Last summer, all I wanted was a pair of respectable, nude peep-toe heels for work. Searching through stores and online, most options in my price range said, “Hello, did you bring some singles with you?” Not what I needed, and I was mad the trends of the moment couldn’t get me what I wanted. Finally […]
Finally in March, I managed to find a pair of Etienne Aigner . They even had a cute buckle. They’re incredibly comfortable, and I would like to think chic and professional at the same time. Of course, this summer, I’m on the hunt for color. And what do I find?
Hundreds of nude pumps, peep-toes and sandals. Seriously.
One major thing we learn about in economics and operations is that having the can be amazing. There’s open road, and you can take advantage of a head start. It can also be challenging because your customer base is incredibly and often contains only the most interested buyers out there. They’re the ones willing to take the risk on something new or see the value way ahead of everyone else.
But a successful first-mover, isn’t alone for long.
Soon, thanks to marketing and , everyone has a version of your original, and the market is saturated. Down the line, you end up with bubbles which eventually lead to bursts and . If you’re lucky, the first-mover is still left over at the end, but it’s not likely.
What happens when you’re the customer and you’re a first mover? You could be like me, shopping around for exactly what you want, then blocked by anything new because there’s suddenly too much of what you wanted. You might end up in a state of constant frustration because you’re not an inventor or you don’t have the resources to make what you want. There’s so much market research being done, why haven’t companies read your mind yet?
In the same way a customer is leery of the risk in purchasing something from a first-mover company, companies are hesitant to cater to every individual customer’s first whim. Yes, a marketer could make you think the company has your exact want or need (I’m a marketer, I should know), but the team in engineering or production isn’t changing everything for one request. Even services that are customized can actually be combinations of predetermined modules instead of true ground-up customized services.
If it is impossible to be the first-mover customer and get what you want, what is the answer?
Determine who will follow you. Make a point of attracting influencers who have ideas or products out there that attract followers. Get an idea of what might happen once you get what you want, and then push beyond those first reactions. The same way a company scans the market, you can do so as well. Eventually, if you have influence, that market research will appear as if it is reading your mind. You could eventually drive company behavior.
Then you both could be first-movers.
is a member of the .