Brand Strategy

If You’re Not First, You’re Last

“If you’re not first, you’re last.”

If that quote sounds familiar to you, that’s because it’s from the film classic … Talladega Nights.

Okay, we know it’s not the height of cinema. But who doesn’t love a good Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly movie?

This quote has always stuck in our heads as we think about business growth.

From the Starting Line…

When you’re building a business, your starting line is a vision — your big idea. You get your first customer and begin to gain momentum. Pretty soon, you attract people who actually understand and identify with your vision. Finally, you get the revenue wheel turning. Next thing you know, you’re a Fortune 500 company.

And then, BAM. Just like that – you hit a wall. Something is wrong. Revenue plateaus, acquisition stalls, customers leave, new competitors arrive – it’s chaos.

… To The Pit Crew

We see these types of problems all the time.

Your go-to-market activities work…until they don’t. It’s not always easy to diagnose WHY, but one thing we know from decades of experiences with hundreds of businesses, is that when you start with the customer, you fix the problems.

When businesses hit a wall, they race to change their website messaging or build a new product feature to “fix” the problem. They get all tangled up in the tactics and can’t see the gaps.

That’s where we come in – we roll-up our sleeves and figure out the gaps together. Growth is faster and more efficient when there’s no friction to get in the way.

The Bottom Line

Growth is not a straight line. There is no perfect recipe. What works for one business, doesn’t always work for another. But what does work – every time – is aligning your business, your customers and your market. Just like when our body gets out of alignment, when our business is out of alignment, we’re in pain! Leading with the voice of the customer creates alignment. It is a 100% completely objective data point. Your customer wants you to succeed. They paid for your product. They want to love you. But, sometimes your business can’t see it that way.

Leading with product, is the race to the bottom. Your customers are buying a promise. They are buying a feeling – trust.

Your brand is the bridge to your customers. Brand is the ultimate differentiated growth strategy. If you want to play a different game, lead with brand. Be the unrivaled market leader.

And remember — if you’re not first, you’re last!


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