The f.Law of the First


Would Titanic have been less of a blockbuster should the character of Jack Dawson been played by someone else other than Leonardo DiCaprio?

It’s hard to imagine the role played by someone else. Even artists that you believe are actually better actors than Leonardo DiCaprio.

It goes without saying that there are other great pianists, but it’s hard to imagine Finding One’s Self having brought to being┬áby anyone but Moses Molelekwa.

Likewise, it’s hard to image the role of Sarafina played by anyone but Leleti Khumalo.

The very same consumer attachment makes it almost impossible for, say, a brand’s identity redesign to be perceived as better than its predecessor.

Chances are that Michael Jackson’s execution of Man in the mirror is not the best that could have been. But it’s hard to think of another artist singing it better than him.

Though I’ve listed talented people as examples; In most cases, products or people aren’t really the best; they were fortunate to be the first in the minds of consumers.

(In branding, a game of perceptions, it’s better to be the first than it is to be the best.)


— October 4, 2010.