At the very basic level, you only have two options for growing your business: You can expand the market or take market share from your competitors.
Market expansion is a difficult road to travel. You’ll be the one carrying the banner for your entire category. Your competitors will also benefit from your efforts because a rising tide raises all ships. The only businesses that succeed in a market expansion strategy are those who have a truly innovative product or service. When Sony introduced the Walkman, the market for all types of personal music players exploded. The next big wave was when Apple introduced the iPod.
Most of us don’t have such a game-changing product. A better course of action is to use smart strategies for stealing market share from your competitors.
What are the best ways to steal market share? The tried and true method is to drive a wedge between your product and your competitor’s. That is, use your advertising to contrast and compare. Make it clear why you are the best choice.
As a local business owner, you’ve probably been on the receiving end of a few sales calls from local radio stations. Have you ever been pitched by a station that isn’t Number One? Radio reps are masters differentiating themselves using readily available statistics from Arbitron or BBM. Every radio station can slice the statistics in a favorable way to prove that they are #1 in one demographic segment or another. They’re not lying, they are just trying to use the facts to help a customer (that’s you) make a decision.
You can do the same. Start by evaluating your business and then write your ad copy to drive that wedge between yourself and your competitors.
Amen to the radio rep pitch–they can always find a happy story in there somewhere. Similarly, I’ve yet to hear a radio rep say, “you just don’t have enough budget.” There’s no budget too small, it seems, for a radio rep seeking to reach HIS goal.
Comparing and separating is key. However, I think that it is critical for a brand to have some clear differentiators between them and competitors. With the radio example, sales people use this sales tactic regularly. The comparing neutralises the strength and the separation is to display a value prop. However, I think that the advertising needs to clearly demonstrate the value prop up front.
Sir, if we try to steal our competitor’s market share, they will also try to do the same with our customers.
how can we protect our customers from our competitors while capturing other’s market share?
V…Your competitors are already trying to steal your market share!