On Step 58 in the book “Double Your Profits,” author Bob Fifer says:
“Brands like Clorox, Crest, Kleenex, Jell-O and McDonald’s tend to retain their strength for a long, long time. And brands in relatively new categories like Pampers and Huggies (disposable diapers) spend small fortunes establishing brand image, because they know that once they’ve achieved it, it will be with them a very long time.”
This reinforces my belief that you can’t just be a better company than your competitor. You instantly have a super-high barrier to entry – with customer loyalty to an incumbent, difficulty in getting consumers to change habits, people are too busy or bombarded to give you a chance, and you’re unknown and risky right out of the gate.
The best way for an organization to have a foothold on customer interest, trial, acquisition, and loyalty is to be different. Make products or services differently. Deliver your products/services differently (i.e. Amazon’s drone delivery and supermarket shopping without cashiers). Experiment with doing the exact opposite of what you and your competitors are conditioned to do. Combine two different worlds (think Netflix meshing entertainment with the membership model). Create a new category name and own it.
Only in this way do you have a fighting chance to thrive.