of around being able to shape perceptions and getting people to see us the way that we want them to see us. It has been shown that it’s always better to be first in the mind of your potential customer. That has to center around what I’ve talked about in previous episodes, what’s called your big brand idea, which is you being able to seize control over what people think and what they think of when it comes to your brand name, your product, your service, your company, yourself, your nonprofit, it doesn’t matter. It’s got to be something of value. It’s got to be something interesting. It’s got to be something that is different than what’s out there that is connected with a level of value. It’s got to be something that people will find quite memorable because we love people who were first.
A lot of brands have become known as not only being first, they’re synonymous with the function that they provide from Kleenex to Velcro, scotch tape, Xerox, “Can you Xerox this for me?” It’s interesting because you as an owner, you want to capitalize on this very basic fact. People love something new and they love hearing about something that’s new. Sometimes I think that a lot of these big brands are constantly upgrading their products, for example, because of that very basic fact. iPhone and Android are constantly coming out with new features and new phones.
Your big brand idea has to be something that people will find quite memorable because we love people who were first. Click To Tweet
I used to work in P&G as some of you know. It seems as if in the laundry detergent industry, Tide comes out with some kind of new Tide at least every other year. You look in the razor blade market between Schick and Gillette. They’re always coming out with new versions of razorblades every so often. The thing about that is asking ourselves, “Is what you’re coming out with that new?” Maybe it isn’t, but it sure gets our attention. You start thinking about some of the big brands that have come around over the recent years. You remember when eBay, Craigslist and IKEA came on the scene?
Do you remember when ESPN hit the marketplace as the sports channel? Do you remember when CNN was creative as 24-hour news coverage? It’s very important that you pivot your brand around a single big brand idea because people can always remember one thing, and when you try to say that your brand can do all types of functions and it’s got all these types of benefits, that’s later wrong, particularly in your messaging. You need to embrace the fact that it’s human nature to remember that one thing. Coca-Cola was the first cola brand. TV Guide was the first TV channel, publication of its sort. Playboy was the first in its genre.
What these companies do is they latch onto, “What do we want to be associated with our brand name?” Southwest Airlines said, “We’re going to be known as ‘The airline that offers cheap airfares.”’ The FedEx brand grew its brand around the simple, single, big brand idea of overnight mail delivery. The Google brand is all about what? Searching online. You say Google, you think search. If I say Yahoo, I’m not quite sure what to think. I know what I associate with the Google brand name. I know that when I think of Duracell, I think of the longer-lasting battery. I’m not taking anything away from the everlasting battery because the bunny keeps hopping and hopping. I like the little bunny but I don’t have the connection that brand is going to be providing me a longer-lasting battery than Duracell.
Not that there’s anything wrong with that particular brand of battery, but I think that for some of you it could be that you are not seizing control over how you want people to think about your brand. You haven’t nailed down yet. That single-minded thing of value that is going to get people so excited about you, that is going to stick to their mind because it’s all about making impressions. It’s all about people seeing you as an elite brand that stands in a category of its own. Something that people can have some strong emotional feelings around.
The idea that when people come across your brand name, your website, in social media, something comes to mind that is powerful and compelling that makes them want to purchase what it is that you offer because it is about perception. I’m going to do a whole separate episode just on that one topic. I want you to embrace the idea of being first in what you do because it is that battle of perception. It is all about the fact that perception is the reality and everything else is an illusion. If you can find that big brand idea that puts your shoulders above the rest of the crowd, then you don’t have to spend as much time trying to explain why your brand is better.
People will naturally see that you are providing something that easily penetrated their mind and got them to see that you were the first one to be doing what it is that you’re doing. I love reading about some small businesses in America that are just rocking it. They’ve taken what they have and they’ve created these multimillion-dollar brands in a relatively short period of time. There’s this one brand called Grace and Lace. What they did was they said, “Ladies, we’ve got something for you that speaks to what you’re looking for, whereby you can have a little bit of style around your boots instead of having to wear artificial fake socks with your knee-high boots.” They turned out into a multimillion-dollar brand.
I read about a food truck company called Cousins Maine Lobster. It’s super successful. They’re even franchising their trucks around the big brand idea of bringing Maine lobster to your neighborhood. There’s Scrub Daddy. We’re talking about sponges and things that you can use to clean surfaces, sinks and things of that nature. They came out with this brand and have turned it into this multimillion-dollar business around the idea of being able to offer something that you cannot get in that market. We’re talking about a category of cleaning tools and sponges where there’s not a lot of innovation going on. They would come out and they say that the Scrub Daddy brand is a scratch-free sponge that eliminates needing a different sponge for various uses.Pivot your brand around a single big brand idea because people can always remember one thing. Click To Tweet
What’s the secret sauce that they refer to as its flex texture material that allows it to change texture under different water temperatures? When it’s used with warm water, it makes it soft and perfect for wipe downs and washing dishes. Cold water simply stiffens it for the tough pots and pan jobs. Think outside the box here. Ask yourself, “Is my brand pivoting around a single idea that is going to spark a wonderful feeling with your target audience?” It may even conjure up some feeling that is just going to make people feel wonderful. What is your number one idea going to be? What do you want your brand to be known for?
I can’t stress that enough because that is what’s also going to separate you from your competition and allow you to say that you’ve got something that they cannot find anywhere else, so that you’re number one. We love whoever or whatever is number one. Remember who won the Superbowl. Oftentimes, we don’t remember who lost. Remember who won the World Series, the Kentucky Derby, the NBA championship but oftentimes, we don’t pay attention to who came in second. We remember who was the first person to walk on the moon, but we may not remember the name of the second person. It’s all about looking at your brand from the position of your customer. That’s what matters most.
It’s also going to be the thing that will give you an amazing advantage over the competition, whereby you can separate yourself in a way that gives you a sustainable competitive edge. You do have to be innovative about this. I was thinking about Blockbuster. When Blockbuster was around, they were rocking the industry because they built their brand around the simple idea of being the place to go to rent movies. Along comes Netflix and they said, “We’re going to be the place to go to rent movies online,” which is where the consumer was headed. Until next time, take care.
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