This is the fourth 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.
A recent survey of consumers in the United States found that 91% of consumers are more likely to buy from an authentic brand.
As sad as it may sound, this highlights just how rare authenticity is. Most brands are far from authentic. This fact is emphasised by the enormous gap that frequently exists between the advertising message and the reality of the offering. While Myer once described itself as ‘wonderful’ – I would suggest that very few customers found the experience in any way close to ‘wonderful’ – acceptable, perhaps, but not wonderful.
In an environment in which so many brands promise so much and deliver so little, authenticity is a potentially powerful point of difference. But it is not the only potential point of difference – nor is it always the most important. The ideal point of difference for a business will vary by market, industry, point in history, and geographic location. The optimal point of difference depends on the needs and wants of the primary target market and the capabilities of the business.
Emphasising the importance of having a point of difference to drive market share, author Seth Godin noted, ‘no one recommends a mediocre restaurant’. Why would anyone recommend something that is mediocre or average?
Godin also wrote a book entitled, ‘Purple Cow’ in which he noted that no one notices a brown cow or a black cow, but everyone notices a purple cow. We notice a purple cow, Godin says, because it is ‘remarkable’. It is different and is set apart from the average or usual.
Difference is a key to driving market share, and it works best when the differentiation is relevant to the customer needs, when it is tangible and real. When it is all these things, it can be very effective in differentiating a brand and setting it apart from the average or mediocre.
Every product, every business, and every brand can be differentiated in this way – it just takes time, consumer data, and strategic thinking.
In 2018, differentiate – differentiate – differentiate – and do so tangibly.
Every year – put the facts ahead of intuition and guesswork.
Sources of core statistics – Goodreads, Entrepreneur, WebFX, Educba, CMO, Crowdspring, V12Data and Forbes