If you ain’t first, you’re last (1/22)*

Who was the first person to walk on the moon?

Neil Armstrong. Easy.

Second person?

Buzz Aldrin. Not so easy.

This is the first immutable law of marketing in action:

It’s better to be first than to be better.

Because your position in the market (and more importantly, in your prospect’s mind) is exactly like the moon men example.

Armstrong is first, he’s well-known. Then maybe a few know second place Buzz. But then who the hell knows who Pete Conrad is? (Hint: he’s the third guy)

Same way with the market for anything. iPhone is first. Then maybe Samsung. Then an anonymous blur of identical also-rans. First is Tesla. Then comes everyone else. And so on…

Being there first, and being perceived as first, isn’t the only way to win. But it’s as sure a way to win as any.

*PS This is the first in a loose series I’m going to do condensing Ries and Trout’s 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing. I’ll post whenever I can’t think of anything else to post. So this might take a while.