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Short read with some solid information. However, the majority of the examples are outdated and some simply don't apply to the present.
The basic issue in marketing is creating a creating a category you can be first in. It's the law of leadership: It's better to be first than it is to be better. It's much easier to get into the mind first than to try to convince someone you have a better product than the one that did get there first.
You can demonstrate the law of leadership by asking yourself two questions:
1) What's the name of the first person to fly the Atlantic Ocean Solo? Charles Lindbergh, right?
2) What's the name of the second person to fly the Atlantic Ocean solo? Not so easy to answer, is it?
The Law of the Category
If you can't be first in a category, set up a new category you can be first in.
If you didn't get into the prospect's mind first, don't give up hope. Find a new category you can be first in.
...counter to classic marketing thinking, which is brand oriented: How do I get people to prefer my brand? Forget the brand. Think categories. Prospects are on the defensive when it comes to brands. Everyone talks about why their brand is better. But prospects have an open mind when it comes to categories. Everyone is interested in what's new. Few people are interested in what's better.
When you're the first in a new category, promote the category. In essence, you have no competition.
It's better to be first in the mind than to be first in the marketplace.
Being first in the mind is everything in marketing. Being first in the marketplace is important only to the extent that it allows you to get in the mind first.
If you want to make a big impression on another person, you cannot worm your way into their mind and then slowly build up a favorable opinion over a period of time. The mind doesn't work that way. You have to blast your way into the mind.
The reason you blast instead of worm is that people don't like to change their minds. Once they perceive you one way, that's it. They kind of file you away in their minds as a certain kind of person. You cannot become a different person in their minds.
All that exists in the world of marketing are perceptions in the minds of the customer or prospect. The perception is the reality. Everything else is an illusion.
Most people think they are better perceivers than other. They have a sense of personal infallibility. Their perceptions are always more accurate than those of their neighbors or friends. Truth and perception become fused in the mind, leaving no difference between the two.
Truth is nothing more or less than one expert's perception. And who is the expert? It's someone who is perceived to be an expert in the mind of somebody else.
...customers frequently make buying decisions based on second-hand perceptions. Instead of using their own perceptions, they base their buying decisions on someone else's perception of reality. This is the "everybody knows" principle.
The most powerful concept in marketing is owning a word in the prospect's mind.
A company can become incredibly successful if it can find a way to own a word in the mind of the prospect.
The simple words are best, words taken right out of the dictionary. This is the law of focus. You "burn" your way into the mind by narrowing the focus to a single word or concept.
If you're not a leader, then your word has to have a narrow focus. Even more important, however, your word has to be "available" in your category. No one else can have a lock on it.
When you look at customers in a given product category, there seem to be two kinds of people. There are those who want to buy from the leader and there are those who don't want to buy from the leader. A potential No. 2 has to appeal to the latter group.
In other words, by positioning yourself against the leader, you take business away from all the other alternatives to No. 1.
If you want to be successful, you have to reduce your product line, not expand it.
Ego is the enemy of successful marketing. Objectivity is what's needed.
...recognize failure early and cut your losses.
A fad is a wave in the ocean, and a trend is the tide. A fad gets a lot of hype, and a trend gets very little.
One way to maintain a long-term demand for your product is to never totally satisfy the demand.
But the best, most profitable thing to ride in marketing is a long-term trend.
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