If you can’t beat your competitors to the market, it’s okay. Beat them to the minds of your customers. When innovation happens, people process this new information and store in their memory. This is what you should be aiming for – occupy the mental real estate of your target market.
Once your customers are primed with your innovation, they are anchored to it and conservative towards your competition. Of course, it can also go against you. When your competitor beats you to occupy the space first, it’s extremely difficult for you to turn the tables.
Retraining someone is a lot harder than teaching him something new. Retraining requires the additional and nearly impossible work of breaking down your customers’ existing beliefs because when people think they already know, they just ignore the alternative perspectives (known as the ‘confirmation bias’ in psychology).