What If You're Not No.1 in Your Industry?

Avis billboard

Recently a company who were looking for venture capital investment contacted me for copywriting services. They had an exciting, ground-breaking product but were new in their industry.

They wanted to know how they could possibly compete with the megalithic-sized companies already out there?

We can all relate to this – there’s always someone who’s been there before, someone bigger; we’re all standing on the shoulders of giants.

But does bigger always mean better?

Don’t fight against white water

A Rafting instructor once explained to me that while white water looks fearsome and powerful, it really has no traction. So no matter how strong you are or how hard you try to manhandle that boat, you have little capacity to fight against the flow.

In fact the real secret of navigating rocks in white water is not strength but agility - simply placing your paddle in the right spot of still water will make the boat turn all by itself.

In the same way, why set yourself against the megaliths in your industry? Often, it means using all your effort to fight a battle you can’t win.

Why not play to your strengths instead?

Play to your strengths

So my question for my client, and my question to you, is what’s so frustrating about the big boys that it’s actually better to be small?

Spend a few minutes answering these questions.

Why do clients or customers feel frustrated with your giant competitors?

What’s missing from what they offer?

How do you ease these frustrations? And fill those gaps?

**Avis – "we try harder"

In fact, that little exercise was exactly what inspired the famous 1960’s ad campaign and slogan from Avis - "We’re No.2, So We Try Harder":

Here’s some of the original (beautifully written) ad copy:


AVIS IS ONLY NUMBER 2 IN RENT A CARS

SO WHY GO WITH US?

WE TRY HARDER.

(WHEN YOU’RE NOT THE BIGGEST, YOU HAVE TO)

WE JUST CAN’T AFFORD DIRTY ASH-TRAYS. OR HALF-EMPTY GAS TANKS. OR WORN WIPERS. OR UNWASHED CARS. OR LOW TIRES. OR ANYTHING LESS THAN SEAT ADJUSTERS THAT ADJUST. HEATERS THAT HEAT. DEFROSTERS THAT DEFROST.

OBVIOUSLY, THE THING WE TRY HARDEST FOR IS JUST TO BE NICE.

GO WITH US NEXT TIME.

THE LINE AT OUR COUNTER IS SHORTER.


And it worked, as a result of this ad campaign (despite being smaller) Avis grew their market share by 20%.

So … what’s the best thing about not being number one in your particular industry?


PS…Need more help pinning down the answers to my questions above? Grab our free five-step formula and double your results in half the time.





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