2nd Place: A Winning Business Strategy
There is a great story about the battle for dominance between McDonald’s and Burger King. There was a time - just like when television only had 3 channels - that you really only had 3 or 4 choices for a quick meal. McDonald’s was the category leader (although not a phrase used at the time). They had process and procedure. They built an empire, including an efficient real estate empire. They sent teams to scout new restaurant locations and worked with local owners to determine the exact best place to expand their restaurants. Traffic patterns were analyzed and detailed information was obtained to negotiate the land and start building.
Burger King just watched … and then built across the street.
Being a category leader has perks. It validates you in the market. It has great cache and bragging rights. It feels good. It is absolutely the goal for your organization to lead a category — to be numero uno! Except when 2nd or 3rd place is the better option.
Why Not #1