As mediators and arbitrators, a lot of what we do deals with the laws of our land. They’re all around us.
Marketers the world over have come up with a few “laws” of their own. In fact,
you can find the majority of them in a very good book “The 22 Immutable Laws of
Marketing”. My own outline of a few my favorite laws is below.
1) THE LAW OF LEADERSHIP
It’s better to be first than it is to be better.
What’s the name of the first person to fly the Atlantic Ocean solo?
Charles Lindbergh, right?
What’s the name of the second person to fly the Atlantic Ocean solo?
Bert Hinkler – And he did it faster & used less fuel. But no one has
ever heard of Bert Hinkler.
Most mediators go the Bert Hinkler route – they wait until a market
develops then jump in.
After WWII Heineken was the first beer to be imported into the US.
4 decades later it’s still No. 1. Does it taste better than the
other 424 imported beers – no – it was No. 1.
The secret of success of getting into the prospect’s mind first.
Neil Armstrong was first on the moon – who was second?
Roger Bannister was the first person to run a four-minute mile – who was 2nd?
George Washington was the first President of USA – who was 2nd?
Gatorade was the first sports drink- what was 2nd?
IF YOU’RE 2ND INTO THE PROSPECT’S MIND, ARE YOU DOOMED TO LANGUISH
FOREVER WITH BUZZ ALDRIN, JOHN LANDY, JOHN ADAMS, & SOME UNKNOWN
SPORTS DRINK? NOT NECESSARILY. FORTUNATELY – THERE ARE OTHER LAWS.
2) THE LAW OF THE CATEGORY
If you can’t be first in a category, set up a new category you can be
What’s the name of the 3rd person to fly the Atlantic Ocean solo?
If you didn’t know that Bert Hinkler was the 2nd, you might figure you
had no chance at all to know the name of the 3rd person. But you do.
It’s Amelia Earhart. Now, is Amelia Earhart known as the 3rd person
to solo the Atlantic Ocean or as the first woman to do so?
There are many different ways to be first. Dell got into the crowded
personal computer field by being the first to sell computers by phone.
Today Dell is a billion dollar company.
Charles Schwab didn’t open a better brokerage firm. He opened the first
discount brokerage firm. When you’re the first in a new category, promote
the category. In essence you have no competition.
3) THE LAW OF THE MIND
It’s better to be first in the mind than to be first in the marketplace.
Law #1 – the law of leadership would suggest that the MITS Altair 8800
ought to be the no. 1 personal computer brand. It is no longer with us.
Du Mont invented the first commercial television set. Hurley the first
washing machine. All are gone.
Is something wrong with the law of leadership? No, but the law of mind
modifies it. It’s better to be first in the prospect’s mind than first
in the marketplace. Being first in the mind is everything in marketing.
1000s of would-be entrepreneurs are tripped up by this law.
Someone has an idea or concept that he or she believes will revolutionize
an industry, as well it may. The problem is getting the idea or concept
into the prospect’s mind.
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.
Apple has a simple easy-to-remember name. Apple’s competitors conversely
had names that were difficult to remember – Commodore Pet, IMSAI 8080, MITS
Altair, and Radio Shack TRS-80. Ask yourself, which name is the simplest
and easiest to remember? First to mind is what it’s all about.
4) THE LAW OF PERCEPTION
Marketing is not a battle of products, it’s a battle of perceptions.
Most people think marketing is a battle of products. In the long run,
they figure, the best product will win.
It’s an illusion. There is no objective reality. There are no facts.
There are no best products. All that exists in the world of marketing
are perceptions in the minds of the customer or prospect. Their perception
is the reality. EVERYTHING else is an illusion. All truth is relative and
people are seldom, if ever, wrong. At least in their own minds. What makes
the battle even more difficult is that 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 know’s principle”. – Everybody knows
that the Japanese make higher-quality cars than Americans do.
Marketing is not a battle of service. It’s a battle of perceptions.