“If you’re not the lead dog on the sled, the scenery never changes.”
The same thing is true in business, isn’t it? Unfortunately, there can only be one market share leader in any given business segment, but there are other ways to become a leader in your market niche. So, where do you start if you’re not a leader today?
Know the competition. Learn all you can about their products and services, who they are selling to, and how they price, advertise, promote and market their offers. Michael Porter, a Harvard Business School professor and the author of Competitive Advantage, stated that “A firm differentiates itself from its competitors if it can be unique at something that is valuable to buyers.”
Once you have completed a thorough competitive analysis you can then identify the key areas of differentiation, and begin to communicate your competitive advantages to the outside world in a way that is compelling and entices prospects to buy from you.
Know your customers. Why are your customers buying from you, and what do they like and dislike about your business? If you don’t know, ask them and while you’re at it, find out what additional products, services, and support requirements they may have so you can begin work on this list before your customers look elsewhere.
Know your customers buying preferences and how they like to be sold. It will help you advertise and promote your business in a manner consistent with the needs of your marketplace. This more targeted approach will also help you get the maximum return out of your advertising and marketing dollars, and raise your profile as an emerging leader in your market niche.
Joint ventures and partners. Establishing JVs and partnerships will help you accelerate the growth your business, extend your products and services portfolio, and expand your market reach. From a time-to-market perspective, it represents a low-cost way to help you enter new geographic markets, launch new products and services, and enhance your value proposition to both current and new customers.
For small business owners in particular, selling with and through partners is an absolute business imperative. Aligning your company with the right mix of JVs and partners can help dramatically improve business results and the market perception of your company as an industry leader.
Branding and social media marketing. Technology and innovation have made it possible for “everything to be connected to everything.” However, most companies are just scratching the surface when it comes to figuring out how to integrate Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, etc. into their branding and marketing plans.
Social media marketing enables your personal brand and your business brand to be interconnected in a manner that helps each to build upon the other. Any company with aspirations of becoming a market leader should get expert advice on how to effectively integrate social media marketing into their next generation branding and business plans.
Building a strong brand and a successful business is all about knowing the competition and your customers at a much deeper level, developing long-term, enduring JVs and partnerships, and finding new innovative ways to “get the word out” and market your business more effectively.
So, if you are tired of the scenery and want to be a leader in your market niche, then start to make the changes necessary to get you there!
COPYRIGHT © 2009-17 John Carroll