Take any huge industry and think of the players. There is always a giant - and very often a strong #2 - generally followed by a pack of names that are hardly distinguishable. But when one of the pack does emerge, clearer and larger in your mind, it means someone's attempting to get a Dominant Selling Idea into your head. And they're succeeding.
Take Rental Cars
Everybody knows Hertz (the giant) and Avis, the loyal #2 - with a pretty famous positioning we might add: "We're #2, so we try harder." As memorable as it was, however, Avi's position didn't pass the DSI test because it failed the "Superlative" requirement: it didn't claim #1 status in its own specialty. It claimed to be #2 in someone else's specialty - Hertz's specialty. Avis was structurally stuck at #2 or lower, forever. After Avis, came the pack: National, Budget, Alamo, Dollar, Thrifty, Econo-Car, Payless, and so on. What differentiates these journeymen ?
We can tell you that National's colored green. We get a hint from the others that they're named for economy. And Alamo? They must have been the official rental company of Daniel Boone on his last business trip in 1836.
Then Enterprise offered the market a DSI.
It said, "We're the 'un-airport' rental company. We specialize in rentals when you need a replacement because your car's in for repairs or there's a business need. And since we know you're without wheels, TA-DAAAA! WE'LL PICK YOU UP." In their commercials, the car even drove around gift wrapped. it was a Dominant Selling Idea: The car company that picks you up.
Enterprise grew past all the other players in the airport rental counter parade, surpassing Avis as #2. According to market data, it reached higher revenues than Hertz. It's no surprise that Enterprise has now entered the airport market as well. Hertz is still perceived as the #1 car rental company. It's been the giant too long for that impression to change, and may well reclaim its #1 status again.
But Enterpise has had a spectacular run, due in no small measure to its DSI.