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Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Is “best” best?

This morning I spied a couple of Heinekens in the office refrigerator…

Which got me wondering who drinks Heineken anymore...

Which reminded me of an old marketing book I read years ago, The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing by Al Ries and Jack Trout…

Which reminded me of a quiz…

Who was the first person to fly the Atlantic Ocean solo? Charles Lindbergh, right?

Who was the second?

(Pardon me, but this blog is going to fly all over the place).

It’s true that many people believe that the surest way to success is to market (convince their prospects) that their product or service as the “best.” But is “best” best?

A basic law in marketing is creating a category that you can be FIRST in. It’s the Law of Leadership. More times than not, it’s better to be first than it is to be better. Why? It’s much easier to get into the mind first than to try to convince someone you have a better product than the one that did get there first.

Which leads me back to those Heinekens...

After World War II, Heineken was the first imported beer to make a name for itself in the United States. As a result, for decades after it remained the number one imported beer. Was it the best tasting of the hundreds and hundreds of brands imported into America? Doubtful!

Now, to seemingly contradict the law of leadership, another law states: It’s better to be first in the mind than to be first in the marketplace. It’s all really about a battle of perceptions – it’s an illusion. Beer marketing is a battle of perceptions, not a battle of taste. It’s good to be first, but it’s better to be first in the minds of the consumer!

Though Heineken is still high on the list, it might not surprise you to know that Corona now reigns as the #1 Imported Beer in the United States. Why? Take a look at Corona marketing and merchandising vs. Heineken. What’s the perception of drinking a Corona? It takes you away to a better place – a lazy beach.

It’s an illusion!

FYI Bud Light is now not only the number one selling light beer in America, it’s the number one selling beer period. So “light beer” is no longer a category – it’s just beer?

Which reminds me of the old Monty Python joke: “American beer is like making love in a canoe: Two (too) F’ing close to water.”

Which doesn’t remind me at all of anything, but I figure that I better wind this up.

Which leads me to Bert Hinkler. He was the second person to fly the Atlantic Ocean solo. (a better pilot than “Lucky Lindy” – he flew faster and consumed less fuel).

Which reminds me of the third person to fly the Atlantic solo (which I bet you know).

It’s Amelia Earhart! We remember her because she was the first in her own category.

All just something to think about the next time you order a beer.

Sir Bowie of Greenbriar

(After squandering your precious time reading this blog, don’t you just want to strangle the guy who put those Heinekens in the refrigerator?)

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