Every business wants to compete against market leaders. Whether it's a long standing company that has been around for decades, a franchisee who wields their brand as a weapon, or a new boutique agency that has started taking your clients, we all have someone. In this article, I'll show you some great ways you can start clawing back your precious market share.
Let's start with the least popular way to compete against market leaders; Imitation. Your competitor has a great business model and maintains strong market share through promoting a number of key attributes. These might be cost-efficiency, prestige-level service or a strong brand name. Try to copy them. This allows you to pick up the spillover from their business but only really works to grow market share if you specify a niche in the market or you can work to a larger scale. You'll occupy a position in the marketplace, but never the top. As I mentioned, this is a very defeatist way of competing and probably not ideal for most of agencies. The following competitive approaches rely on your ability to make use of varying resources better than your competitors.
Offer a different set of Attributes
Differentiating yourself from your competition is the best way to compete, what do you have that your competitors don't? Your competitor, let's call them Jim's Real Estate, has a strong brand name and offers lower commissions. You can use their own competitive advantages against them. Promote yourself to the market as unique, agile and offer a personalised service that they can't get anywhere else. This differentiation is your resource and will ensure you at least maintain your market share. If you can press these new attributes well, you'll begin to steal back clients from Jim.Alternatively, if Jim is a high-priced boutique agency then you want to accentuate attributes such as your cost-effectiveness, local knowledge, proven success, etc. Remember, no one can be a cost-effective, high-priced, personalised, proven-process driven, local, national, boutique, franchise super genius.
Technology is the skeleton key to the doors to success. Through technology you can differentiate yourself from your competitors easily and cost-effectively. Consider the adoption of the iPad in real estate selling. The early adopters of this product were inputting data, gaining information and showing potential vendors and buyers valuable information faster and easier than their competition. This 'First Mover Advantage' gave those agents who picked up that new technology sooner an edge and the ability to deliver a better service at a low cost. The trick however, is to constantly evolve with technology and never become complacent.
Compete against market leaders
Here's what you have to do to master this competitive advantage:
- Read change, analyse what information you can get and make some educated guesses.
- Take advantage of tech faster than your competition; and
- Get the most out of your new resources.
If you can follow these points, you can sustain a unique competitive advantage which will drive your market share forward and will be difficult for your competitors to emulate. The key here is to never rest on your laurels and find a way to identify and adopt new technology continuously.