First the Worst, Second the Best

One of my favorite #campaigns is Avis’s iconic ‘We Try Harder’.

In the 60’s, Avis was trailing market leader Hertz. So Ad Agency DDB decided to use Avis’ second-place position to highlight the #brand’s customer service. “When you’re only No. 2, you try harder.”

The campaign was an instant hit. In fact, it was so successful, Avis used this #positioning as the fabric of its corporate culture for many years.

What I love about it is not just how counterintuitive it is to acknowledge a supposed disadvantage. But it’s the brilliant #reframing of this disadvantage as a point of strength and #differentiation – that is the mark of genius #insight.

As a brand strategist, I also can relate on a personal level. Vulnerability alert: For most of my life, I’ve felt like an Avis. A number two. I even have the elementary school certificates to prove it. Lots of second place. But while things may come naturally to some, being second has just taught me to #workharder.

Today, I use this clarity as my fuel. It accelerates my development, learning, and progress in my #craft. And this #2 drive has helped me achieve success in more ways than I could ever have imagined.

So to all the #2’s out there, I see you 👀. Being second doesn’t need to Hertz (ba, dum, tss).

Who out there can relate?