If you can’t be Coke, be Pepsi

taskmasterDuring the week, a rather interesting statistic caught my eye. According to SmartCompany, Samsung Galaxy S3 smartphone sales grew 15% in the week Apple’s iPhone 5 was released, well up from its usual weekly average of 9%.


The growth was due, in part, to a recent ad campaign making fun of Apple users queuing at stores. If you’re worried about a larger competitor, it’s an ad worth watching. Here’s why.


Truth be told, there’s nothing too innovative about Samsung’s strategy. In fact, it’s a tactic that can be traced right back to the first time someone gave themselves tooth decay from drinking too much cola.


In the cola wars, the established dominant brand – Coke – targets its advertising at convincing people to drink more soda. As the dominant brand, it knows if it can convince people to drink soda, many will choose the dominant brand by default.


The (relatively) newer competitor – Pepsi – knows that it is unlikely to ever gain Coke’s mass market appeal. Instead, it aims its advertising towards the largest possible niche: Young consumers. Like Samsung, it also defines itself in opposition to its largest competitor, Coke.


It’s a strategy that works particularly well for start-ups chasing a larger rival. If you want a great example, look no further to Harvey Norman and Kogan.


Unless you invent an entirely new product category, your product won’t be the market leading Apple or Coke of your industry. At least not at first.


Quit complaining. If you can’t be Apple or Coke, put your energy into becoming Samsung or Pepsi.


Get it done – today!


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