You’re Not #1: How to Outwit your competitors and gain customer share #marketingmonday

Over the weekend, I had some discussions over ‘who’s best, what companies make money,

and competitors in the same market.”

One went like this: “Do you goto the grocery store”


“How many detergents brands are there?

Me: “Two.”

Person: “Really?”

“Two that make profit.”

“There’s about 10, and they all make money.”

It got me to thinking… 

A similar conversation took place in the dressing room before shinny last night. 

Person: “Mike’s hard lemonade is by far the biggest seller in Canada.”

Me: “Yeah Right, it’s Beer.”

“I dunno, I was the only one drinking beer at the parties I was at.”


So I checked into this when the game was done. 

World’s best selling alcoholic beverage. Soju, a South Korean vodka.


Mike’s Hard is not even on the list, yet it makes profit. How? If being number one/leading brand, is the most important thing. Walk into a computer store and try to buy something that doesn’t have Microsoft, or Apple software installed. As it goes for detergents, Tide outsells Sunlight, #2 in sales, almost 2.5 to 1. And it’s all downhill from there. Yet, these brands are still on the shelf. Where’s the survival of the fittest? 

Similarly, it is true for the North American beer market. Bud Light, has a huge lead over it’s closest competitor, Coors Light. But according to some people the #2′ and even #5’s still make money. 

This is an interesting article of Mike’s Hard’s new strategy. They already did a great job outwitting their niche competitors in the malted liquor market. But they want more…

Mike’s Hard Lemonade going after beer market

Is it like chasing the opposite sex?

“You’re trying to crush bombs, when you can’t hit a fast ball?” – Jenna Marbles

Maybe you’re #1 at stealing bases. There are different categories in life you can be #1 at.

Is it like sports? Pro Athletes, win or lose still get paid millions to compete where only one team wins the trophy. 

upsets aside, the best players usually do win the trophy. Michael Jordan, Wayne Gretzky, Lebron James, etc and the players that play on their teams. Dynasties ring a bell? 

Laundry Detergent Sales

Look at the detergent market. If all these companies make money by default. Where’s the competition in that. Seems like a losing race in the detergent market. Proctor and Gamble own both Tide and Gain (The number 1 and 2 in sales). So it seems like even though different detergents may be on the shelves, doesn’t mean they operate autonomously. 

But honestly, or realistically, there is always someone ahead of you in life. How well you are defined #1 to your customer’s mind. Because that’s who matters.

2014 NBA Finals, the San Antonio Spurs beat Lebron and company. By playing their brand of basketball

Like listening to music, the mainstream and underground have sub genres.

I looked up top fashion designers (Highly competitive, low-growth, fast-paced industry). Judging by all the press, Tom Ford gets. I would assume he’s the best luxury designer in the world.


Marc Jacobs, Louis Vuitton, or Ralph Lauren, Ralph Lauren is considered the best. Not only this. Marc gave Tom his start. But how does Tom make profit when they all seem to be competing on the same business model?

This is where branding and positioning decides your fate in the market place.  

Positioning means: How to differentiate yourself in the marketplace.

So looking deeper, Mr. Ford has done a lot to make sure that if he’s not number 1 in the world, to be #1 in the people who are likely to be in the market for a certain niche product. I can’t walk into a department store and find his products, I can find Marc Jacobs or Ralph Lauren though.

I have to go to a high end retailer to find Mr. Ford’s clothing and products. So automatically he has differentiated himself to strictly affluent people.

Not only designers do this, car makers, furniture makers, and even milk, raise prices with quality.

So price and luxury differentiation. That’s easy. Make your products scarce and price it high. (Supply and Demand)

Fashion 101.

If it is that easy, everyone would do it and in some cases they do and more differentiation is needed.

So what’s the difference between a tux and a Tom Ford tux?

Tailoring/Materials – different from the Armani’s suits.

Quality. That’s a start. How many luxury brands are all veneer when it comes to substance? I read a lot of good reviews on his tailoring.

But most importantly the emotional impacting elements of his brand that is the mind of his customers.

Increase in Social Status… Didn’t multi- millionaire Jay Z boast about what he rocks?

Sex Appeal. (power, sophisticated, successful, and refined.)

So in the super saturated world of messages. We’ve boiled it down to Tailoring, Exclusivity and Sex Appeal.

Not bad. When you’re competing in an industry who’s customer’s are desiring similar traits in their lives

Hence subliminally, competing for my/your mind for #1.

But on the flip side, this can be seen as gimmicky marketing plays as well.

Truth is irrelevant. What matters are the perceptions that exist in the mind – “Al Ries, Positioning

Here’s some tips on how to gain market share.

Gaining Market Share

When you’re not number 1, you can position yourself for for niche opportunities, and in ripe situations, compete on business model pattern variations to be number one in your customer’s mind.

Last Call: Nintendo Wii’s disruptive Business Model


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