Regardless of your industry, becoming a market leader takes a tremendous amount of hard work. It requires diligent planning and a willingness to build the proper infrastructure necessary to stand out as one of the best in your field. The rewards for this hard work are certainly worthwhile, as market leaders are typically well positioned for long-term, ongoing success.
In a recent blog post, our CEO and founder, John Vachalek, outlined the fundamental building blocks necessary to establish and maintain a strong market leadership position. If you haven’t already read this piece, we strongly recommend that you do, as it will provide you with a blueprint for how to build the infrastructure necessary to emerge as a market leader.
However, building this infrastructure isn’t enough to secure your place as a market leader. This work must also be accompanied by a product or service offering that stands above those delivered by your competitors.
If your current offering has placed you in position to attain a status as a market leader, then you’ve cleared one of the critical hurdles to achieving this goal. By following the steps outlined in our previous blog, you will be well on your way to establishing your market leadership position. But if your offering doesn’t position you to truly stand out as a market leader, the following tips will help you refine your offering so that you can deliver the transformational value that is typically associated with market leadership.
Choose a Niche
Unless you have a proprietary technology, design, intellectual property, or other solution that stands above the other businesses currently entrenched as established industry leaders, it can often be challenging to demonstrate that your offering surpasses the tried-and-true options that are already on your audience’s radar. Instead of trying to wedge your way into such intense competition, you can specialize in a specific niche of your industry.
Specializing in a niche allows you to target a much narrower market. While there may be less of a demand for your niche offering than there would be if you target a broader market, there will also be considerably less competition. This will make it much easier to establish yourself as a market leader, allowing you to capture a larger percentage of the market associated with your specific niche.
Make Sure Your Offering Is Remarkable
Even in a niche market, you will still have some competitors with a similar specialization. While you won’t have to stand out in as crowded of a field, you will still need to stand out. The best way to do this is by offering something remarkable or exceptional.
There are two components to offering something remarkable. First and foremost, your offering needs to be high quality and provide the solution your audience needs. However, this will only position your offering as a commodity, leaving you vulnerable to a competitor stealing your leadership position in the future. In order to have a truly remarkable offering, it must also provide a transformational experience for your customers/clients.
A great example of a company making their offering remarkable is Apple with the iPod. There were several other mp3 players entering the market at the same time Apple released the iPod, but Apple was able to quickly establish their product as the market leader, allowing them to dominate the competition.
How did they do this? By creating an offering that provided a transformative experience. The iPod looked slick and provided an easy to use click wheel that stood out as unique compared with the other options. The iPod also quickly became synonymous with a trendy, hip lifestyle that gave its users tremendous joy and pleasure. This transformative experience made it much more than a music player, and it helped Apple corner the market.
Don’t Wait for Perfection to Launch
You can’t be a market leader without an offering. If you wait for perfection, you’ll never launch your product or service. Instead, launch as soon as you feel your offering is quality and then iterate as needed to continuously improve.
Despite your most herculean efforts, no product or service offering will ever be perfect, especially at the time of launch. However, if you ask your customers for feedback and make changes to address their needs and concerns, you can quickly turn a good offering into a great one, albeit still an imperfect one. By launching quickly and innovating after launch, you can stay on the forefront of the needs of your customers and remain ahead of your competitors.
Prioritize Customer Satisfaction
Satisfied customers are essential to be considered a market leader. If your customers aren’t happy with your offering, they will seek these products/services from a competitor in the future.
In today’s social media driven world, customers have a greater ability than ever before to shape the narrative surrounding the quality of your offering and the experience you provide to your customers/clients. The comments people make on social media and the reviews they leave about your offering can significantly impact the way others will view your business. According to research conducted by customer service professionals at Dixa:
- 93% of individuals read online reviews before making a purchase
- 79% of individuals place as much weight on online reviews as they do on personal recommendations
- 86% of individuals are hesitant to do business with a company that has negative online reviews
Your offering must not only be high quality, but it must meet or exceed the expectations of your customers/clients. When this occurs, it will turn your customers into brand ambassadors for your business, making it much easier to elevate to the status of market leader.
Conversely, negative feedback on social media and poor online reviews can tank your reputation, making it extremely challenging to be viewed as a market leader. If you receive negative feedback via reviews or social media, make sure to address these problems directly with the customers leaving these reviews, and use their feedback to improve the experience your offering provides in the future.
Invest in a Comprehensive Marketing Strategy
Once you have a strong offering that delivers an amazing experience to your customers/clients, you need to spread the word about your offering. Building a comprehensive marketing strategy that effectively conveys your brand messaging, tells your story and lets your audience know that your offering is first rate is essential to ascending to a market leadership position.
Since we live in a digital age, the bulk of your efforts should focus on digital marketing strategies. By building a strong website that is supported by quality content, social media marketing and regular email newsletters, you can educate your audience on the benefits they’ll receive when they choose your offering over your competitors. Over time, this will help establish your business as a known entity in your market. As you become known for delivering a quality offering and amazing customer experience, you’ll begin to be viewed as a market leader.
Webolutions Can Help
As a full-spectrum management consulting and strategic growth implementation agency, Webolutions has been helping businesses across the country effectively bring their unique stories to life for nearly three decades. Our purpose is To Empower Passionate People to Thrive, and we can help your business establish the framework necessary to become a market leader.
Our transformational Intrinsic Multiplier™ Approach has been crafted to help you grow your business faster, smarter and easier. This approach helps you to clarify what is special about you as a company, allowing you to more effectively brand and market your business. Through our collaborative, expert-led journey, you’ll begin to see the world through a new lens and develop the tools necessary to establish and maintain a market leadership position within your competitive industry landscape.
To speak with one of our experts about how you can implement these strategies for your company of at least $5 million in annual sales, call us at 303-997-3465 or contact us today. During your free 60-minute market leadership consultation, we’ll help you start creating a plan for success.