JoAnn and I travel a lot, and we’ve figured out that at least 36 states have car dealerships that claim to be “the number one automobile dealer in the world.” The only reason dealers in the other 14 states don’t make that claim is because it would be hard for North Dakotans to believe they had enough people to substantiate it, even if every man, woman, child, and dog bought an SUV each year. Why do these car agencies promote market leadership? All sorts of business owners like to say they are number one. Real estate agents do it all the time. What doctor would not want the title of number one heart surgeon in the world? I’m sure the answers are many and the reasons lengthy. These titles certainly stroke the egos of the owners and make employees feel proud. But how meaningful are they to the client?
I remember a story about two gentlemen observing the foot traffic outside Macy’s department store in New York. The first asked, “Why do so many people shop at Macy’s?” The second gentleman gave it some thought and replied, “I guess it’s because so many people shop at Macy’s.”