I am the number one piano player in my house. Hell, I am the number one piano player in my neighborhood. I am also the number one pencil sharpener in Canada on Friday mornings at 9.24 am. All these claims show how easy it is to claim to be number one as long as you twist and bend the definition far enough.

Many businesses claim to be number one at something. You could be the number one pillow retailer in America or you could be the number one retailer of knife-stuffed pillows in America. One of those two is easier to achieve than the other but it doesn’t actually matter in the end.

It isn’t about you

Any business that claims to be number one is drunk on its own Kool-Aid and will probably not stay number one for long. You don’t hear the likes of Google or Walmart claiming to be number one at anything. That is because if you were actually number one, everybody will know it and you will never need to mention it.

Bragging about being number one is offputting from a marketing perspective because it’s a sign of a business suffering from Main Character Syndrome, not to say anything of the organizations that are just making it up— something that increases customer skepticism.

Various marketing frameworks, like StoryBrand, make this absolutely clear: You are not the hero of the story. Your customer is. When you start claiming to be number one, you have lost the plot.

A business doesn’t exist as an extension of your own ego. It exists to serve customers and make money doing it (hopefully). Your customers don’t care about who you are. They care about what you can do for them. That should always be your focus. Serve your customers well and they won’t care about how much your competitors brag about being number one. Nobody likes a show-off.