Updated April 20, 2023
Successful Market Leader
A prominent marketing guru, John C. Maxwell, once stated, “A leader knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way”. But everyone asks, “How to find the correct ‘way’? Finding the correct path can be extremely challenging, and so can become a market leader, especially in a saturated market.
Thus, being aware of the market around you is very important. You must define your market strategy, considering the prevailing market situations. But, before striving to become a market leader, you must understand what is expected of a market leader, especially by the customers. You must know how to isolate the key topics of communication between your competitors and customers, which would help you ascertain a market leader position.
A brand must also acknowledge that it cannot fulfill all people’s desires. It is useful that the brand recognizes a niche market and tries to serve that market as best as possible. Nowadays, there is much social data available that the brands can utilize to ascertain which aspects the customers consider as their strengths. This data is also very significant in determining whether conventional advertising is serving its purpose or not through the input provided by customers.
In the present age, the industry has many products and competitors. Everyone wants to stay ahead in this cut-throat competition. But 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.
Becoming a market leader is challenging, so understanding effective techniques is crucial.
Important Techniques to be a Successful Market Leader
Make your Brand Global as well as Local
A few market leaders companies like LG, Microsoft, and Coca-Cola are market leaders in their niche market. They have products that are popular all around the world. However, the market leader strategy they adopt is different for each product and based on the particular market they are into.
Therefore, every business that has competitors must attempt to expand not only globally but locally as well. This means that, while trying to serve the global market and reach out to them, they must never underestimate the potential of their local market and the local market of other regions. For example, many large firms are now exploring the hidden potential of their own regions on top of global markets.
It would be foolish to grow just for the sake of it. If you ask the strategists, it is better to maintain a flowing cash flow in the business than keep an eye on far-out markets. Thus, you must never use your working capital for expansion, as it would hinder your growth plans. Yes, expansion is crucial for your business, but not at the cost of skewed working capital or dented cash flows.
Reputable companies worldwide prioritize cost-reduction strategies. There is one simple rule to earn more profits. Income with fewer expenses equals profit. Thus, if a company can reduce its costs, the expenses automatically shrink, and the overall profits rise. However, it is essential to know your main expenses before you can begin to cut them. For example, transportation, labor, distribution margins, and rentals are some expense costs a manufacturing company bears. Hence, one should know each component of the cost. The significance of cost control is witnessed more so in times of economic crisis.
Whenever a company faces such hard times, it has to curtail the costs, thereby curbing its expenditure as much as possible. The most common ways to do this are by doing elementary changes in raw materials, contracting low-cost transporters, transporting in bulk, and cost-cutting through cutting down on labor and laying off some of the staff. Such are the methods efficient firms use to control their costs in times of financial crisis. Nevertheless, suppose efficient methods are put to practice during smooth times. In that case, the company has the facility of deeper pockets and thicker margins to counter the crisis periods instead of implementing very harsh measures.
Devise Effective Marketing Plans
A successful marketing strategy is key to gaining a competitive edge in today’s business world. Creating a strong brand image that positively influences customers and generates profits is important. The marketing plan should address questions such as the message the company wants to convey, how to modify the message over time, and how to revise tactics for greater market share. Proper implementation is crucial, so the plan should also outline the steps and order for execution.
At this stage of implementation of your marketing plans, you must become aware of your competitors’ tactics and strategies and take ideas from them to create a better marketing plan. It is best to analyze all your competitors, locate yourself in the rankings, and devise a suitable marketing plan that works. You may not straightaway challenge the highest-rated competitor. Still, gradually, you’ll work your way to eliminating the ones above you, and then eventually, you may just catch up with the market leader as well! In such a scenario, properly implementing the marketing plan is vital for the plan to work.
It has been well observed by experts in the service industry that you are as competent as your employees. A customer service manager knows the importance of retaining a top-class employee and thus shifts his prominent employees to other projects once they have completed a particular task. Likewise, a CEO would never like to lose his best manager. Thus, any company wouldn’t like to lose its best-performing and most-skilled employee. Employees are your best assets.
Motivating your best employees and stakeholders through necessary action is equally important. Any major company with a low attrition rate surely spends heavily on its staff’s training and skill development. A good reason for this is that whenever a proficient employee leaves a company, he or she takes along with a portion of the skill and knowledge gained in the company. Now, this portion of knowledge and skill spent overtime on that employee has to be reinvested in another employee, which is not a healthy sign for the company. Thus, smart organizations always spend enough to train and retain their potentially profitable employees than to see them go. This is one of their real keys to success.
An efficient company never forgets that all its success and triumph are due to its customers. If a company starts to think otherwise, it will soon get thrown out of the market. Thus, it is worth investing time, resources, and energy in this aspect of your business. You must first try to recognize the interests and tastes of your customers. You must regularly attempt to indulge in the analysis of consumer behavior and try to read the minds of your customers. Because if you fail to do so, you face an extreme threat from your competitor. They may develop new technology and take away even the most loyal of your clients.
For instance, try to analyze the companies like Google and Facebook. Ever since entering the social media domain, Facebook raced all the way and never let Google (Google Plus) a chance even to catch up. And, when Google Plus had something to show its customers, there was virtually nobody to notice it. This is how Facebook won against Google. So, the story’s moral is that you should always be aware of the present market trends and know what your customers like. And, think differently from your competitors and don’t let them leeway.
In the consumer durables market, competition is fierce with multiple players and product lines. Having information about competitors is crucial for staying ahead and making strategic moves.
Let’s take another example from the same consumer durables segment, as we know that consumer durables depend upon channel sales distribution. So, your channel sales team needs to be informed about the features of the product you want to sell. Thus, proper training needs to be imparted to that team in order to keep them updated. Imagine if you are on the verge of launching a new product and your channel sales team is completely unaware of its features and functionalities. Customers won’t buy your product, and a huge loss in terms of sales and expenditures on materials would incur only because of a lack of proper communication and information at the correct time. Therefore, information and its diffusion at the right time among the right channels is crucial to being a smart marketer and staying ahead of the competition.
Market leadership is a coveted goal for companies, but not easily achieved or maintained. It requires meeting high customer expectations, adapting to changing markets, and continuous hard work.
Apart from these 7 main steps, there can be a few more steps to beat the competition around you and strive to become a market leader. These are:-
Don’t Enter a Niche Market
As we have already seen how tough it is to become a market leader in a saturated and well-established market, entering a new or niche market would be more beneficial. You can make a specialized product or service and try to locate a narrow market with no major players. This way, leading the market and fulfilling your ambition would be easier. Remember, in marketing terms, the smaller, the better!
Act a ‘Purple Cow’
There is some competition even in the niche market. The key to becoming a market leader is finding ways to differentiate your brand from the competitors. According to Seth Godin in Purple Cow: Transform Your Business By Being Remarkable, you need to develop a distinct product in order to stand out from the rest.
For example, both Google and Apple have followed the Purple Cow model. This is because several computer manufacturers existed when in 1984, Apple launched the Macintosh. But, the prime objective of Apple was distinct from others, better user experience and design. Similarly, Google quickly overtook many of its competitors after its launch in 1998. This was due to its clean, user-friendly approach and better ranking of search results.
Spend on Marketing
It is essential to have creative marketing and advertisement strategies to create brand loyalty. The Content Marketing Institute has found that B2C marketers use, on average more than eleven content marketing tactics, such as web articles, social media, newsletters, and blogs. Moreover, more than 7 social media platforms are utilized by them to appeal to their customers. Thus, we advise you to be as creative as possible regarding marketing. This is a very useful and sure-shot way of connecting with customers in a better way.
We promise that some of the top businesses worldwide follow the steps mentioned above. Even if your business is a startup, and you have plans to expand it quite rapidly in less time, these market leader strategies and tactics could be used to effectively launch your startup company and stay ahead of the competition.