Smart marketers use this to gain a huge advantage. For photocopiers, people think Xerox. For information systems, people think IBM. For cola, people think Coca. Why? Because they were all first to create that position.
If you’ve made something truly new, a first of it’s kind, a real invention, then hurry up and become known as the first person to have done it. If someone else gets there before you, it’s very hard to move them. Yet, it is possible. Al Ries and Jack Trout write about countless examples of how products, companies and even countries (Jamaica: ‘The Hawaii of the Caribbean’) position themselves differently from their competitors to gain market share.
Positioning is not the same as competing head-to-head. Just because Pepsi says people prefer it to Coca-Cola in blind-tests doesn’t mean it gains more sales. Similarly to why we can’t distinguish between Toshiba, Asos, Compaq or Packard Bell; they all compete on computer specs and don’t create a brand position in our minds. Positioning is about making your brand name mean something tangible.