8 years to profit

be consistent – if not belligerent

This is the last of five articles addressing strategies – other than discounting – that can be applied to increase market share. Of course, prior to implementing one or more of these strategies, businesses should determine whether increasing market share is desirable. Profits are generally more important than market share, and increasing market share does not always increase profitability. Indeed, Venture Capitalist, Mark Cuban, talks of the advantages of identifying the smallest possible market.

Legendary American entrepreneur and author, Jim Rohn, once said, ‘success is neither magical nor mysterious. It is the natural consequence of consistently applying basic fundamentals’.

A business colleague, describing a highly successful businessman who could neither read or write, suggested that he had the most important quality for a successful business person – belligerence.

Amazon launched in 1994 but did not report its first quarter profit until 2002, some eight years later. That profit was a paltry US$5 million. However, in the period between 1994 and 2002, Amazon consistently and belligerently applied its strategy. There is considerable evidence to support the contention that if they had not done so, they would not be the staggering success they are today – the life-blood of the wealthiest man on the planet.

To suggest that Amazon was consistent, and even belligerent, is not to suggest that the business did not evolve over time. It did. Indeed, one of the features of the Amazon business model is its capacity to gather and use customer data. This allows them to evolve and offer a superior product to their customers.

In terms of consistency, Amazon maintained a clear vison, well-defined values, and an absolute commitment to being ‘customer obsessed’. They never changed path or allowed the range of produce, price, competitiveness or standard of service to take a backward step, no matter how much money they lost.

The belligerence of Jeff Bezos is reflected in his commitment to his vison, values, and business plan, and in doing whatever it takes to ensure that each and every day the customer offering and experience is better than the day before. Bezos has a real confidence that the market will come and will grow as the target market becomes increasingly familiar with the business.

Author and public speaker Tony Robins once commented, ‘it is not what we do once in a while that shapes our lives. It is what we do consistently’. The same is true of a business or brand. Market share is acquired as the result of the consistent delivery of a good or service that exceeds the expectations of the primary target market.

Among other things, consistency creates the kind of customer satisfaction that drives repeat purchase, referrals, and margins. At the same time, it helps to maximise market share.

It is a shame that so few business have mastered either consistency or belligerence.

In 2018, be consistent – if not belligerent

Every year – put the facts ahead of intuition and guesswork.

Sources of core statisticsGoodreads, Entrepreneur, WebFX, Educba, CMO, Crowdspring, V12Data and Forbes

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