Seven Effective Ways To Become a Successful Market Leader
How to become a successful market leader? Are there effective ways to become a market leader? What does it mean being a market leader? How do market leaders attract leads and get new customers at fast-pace?
In the era of winner take all, market leadership is a very important topic.
Great companies are market leaders. What makes them great is a combination of people, strategy, execution, and purpose.
There is a plethora of both products and competitors in your industry. As a matter of fact, everyone wants to stay ahead in this cut-throat competition.
WarningBut, can everyone be as successful as they desire to be? I don’t think so. This is because each market can have just one market leader and not several leaders.
Market leadership comes down to strategy. With strategy, your UVP and execution is elevated, far beyond your competitors.
Market leadership is within the grasp of many ambitious business owners. It’s a lack of confidence in the company’s value proposition that makes them shy away.
When you change the way you do business because of what your competitors are doing, they become the leader while you become the follower – and you’ll always be one step behind.
Market leaders are often recognizable by the ubiquitous presence of their brand as well as their ongoing marketing efforts. Market leaders feature several characteristics that have helped them reach and maintain their lofty standing.
The point of this article is to get you thinking about what you can do to differentiate yourself, and how you can become a market leader.
Becoming a market leader doesn’t happen overnight, but rather takes careful planning and hard work. Here are seven ways you can use and leverage to position yourself as a market leader in your field.
Pick Your Spot
What is your current niche in your market? Are you focusing on an area where you have an opportunity to outperform the competition?
While large companies may have the resources to redefine industries, small companies typically need to focus on areas where they can be the best.
Focus on satisfying the rational and emotional needs of your market. Be aware, you may need to dramatically change the services you provide and the pricing to meet needs of different market segments.
The ultimate goal is to create a unique brand that no longer has to compete, as in Google, Facebook, or Amazon.
WarningTo keep the iconic leader status and unique brand, you need to be good in your niche whether your market. For example, if quality is most important to your clients, determine how you could truly differentiate on quality and what you would have to charge to GUARANTEE this level of service.
Look for patterns that are forming, frustrations that are growing, trends and technology that are going to impact how you provide and deliver your products and services or how you customer will use them, and watch for what no one else is doing. Most importantly, listen to what your customers are saying — and not saying.
One of the most effective ways to break into a saturated or oversaturated market is by offering a product that is new to the industry or improving upon one that already exists.
The goal is to offer something that will raise demand in the market and allow your business to take market share away from competitors. Be ready to look beyond what your business currently offers; you may be able to break into the industry by creating a product that improves upon one that the competition offers.
An ideal niche is one that is big enough to be profitable, has growth potential, and fits your aspirations.
It is also one which you can serve effectively. Perhaps the most importantly, the niche is of little interest to the major competitors.
Focus On Customer
A market leader must be engaging and inspiring whilst also retaining the ability to centre their leadership agenda around their customers. This capacity to represent the customer through a deep understanding of what motivates and influences them, to give them a voice based on insight and understanding, is what makes a true market leader.
A market leader will not just meet current customer needs and wants, they’ll also anticipate future needs, wants and trends.
The more effort you make to ensure customer satisfaction, the more chances you will have of gaining favorable reputation. That is why you need to listen to what your customers have to say about your work and use the feedback to fix certain issues and improve your product.
In short, be helpful and supportive. Show customers you understand their challenges, and that you’re there to solve them.
WarningEven customers who are highly satisfied with a company’s products may begin to look elsewhere if they feel the company is not serving them well. Avis did this brilliantly, using the “We try harder” positioning to show travelers of all stripes how they’d solve the very real pain points of renting cars.
Customers hold the power in today’s social media and technology-driven world. What they say can make or break companies. If a product does receive a negative review or feedback on social media, address the problem and use the comment to improve the product.
Pay attention to what your customers complain the most about and have a team to track the brand mentions on social media platforms.
People appreciate when they can reach and talk to your company directly and they don’t hesitate to be direct regarding all the shortcomings of your business or product. Your reputation plays a vital role in your business growth.
Market leaders never lose sight of the fact that the customer is the most important element to achieving success.
They avoid the pitfalls that can accompany success, such as arrogance or a belief they can dictate to the customers instead of identifying and fulfilling their needs. They constantly strive for ways to improve customer service and seek customer input.
Be a Purple Cow
Simply stated, you can’t change your position in the market by doing what everyone else is doing. Copying product features and bullet-point-benefits will only get you so far.
The idea here is to find a new, lasting way to stand out from the competition.
In his now-famous and now nearly-cliche talk, Simon Sinek said “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.” And it’s true, whether you’re renting cars, selling software-as-a-service, or introducing your law or accounting firm to the world.
Sure, product features are important, but they don’t close the deal.
WarningWhat closes the deal is showing that you understand your customers better than anyone. That you’re not here just to sell a product, you’re here to do something more.
Creativity means you’ve got an open mind to achieve leader status via whatever path is available. Tools means you can read customer’s minds and then position your value proposition so they won’t even think there is an alternative. This is how Google does it.
Act a ‘purple cow’. Define your strengths and what makes you different and leverage them to gain a competitive edge.
Whether you’re reinventing industry standards, creating a new business model or improving a process, differentiating yourself is one of the most effective ways to thrive.
Both Apple and Google fit the purple cow model.
When Apple launched the Macintosh in 1984, the company focused on design and user experience. When Google launched in 1998, it quickly surpassed other search engines by thinking about a new approach to ranking search results and by designing a clean and user-friendly interface.
Offering incentives and value-added services is another smart strategy to consider when preparing to enter an oversaturated market. Are you offering frequent buyer programs, reward levels, or dedicated personnel?
Not only does adding value attract a larger audience, but it also strengthens customer retention, which leads to long-term growth.
WarningCustomers want to ensure that they are getting their money’s worth, so they’re always on the lookout for the best and most cost-effective solutions. If they perceive more value in your goods than your competitors’, they are likely to pay more for them.
As you bring that product to market, you will create value propositions that define your position across product planning, marketing messaging, and sales messaging. This simple framework helps to keep the product and messaging aligned, clear, and on track.
The worst thing that can happen is to have a Development group that focuses on features, a Marketing team that wants customer intimacy, and a Sales group that pushes a low price.
WarningThese mixed messages are very confusing to the market, and terrible for your brand and revenue. In a competitive market there is not enough margin to have the most features, best price and best customer intimacy. You must pick one, and lead with it.
The value proposition is a statement which articulates the value that the brand promises to deliver to its customer.
It seeks to answer the question “Why would a customer buy this?”. It must be distinctive and persuasive rather than sounding similar to other competitors in the market.
Entrepreneurs always need to think about innovation to get the first mover advantage in the same time they must keep in mind that a product will never be perfect, and it definitely won’t be at launch. Strive to innovate, adapt to changes in the market and stay two steps ahead of the competition.
No matter how saturated the market, consumer demand is never stagnant and keeping your finger on the pulse of the industry keeps you poised for success.
Smart businesses act on these trends and update their inventories accordingly. Always keep an eye open for market changes and opportunities that may allow you to outperform your competitors.
When the inevitable need to change does occur, the market leaders are nimble enough to make necessary adjustments with as little disruption as possible.
WarningIf a new competitor enters the market offering a unique concept that appeals to consumers, the leaders are capable of incorporating the concept into their operation or warding off the challenge by countering it with innovations of their own. They have the resources and the know-how to quickly adapt to a changing business climate.
Move on opportunities quickly — don’t wait for perfection, instead get into it and fill in the blanks as you go. This process makes you grow naturally so you really understand what you’re improving.
What makes companies successful is their ability to reinvent and redeploy resources to serve customers and their evolving needs.
Amazon has gone through an extensive history of reinvention, from its early years as a dot.com, to being an online retailer, and now a company that is virtually all things to all people. Amazon also has investments in autonomous delivery, and even a cloud ecosystem that monetizes the industry-leading technology platforms that have made their retail business so successful.
To be able to think fast, you need to understand the primary drivers of change, constantly search for new combinations, and work on developing a sense of heightened perception.
The fastest companies in the world think fast because of their ability to anticipate, spot trends, create environment that does let the best idea win, and assess accurately and quickly the potential of new ideas.
Master The Mindset Game
Those who invest on themselves always win the game by unleashing their untapped potentials. Our mindset gives us strength and ability to fight with the situation, it keeps us hungry and positive towards our goal.
Once we accept that we can become a market leader soon the world will get to know about this. Whatever our strengths are, we must use them to our best advantage.
WarningToo often we focus on other people’s strengths and our weaknesses. But for a competitive advantage in business you need to be focused on your competitors’ weaknesses and developing your strengths.
Market leaders believe that cooperation is far more fruitful than competition and look for ways to collaborate, educate and even help industry members that some might view as direct competitors.
Now, you may draw the line at publicly sharing the secret sauce that makes your business profitable, but you may also realize that the world is a tremendously abundant place and cooperation is a much bigger long-term leadership strategy.
Leadership isn’t really about being better or stronger or faster, it’s more about your gut reaction to things around you and what you do about it. Taking action, without really thinking about it, that benefits your industry, tribe or community as a whole is how you establish a market leader mindset.
Market leaders understand the value of playing the role of host for their community.
They invest in spaces that allow people to come together, whether there is a valid customer generating case to be made of not. They host industry meetings and events.
It is also equally important to motivate your best employees and stakeholders through necessary action.
WarningAny major company in the world having a low attrition rate does surely spend heavily on training and skill development of its staff. A good reason for this is that whenever a proficient employee leaves a company he or she takes along with a portion of skill and knowledge gained in the company.
Live Your Brand
Creative marketing and ad strategies are needed to reach consumers and build brand awareness. Marketing strategy is the last step when you go out full on and interact with the whole world about your brand and offerings, this could be a game changer step to dominate your market fully.
It is really essential to have creative marketing and ad strategies to create brand loyalty.
It has been found by the Content Marketing Institute that the B2C marketers use on average more than eleven content marketing tactics such as web articles, social media, newsletters and blogs.
Be ambitious with marketing. Look for new and creative ways to market your product and connect with customers.
WarningA great positioning message isn’t worth much unless you can get it out into the marketplace. Your promotional plan should be comprehensive, including advertising, direct mail, e-mail, changes to your website, and training for your sales and service staff.
Marketers need to think and lead beyond the marketing function. They need to align the entire organization with the commercial agenda, delivering exceptional customer experience which will ultimately enable them to drive growth.
The crux of beating your competitors is to have your own unique position in the mind of the consumers.
This position should be highly attractive and profitable. Only then you will gain advantages over time. There needs to be a proper implementation of marketing plans.
Market leaders find a way to own a word. In our over-communicated society, less is more.
Top companies are building strong brands and increasing market share by focusing their marketing efforts on controlling and owning one word in the prospects’ minds. This concept was first brought up by Al Ries in his 1981 classic, “Positioning”.
Penetrating an oversaturated market poses its own unique set of challenges and rewards. With each passing day, new businesses emerge, making the marketplace more crowded than it already was.
As such, staying competitive and relevant may seem borderline impossible. But, where most people see a roadblock, savvy entrepreneurs see an opportunity.
Highlight what makes you different, always look for new customer needs and demands and ensure that your products deliver high value, and you will gain a competitive advantage.
Ready to move up in the market? Need to solidify your spot as the leader? It’s time to stake your claim.
So own something. Something that’s relevant to your customers, that sets you apart from the competition, and true to who you are.
You deserve to be market leader as much as anyone else. Be audacious and take intelligent risks. The rewards will be incredible.
So be a leader, find opportunities to be different, stay focused on what your customer wants and continually value-add and innovate to give it to them. Do this and you won’t have to worry about your competitors. They on the other hand will have a lot to worry about with you!