The first person to successfully market a service often gains a huge advantage over their eventual competitors.
Take Klout for example. Klout was the first company to successfully market the idea of ‘individual influence measurement’ and as a result, even if someone does refer to one of their competitors, they call it a Klout alternative. Years ago, people in the UK referred to all vacuum cleaners as Hoovers and public address systems were called Tannoys – even though these were simply the brand names of the first companies to market those products successfully.
By the way, I have rejoined Klout in order to review their recent changes and stay updated on future developments.
Being first is not enough
If you have an idea for an amazing new product or service, you should consider exactly how to maximise the first to market opportunity. It’s not enough to simply be the first person to show up with it. You need to know how to create the kind of positive impact, which causes people to automatically associate your brand with that type of product or service. It is a specialist area of marketing, but one worth investing in for those eager to benefit from it.
Get it right and your brand becomes part of the conversation every time someone talks about that type of product or service. Get it wrong and someone will simply take your idea and make it their own. It’s worth remembering that neither Tannoy or Hoover invented the devices, which became synonymous with their names.
It works for small businesses too
If you think only big businesses can get this process correct, think again. Small businesses serving a local area can successfully get to market first and figuratively own the conversation around their type of product. In every town there are small and medium-sized businesses, whose names have become almost shorthand, when others talk about the kind of product (or service) they provide. I can think of at least half a dozen small businesses, who are used as the standard in my local area, whenever their industry is mentioned.
In short: When you get a great idea for a new product or service, if you want all those amazing first to market benefits, you need to launch it and position it correctly. Simply being first, is not enough.