Monday, November 30, 2009

You complete me

The Joker taunted Batman with that phrase in the movie The Dark Knight. The public image of both Batman and the Joker were stronger because of their conflict. The legend of Robin Hood was enhanced by the cruelty of the Sheriff of Nottingham.

A champion needs a formidable villain and vice versa.

The marketing lesson from that is that the public defines you by your competition.

The boxer, Mohammad Ali understood this marketing principle and demonstrated it well. He built up the credibility and threat of each of his opponents before every fight. That made his victories more exciting.

Avis could not defeat the market leader in the car rental business Hertz, so they defined themselves by the phrase, “We try harder.”

Pepsi positioned itself as the alternative to the market leader Coke. Lex Luthor was legitimized by his role as the greatest enemy of Superman. Doctor Doom is feared because he is the greatest threat to the Fantastic Four. Sir Edmund Hillary is nothing without Mount Everest. Winston Churchill would be unknown without Hitler. Wyatt Earp is defined by the Clantons. The 300 Spartans are known because of their stand against the Persian Empire. David is only remembered because of his contest with Goliath. And Delilah is only known because of her betrayal of Samson.

With its clever TV ads, Apple has positioned itself as the alternative to the market leader, Microsoft.

Who or what is the Darth Vader to your Luke Skywalker?

George Torok
Marketing Speaker
Executive Briefing


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