Make Marketing History

The views of a marketing deviant.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Least Mover Advantage.

Hugh's post on blogging as marketing contains much nuggety wisdom. I particularly agree that sovereignty is a factor that cannot be overstressed. Without it, passion is diluted and consensus tends to lead to compromises such as this.

However, within an otherwise utterly valid point about uniqueness of voice, he propagates one of my betes noires by referring to first mover advantage. This marketing myth emerged during the first online land grab and only holds if, as a first mover, you make no mistakes and all your presumptions about your market prove to be correct. Without a great product, conviction, continuity and sovereignty, first move is worthless. Least mover advantage is far more relevant.

Least movers don't compromise on quality, they stick to their convictions and they are always there for you. It is they who disrupt the first movers and outmanoeuvre the likes of Netscape, Friendster and Alltheweb. They're not inflexible of course, they move willingly for their customers but they decidedly don't move away from their passion because they realise that is why they have those customers.

Least movers don't have New Coke moments or price wars. They know, as Seth recently highlighted that the real first mover advantage is that which they exploit when a new prospect first encounters them and that, unlike at any time before, the network effects of the wired world mean that the first mover is very often a sitting duck.

What's your next move?

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