Early in the lifecycle of a product category, a product ladder with many rungs is formed. Gradually, the ladder becomes a two-rung affair.
In batteries, it’s Eveready and Duracell. In rent cars, it is Hertz and Avis. In hamburgers it is McDonald’s and Burger King. In toothpaste, it’s Crest and Colgate.
The Law of Duality suggests that over the product category’s lifecycle, the lower rungs on the ladder will lose market share and disappear; the top rung will lose market share; and the No 2 rung on the product ladder will gain market share ensuring the market is a two-horse race.
Are the results preordained? Of course not. There are other laws of marketing that can also affect the results.
Furthermore, your marketing programs can strongly influence your sales, provided they are in tune with the laws of marketing. For example, instead of going out and attacking two strong leaders, what you can do is carve out a profitable niche (like Crest prevents cavities as described in No 5, The Law of Focus).
Knowing that marketing is a two-horse race in the long run can help you plan strategy in the short run.
It often happens that there is no clear-cut No 2. What happens next depends on how skillful the contenders are.
What is especially tragic from the economy’s perspective are the resources wasted in many high value product categories, however this is the cost of capitalism.
Look at the history of the automobile industry in the USA. In 1904, 195 different cars were assembled by 60 companies. Over the next 10 years, 531 companies were formed and 346 perished. By 1923, only 108 car makers remained. This number dropped to 44 by 1927. Today, Ford is on the top rung of the product ladder with General Motors and Chrysler fighting for the second rung on the ladder.
Successful marketers concentrate on the top two rungs. Jack Welch, during his reign as chairman of General Electric, said “Only businesses that are No 1 or No 2 in their markets could win in the increasingly competitive global arena. Those that could not be No 1 or 2, were fixed, closed, or sold.”
This kind of thinking has build companies like Procter & Gamble into powerhouses where it is either No 1 or No 2 in more than 80% of its product categories.
Early in a product lifecycle, the No 3 or No 4 rung on the product ladder looks attractive. Sales are increasing. New and relatively unsophisticated customers are coming into the market. These customers don’t always know which brands are the leaders so they pick ones that look interesting or attractive… hence the interest by many Internet Marketing professionals in MyStory marketing and brand You Inc. Quite often, these brands turn out to be the No 3 or No 4 rung on the product ladder.
As time goes on however these customers get educated. They want the leading brand based on the naive assumption that the leading brand must be better.
The customer believes that marketing is a battle of products. It is this kind of thinking that keeps two brands on the top. Customers think the top two brands “must be the best because they are the brand leaders.”
As an Internet Marketing professional, you need to understand the Law of Duality. In order to compete, use brand You Inc and MyStory marketing methods and techniques to create your own product category or define a niche where you can be the leader and hold the top rung of the product category ladder (as described in No 7, the Law of the Ladder).
Many Internet Marketing entrepreneurs are using techniques and tools like mind-mapping, keyword research, Attraction Marketing Formula, Magnetic Sponsoring, and MindMeister to conduct the market research and plan a successful marketing campaign. They then use the power of MyStory marketing, brand You Inc, and hypnotic writing skills, in their marketing campaigns, to deal realistically with the position of their brand in the world that includes the Law of Duality. The goals is to not emphasize why their offering is better, feature and function-wise, over a competitor’s but to develop a message that is recognized, accepted, and agreed to so that it will seduce and persuade a customer that what is offered is real and will work for them.
Marketing is not a battle of products. It is all about the strategy you use to benefit from the Law of Duality to ensure your brand and product is one of the top two brands of the product ladder as the market becomes a two horse race.
You can find out more about Internet Marketing and home-based businesses by reading updates that will be posted at my blog over the next few weeks.
As a former engineer with General Dynamics and management consultant at Deloitte… I am on a mission to empower individuals by increasing their financial literacy, improve their ability for personal sustainability, and contribute to the program that has a goal of creating 100 Millionaires by 2012.