No matter what industry you’re in, there is going to be competition — from other companies that make a similar product to businesses that tout a solution to the same problem you’re trying to solve.
The key to long-term business success is moving fast and staying ahead of your competitors. Everyone is coming for your market share; it’s up to you to keep it.
This means your business needs to be constantly brainstorming new ideas on how to claim market advantage. Here are four to help you get ahead of the competitors in your market.
1. Make friends with your enemies.
When it comes to competitors, you have two options: beat them or join them.
Sound crazy? It happens more often than you think. Microsoft and Apple have partnered on numerous projects throughout their decades-long competition. Sony and Samsung sell nearly identical products, but they put aside their professional animosity to share research and development costs on new technology.
Obviously, sharing costs is a win for your business’ budget, but it can feel white-knuckle unsettling if you’re not completely confident in the power of your brand. I wouldn’t advise partnering with a competitor unless you’ve already built a strong base of raving fans who you know would never trade their loyalty to a competitor.
2. Make your product the no-brainer option.
Customers have choices. They compare different products on an endless number of criteria before ultimately deciding to buy. What are you doing to make sure your product is the “no brainer” option?
Cost is usually on the list of potential objections a customer may have about buying a product, but not always. Many people are happy to pay more for a product with a better user experience, a more stylish design, or greater prestige.
With most consumers checking online reviews before making a purchase, having the most 5-star reviews could become your product’s superpower if it’s not already. Ask yourself, “What can I do to be absolutely sure customers buy my product over my competitors’?”
3. Go viral.
Going viral is a game-changer when it comes to market advantage. Platforms like TikTok and Instagram can propel a brand into the stratosphere overnight. Take Ulta, which sold out of Maybelline Lash Sensational Sky High mascara four different times after the product went viral on TikTok. The virality the drug-store brand gained on TikTok bumped its status up a notch as well as expanded the reach of its product to higher-end makeup shoppers at Ulta.
Short-form videos found on TikTok and Instagram aren’t just fun to make and relentlessly shareable. They also include powerful visuals that allow your customer to picture themselves using your product. Plus, since shareable videos aren’t technically ads, they’re far more likely to be watched and shared. These viral videos can expand your reach and your reputation to customers that may have been missed in your other marketing efforts.
4. Patent your product.
By getting a patent or copyright on your product, you protect your market advantage with exclusivity that essentially knocks your competition out of the game.
With a patent or copyright, you can focus on actually creating the best possible product rather than getting caught up wondering what the competition is up to. Market exclusivity via a patent or copyright can make a huge difference in a new product’s ability to thrive in the marketplace. If your product, or an aspect of your product, can be protected, make sure it is.
The Market Leader Always Thinks Bigger
However you choose to outpace your competition, remember that the market leader is always the one that goes big. Caution is not the way to gain market advantage. Think so far out of the box that you can’t even see the box itself in the distance.
And remember, a great product builds a loyal customer base, and that’s the biggest market advantage in the world.