I love the book “The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing“.
I like it because it doesn’t try to be more than it is, it makes sense, its a quick read, and each time I read one of the 22 laws, I have a Duh moment.
One of the 22 laws is Marketing Rule # 3 The Law of the Mind which says;
“It’s better to be first in the mind than to be first in the marketplace”
The books uses examples like Dumont (first commercial television set) Duryea (first automobile) and Hurley (first washing machine) to indicate that being first to the marketplace with something is not as important as being the first association in the consumer’s mind.
To me real estate related examples come to mind like Red Carpet (first real estate franchise) who lost the battle to become first in the consumer’s mind to an upstart company named Century 21 that took the idea and became almost synonymous with real estate in the consumer’s mind. Or another great real estate related example is Realty Executives, the first 100% concept franchise, which was quickly overshadowed by the second to the market first in the mind positioning of ReMax. Does that mean that the second company to seek a position has some advantage? I don;t think that’s the case. It merely seems that since marketing (IMHO) is basically about perception, the battle for the mind of the consumer will take precedence over the battle to be first in the marketplace.
Traditionally the battle for the consumers mind was fought with the ultimate business weapon – money. Cash spent to build resources to capture the attention, interest and desire of the intended market. Today, with the advent of Social Media, I think that this weapon might be challenged by content. Though content doesn’t come without cost (in time or some other resource) it can be much more affordable than ad campaigns or print marketing materials, allowing smaller brokerages ( a relative term – most brokerages are larger than some and smaller than others) to compete with companies that are much larger and may have more resources. The size of the company behind the Blog or website is not immediately evident to the consumer, and clever positioning may prove more effective than a large budget. So go forth and lay your claim to the mind of your customer or client. Become their first choice for relocation, or foreclosures, or short sales, or for a specific price range or age group or geography, because you provide the best source of trusted information to them in the manner they want to receive it, and reap the benefits of your victory for the battle of their mind.