Today's market leaders aren't the old-style market gunslingers, shooting any and all competitive challengers in the back. Today's leaders are the organizations that have a laser focus on customer needs and carve out their own islands by serving those needs better than anyone else.
Since 1984, Apple (the company now worth more than the GDP of Poland) hasn't competed with other computer manufacturers on price and commoditized components, but rather has implored consumers to "think different," while building a legion of loyal followers through innovation and user experience. Southwest Airlines (the airline with 39 consecutive years of profitability) doesn't appear on the Global Distribution Systems that other airlines use to allow travelers to book tickets on thousands of sites, but rather succeeds with a simple business model micro-targeted at the value flier and with the knowledge that a happy workforce will provide for a great travel experience.
In addition, today's market leaders understand how social technologies can quickly and virally amplify the true nature of a business, providing better-than-advertising advertising for the organization. When the customer service team at Zappos not only happily returned the money of a customer who returned shoes she had bought for her mother (who had passed away) but also sent her flowers of condolence, they weren't thinking of how that act would crush the competition, they were responding based on the customer service orientation built into the DNA of the culture. And, millions of shoe-buying Facebookers and Twitter users read and reacted to the story.
Given this, I'd bet on the Geico Gecko over Gordon every time.
Source: Erik Johnson is director of digital marketing and social media for ClubCorp. He is also a national writer and speaker on the topics of social media and innovation. You can follow Erik on Twitter: @erikj.