Businesses often believe in the first-mover advantage, which is the idea that your brand needs to be the first in the market in order to succeed.
Hence, they are always in a race to become the “First of its kind” brand, to also benefit from “First-mover advantages” in distribution, product quality, and market share.
Brands don't have to be the first to succeed. History showed that latecomers also performed well.
Google wasn’t the first search engine. It was Lycos. Yet, they have branded themselves as being the first.
Apple didn’t create the first computer. Altair did. But Apple made the computer accessible to everyone and became known for being the first manufacturer of personal computer.
P&G says it created America’s first disposable nappies in 1961. Johnson and Johnson created one of the first disposable diapers, Chux, a quarter-century before P&G.
Have you ever heard of the first-mover brands such as Lycos, Altair, and Chux? No right? That’s because despite being the first comers to the market, they weren’t the first to the mind of consumers. Hence, they were forgotten as time passed.
Their brand positioning was unclear and branding was not effective.
Anheuser-Busch InBev (the company behind Budweiser) made around $48 million in 2020. Compare that to Hamilton, which is a local brewery in California, and has expected to have made around $15 million in 2020.
You would think the Hamilton brand doesn’t stand a chance to grow in the global market. How can it compete with the giant brand Budweiser?
Well, they don’t focus on competing with global brands. Instead, they pride themselves on being a local brewery in Rancho Cucamonga, California.
Their slogan “Love people, love beer” gives the sense of enjoyment of drinking beer with those you love.
Where Budweiser targets those who prefer luxury-style tasting around the world, Hamilton Family Brewery is a brand owned by locals. And that’s what makes them strong.
Their audience doesn’t care if they are bigger than Budweiser, Coors, or any other big brands. They value the local culture of friendship and family that Hamilton is known for.
Local brands have a competitive advantage- The infusion of local culture into their brand identity.
Interestingly, local brands do have a chance to go global.
Under the mindset of “Think Global, Act Local”, a brand with excellent branding, a clear target market, and a process of assessing and growing value over time can expand across geographic boundaries, and consumer segmentsand even capture new markets.
If your brand is local, you have strong competitive advantages over global competitors, as explained by Marty Huggins.
1. Local brands focus on meeting local needs
2. Local brand benefit from word-of-mouth advertising
3. Local brands are viewed as having higher quality products
4. Local brands are regarded as sustainable and ethical as opposed to large global brands
You don’t have to worry about competing with the giants if you can become a local giant!
4. Good products fail
People want to create the perfect product with outstanding features that will break the market.
However, perfect products can fail the same way as bad products do.
Coca-Cola made the first change to its formula in 99 years and introduced New Coke. The product was surveyed among 200,000 people and the result showed that it tasted better than the previous Coke.
It tasted better than Pepsi too! But yet it failed miserably.Why?
Because Coca-Cola was more than just a bottle of coke for them. It was the American way of living, of refreshing yourself on a hot summer day.