Being Best Doesn’t Matter. Being First Does.

Picture by FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Picture by FreeDigitalPhotos.net

For many North American companies, Latin America remains terra incognita. Which is a shame, because North America produces best-in-the-world technology that Latin America needs.

What’s the rush? These North American companies ask. The competition hasn’t entered Latin America yet. We’ve got time.

Wrong.

Just because your product is best in its category, even the best in the world–well, sorry, but that’s irrelevant.

People remember the first brand in the market. It’s a question of positioning. You don’t want to make the best tissue on the market. You want to be Kleenex. You want your brand to be synonymous with your category.

Al Ries and Jack Trout identify this law—a law as binding in nature as the laws of gravity—in The 22 Laws of Marketing.

Rule #1: Be First in Your Market.

Remember the Beta vs VHS war in the 1980s? Videocassettes are long obsolete, of course, but back in those days, it was a war—between the leaps-and-bounds superior Beta vs the inferior VHS technology.

And who won?

VHS.

History is littered with the skeletons of companies who failed to follow this rule. Resting on your laurels is a guaranteed fail.

Market competition is not based on rational, side-by-side comparison of features and benefits. Competition is based first and foremost on positioning—whichever brand is top of the mind will win.

And in the virgin markets of Latin America, being first is gold.

If you want to ride that wave, you need to get on board now, or risk riding in someone else’s wake.

This 2015 make a difference and be the first!

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