First-Mover Advantage?

moving_van.jpgThere’s a lot to be said for being the “first mover” into the marketplace. As some of my favorite marketng authors, Reis & Trout, said years ago, “It’s better to be first than it is to be better.” One of the reasons they said it’s better to be first in the market is because whoever is first in the market is also first in the mind. This is essentially like owning the marketing high ground because whoever is “first” becomes the standard against which everyone else is measured. In fact, being first may even mean having the brand be equated with the product.

Consider how such products as Weed Eater, Palm Pilot, Jello, and TiVo are now generically branded with the category they represent. This suggests in the mind of the customer that anyone else is just an imitator. Experience, time in the market, and even slight innovations can be used as differentiators if the marketer simply reminds the customers, “We were the first to …”  

It’s a good idea to take an inventory of any “firsts” you’ve had, then see how they could represent value to the customer. You may find a first-mover advantage of your own!