Be The One -- Or Risk Being an Also-Ran

Be The One -- Or Risk Being an Also-Ran

Published Jul 15, 2021 by Rick Cundiff

Hey, welcome back to our dogged pursuit of excellence! We’re leaving the pups on the porch this time, but we’re still looking for that darn excellence.

It’s not hard to find. Have you noticed that for many products, there’s The One brand, then there’s everything else?

Sometimes, that’s because the brand has a superior product. Other times, it’s because they were the first in the category.

Case in point – Apple products. Sure, I’m liable to get flak from fans of other brands, but let’s face it. In many categories – tablets, wireless headphones, phones – there’s Apple and then there’s also-rans, at least in the U.S. The iPhone holds a 65 percent market share in the United States.

For a more classic example, take the vacuum cleaner. In the early years, the vacuum market was dominated by one brand – Hoover. The first to market a powered cleaner, in the early 1900s,  the company got a head start on the competition. Particularly in the United Kingdom, the act of vacuuming became known as “Hoovering.” Some still use the term today.

Now Hoover wasn’t the only brand of vacuum on the market in the UK in the early days. But it was among the first, and in many instances delivered a superior machine.

Apple, by contrast, didn’t invent the smartphone, or the MP3 player before it. But it did produce a superior user experience for many people.

Sure, you probably had or have an iPod. How many of you have a Microsoft Zune? I rest my case.

The thing is, you gotta get your name out there. Offer your customers a superior product. That’s what we aim to do with We want to give you the best patches, prices and service you can buy. We want to be The One you think of when you’re ready to order custom patches.

That’s what you should be thinking too. Get your logo, brand or message out there with custom patches! Make sure your customers think of your business as The One.

Irony alert – British Hoover lost its market share in the 1990s to another upstart, Dyson. The new company was the first to offer a new technology – the bagless vacuum – and started grabbing market share from the established brand. In response, Hoover made a copycat machine. It wasn’t as good as a Dyson. It sold poorly. The result was Dyson taking over much of Hoover’s market share. The name of the Hoover copycat model? The One.

Moral of the story – if you’re The One, stay alert and innovative. If you’re the upstart, look for ways to be better and dethrone the old guard.