Positioning, it’s something that Al Ries and Jack Trout laid out all the way back in 1980. Companies who do not hold to the laws of Positioning, that is the first two companies in a consumer’s mind will prosper and the others will slowly but eventually suffer, will suffer for it. They laid out several examples of failure and success and their writings have become a foundation for strategic advertising. It is simple, you copy and you fail.
Apple and Samsung hold the top two positions in people’s mind when it comes smartphones in the United States. Counterpoint Research reported in early February of this month that Apple reached 44% market share in the states after they sold a record 22 million iPhones in the fourth quarter of 2017. Kantar reported in August 2017 that Samsung had power over 36.2% of market share in the states. At the time this was tops over Apple, but Apple has since regained its power in the U.S.
Either way, we can safely estimate that the two make up somewhere between 70-80% market share in today’s market. In other words, most everyone in the United States has one of these two brands vibrating in their pocket, they hold the first and second position peoples’ minds. This makes sense as to why Google’s phone sales are so pitiful. ComScore has Google’s market share at .7% of the United States even though Google, “plans to create “compelling hardware products” and recently announced it would be hiring about 2,000 engineers from Taiwanese phone maker HTC to help achieve them. You can imagine future Pixels and other projects as part of that partnership (today’s is reportedly a partnership with LG).” Recode reports. It will all be for not without Google changing anything.
Google’s phone will never be successful with their current strategy. They are the same and being better, which is debatable, is not different in the way that is needed. They created nothing different or unique about their product. They did not create a “Creneau”, or whole in the market for their product fo fit. Google’s Pixel will continue to flounder because of it. Google is also practicing Line Extension, a concept Trout and Ries also discuss it saying, “extension? It’s the net result of clear, hard-headed inside-out thinking”, but that is another blog post for another day. Anyway, Google needs to change, or their phone will die.