[The Law of Duality] In the long run, every market becomes a two-horse race: a battle of the old reliable brand versus the upstart brand
In batteries, it’s Eveready and Duracell. In photographic film, it’s Kodak and Fuji [...] In hamburgers, it’s McDonald’s and Burger King [...] When you take the long view of marketing, you find the battle usually winds up as a titanic struggle between two major players—usually the old reliable brand and the upstart.
[...] The law of duality suggests that these market shares are unstable. Furthermore, the law predicts that the leader will lose market share and No. 2 will gain [...] Knowing that marketing is a two-horse race in the long run can help you plan strategy in the short run.
The customer believes that marketing is a battle of products. It’s this kind of thinking that keeps the two brands on top: “They must be the best, they’re the leaders.”
Ego is the enemy of successful marketing. Objectivity is what’s needed. When people become successful, they tend to become less ...
No matter what your product is, you are ultimately in the education business. Your customers need to be constantly educated about the many advantages of doing business with you, trained to use your products more effectively, and taught how to make never-ending improvement in their lives.
In strength there is weakness. Wherever the leader is strong, there is an opportunity for a would-be No. 2 to turn the tables [...] If [the company] wants to establish a firm foothold on the second rung of the ladder, [it] should study the firm above. Where is it strong? And how does [the company] turn that strength into a weakness?
[The challenger] must discover the essence of the leader and then present the prospect with the opposite. (In other words, it shouldn’t try to be better, but try instead to be different.)
[...] The long-term effects are often the exact opposite of the short-term effects. Does a sale increase a company’s business or decrease it? Obviously, in the short term, a sale (discount) increases business. But there’s more and more evidence to show that Sales decrease business in the long term by educating customers not to buy at “regular” prices.
Aside from the fact that you can buy something for less, what does a sale say to a prospect? It says that [the company's] regular prices are too high. After the sale is over, customers tend to avoid a store with a “on sale” reputation.
(...) the key is to get the whole story into the headline but leave out just enough that people will want to click.