How Can A Market Leader Can Protect Or Advance Their Market Position?

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Below are some of the successful strategies used by leaders to protect or even advance their market position:

1. Continuous innovation: Innovation is used as a solid defense by the leader. Continuous improvement protects share by keeping the leader ahead of the competitors. The leader sets up high barriers, refreshing its position and discourages others from trying to penetrate and challenge by providing greater customer value and satisfaction through product, service and selling channel quality improvements

2. Market broadening: The leader firm can also protect its position through market broadening and diversification. The leader can gain competitive advantage by enlarging total market, distributing more products or providing more services to their customers, by attracting new customers or by entering into a new use of its product in other market.

3. Line/brand extension: If a competitor introduces a new product in a secondary or weaker sector of the leader's market, the leader can strengthen its edge by extending its line and mixing out different models, sizes and forms of its product to satisfy varying customers need.

4. Price easing: The leading company can play with its product or service prices; moderate them down to the level where the competitor cannot make profits. By doing so the leader can still make some profit while it prevents the challenger/competitor from establishing a foothold.

5. Brand proliferation: A leader can also strengthen its position by introducing several of its brands in a market to stave off a challenger's one-product attack. The different brands encircle the attacker's brand without competing against each other, thus leaving no weakness for the attacker to exploit.

6. Leveraging market power: If a new entrant is trying to establish relationships with suppliers, resellers, strategic partners and others, the leader can counter and go after the attacker weakness. The leader can apply its influence and control long-standing industry and market relationships, making it extremely difficult for the new entrant to work with any members of the leader's supply chain.

7. Aggressive promotion/media pioneer: The leader has advantage of brand identity and can use resources to strengthen brand awareness and preference by spending heavily on promotion. If an attack is forthcoming, the leader can allocate promotional resources to a pre-emptive strike. If it comes under fire, the leader can retaliate with a promotional counter-attack aimed at the competitor's weakest points. Or the leader can search out new ways/media or tool (e.g. the Internet-as-marketing-medium) to market its product; can hire employ or even pioneer for that in order to positioning itself and its brands more distinctively.

8. Market signalling: Market signalling consists of a leader letting the industry, including competitors, buyers, suppliers and others; know how it plans to retaliate if attacked. As a pre-emptive defense, it works because the leader has the strength of company and brand recognition, reputation and credibility to pull it off. By doing so competitors look in wrong direction and wasting resources by trying to compete with the leader's next move.

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