The fitness marketing law of duality basically means that in the long run the battle for the market share of a product comes down two; the top two steps on the ladder.
When a product is young on the market or is exciting it has many steps on the ladder. As it matures in the market and some of the excitement dissipates, the number of steps on the ladder disappears as well.
Often times when a product is “hot” in a market there is a lot of competition trying to land on the top step in the prospect’s mind. As time goes on some of the competition disappear and the market settles on the top two products. Jack Welch was the legendary CEO of General Electric and he quotes, “only businesses that are No. 1 and No. 2 in their markets could win in the increasingly competitive global arena. Those that could not were fixed, closed or sold.” Some examples of No. 1 and No. 2 brands are:
Coke and Pepsi, Cannon and Nikon, BMW and Mercedes, Crest and Colgate, McDonalds and Burger King
Usually after the hype settles down businesses provide the consumer with what they want and that is to narrow the market down to two choices. Consumers don’t typically like a large list to choose from because it’s stressful for them to decide. They want to choose between the top two. The pattern of purchase tends to happen one of two ways: one, early bird shoppers jump on a new product immediately and practical people tend to follow; two, conservative people buy after the practical people and then the slackers wait until everyone has the product and then they purchase. In the end, the competition really comes down to the top two products of the market. Market share generates market share and the rich entrepreneurs get wealthier!
There are some powerhouse companies we can learn from who own both the number one and two brands in their industry. Proctor & Gamble is the consumer products industry innovative leader and it’s their type of thinking of striving to always be number one and two in their industry that helps them achieve leadership. Over the past 16 years they have had 132 products on the top 25 Pacesetters list, more than six of their largest competitors combined. In 2010, they launched 4 of the top 10 most successful non-food products: Crest 3D White, Olay Professional Pro-X, Scope Outlast and Tide Stain Release. They have 50 leadership names that together produce 90% of their sales (PG.com, 2011).
I realize P&G is 100 times the size of any of our fitness businesses, but it’s their marketing strategy and the law of duality that keeps them at the top. You as a fitness entrepreneur can accomplish the same success within your industry by following their strategy.
Remember, the customer believes marketing is a battle of products. They don’t want to spend the time searching through 10 different brands to determine what they want. They narrow it down to the top two and purchase one of them. It is this thought process that keeps two brands at the top of list. These products have to be the best because they are the leaders! Over time the consumer becomes educated and they want the leading brands because it’s assumed the leading brand must be better.
Next time we will cover the fitness marketing law #9 The Law Of Opposite.