Humans from all over the world are awaiting the solar eclipse with feverish anticipation. They have gathered to await the ribbon of darkness that will pass over the United States at 1700 mph.
The idea of watching a small, uninhabited space rock seemingly drown-out the most powerful object in our solar system, is nearly supernatural. This is a primal event, connecting us to the oldest of our ancestors and even to a time ages before that.
But before your mind drifts away to thoughts of the primordial heavens and endless cosmos, allow us to bring you back down to earth for a moment. Here for your pre-clipse entertainment are three brands that managed to eclipse their competitors in a major way.
UNDER ARMOUR AND NIKE
Under Armour CEO, Kevin Plank used to send a Christmas card to Nike CEO, Phil Knight, every year, informing Mr. Knight that he would soon know the Under Armour name. I think it would be safe to assume that confidence is an essential attribute when taking on and industry giant like Nike. Plank’s belief in himself and his product drove him during his most challenging years. It also didn’t hurt that Plank developed a product that could outperform the stale merchandise already on the market.
NETFLIX AND BLOCKBUSTER
Netflix knows something about innovation. Beginning as a small DVD-by-mail service, they were able to topple video giant, Blockbuster, with a healthy reimagining of the way we consume media. Netflix, like Under Armour, has their own powerhouse CEO in Reed Hastings. Following the success of their DVD-by-mail service, Hastings realized that his company could fill an untapped demand by re-airing hour-long television shows through a streaming service and the rest is modern history. Netflix continues to fight hard to innovate, in order to prevent their company from being eclipsed by some other hungry up-and-comer.
DOLLAR SHAVE CLUB AND GILLETTE
Although DSC has a relatively small market share, their recent acquisition by Unilever for $1 billion is proof of the impact that they’ve made on their industry, specifically through their advertising. With compelling, newsworthy advertising, DSC built a brand that has become legendary for its viral ads. Good creative has given them all the power they needed to punch above their weight class.
Innovation, belief in one’s self, utilization of emerging technologies, great creative and perhaps a little bit of luck are all factors in the success of each of these Davidian companies, as they’ve taken on their respective Goliaths.
Just as each of these companies have reinvented their industries by eclipsing the weary giants standing sentinel at their gates, this year’s solar eclipse can be viewed, not only as an ageless natural spectacle, but also as a time of reinvention for ourselves and our companies.