Have you ever thought about it? It might be better to be second than to be first. It’s simple — if you’re second, there is still a challenge to become the first. If you’re first, you’ll have to motivate yourself to stay first. The question I asked myself is: how to be the best? It’s only last week that I came to realize that I don’t want to be the best — well, at least not the best of the best.


One of my branding teachers told me that you can position yourself as second. I can’t recall the specific companies he mentioned. One company challenged the status quo — no, it wasn’t Apple — and became the best in their branche. All companies wanted to be at the same level or better — but how did they do it?

One company was smart, at least that’s what I think. They positioned themself as second best. The reason they gave to the public: we’re the second best, we will work harder than the best to become number one.

Got It! But Failed …

The aforementioned company became great, big and builded a brand to be proud of. They became number one. ‘Awesome!’, they thought, ‘time for a rebrand’. Since they were number one, they could get rid of their number two identity.

The results? Not what they hoped for. They had a great position and created a great brand, but after changing their identity people chose other companies to go to. As a matter of fact, a year after the rebrand things went so bad that they went back to the old brand. Nevertheless, they never came close to the first or second position again.


This little story was about brands, but doesn’t it also relate to you? You might, just like me, never have been the best. We probably never will be. But let us try to be the best. Let us be second, to have something (a company, a person or whatever) to look up to. It’s in these moments that rivalry is born — but what happens after you’ve beaten your rival? Are you going to look for another rival or will you take it easy?

I hope you’re able to explain to people why you want to be second now. It keeps you eager to learn, eager to deliver the best work you can. You get things done!


I hope you enjoyed this blog. If you have any questions hallo@sandervolbeda.com. I’m happy to answer them.

Have a nice day!