Focus on Your "Firsts"

19-Dec-2012   |  Author: Fred Berns 


We all know that George Washington was the first U.S. president. But who was the second?

You’re aware that Neil Armstrong was the first man to walk on the moon. But who was the second?

You may know that Roger Bannister was the first person to run a mile in less than four minutes. But who was the second?

Did you correctly answer John Adams, Buzz Aldrin and John Landy?

Maybe not.

No. 1, we remember. No. 2, we don’t.

There’s something to be said for being first in government, in space exploration, in sports – and in business.

Are you the first company in your industry, in your area to offer a certain product? To use a certain technology? To reach a certain sales milestone?

“First,” like the word “Only,” demonstrates your distinction. It, too, spells out your specialness, and gives you that competitive edge.

“First,” like “Only,” creates instant impact and makes your organization memorable.

And “First,” like “Only” dramatically differentiates your organization.

Those who are first in their field are often linked with and best known for their key product, according to Jerry McLaughlin, a contributor to Forbes.com. He cites the examples of Scotch tape, Kleenex, Xerox and Slinky as “brands that have become synonymous with their function.”

Consider the designs you unveiled, the components you used, the pricing program you rolled out, the guarantee you offered in your company’s early days.

Were you the first company in your industry, in your area to provide all that? Even if yours isn’t the only company offering that now, you could lay claim to the label “industry pioneer.”

You can increase your organization’s recognition and rewards by focusing on your “firsts.” 
As with “only,” your “first” will have little impact if only you know about it.

Figure out your “Firsts” – and be the first to spread the word.