How to Become a Market Leader in a Crowded Market

How to Become a Market Leader in a Crowded Market
How to Become a Market Leader in a Crowded Market
April 10, 2021
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Who was the third person to fly the Atlantic Ocean solo?

If you didn’t know that the second person was Bert Hinkler, you’ve probably figured you don’t know who is the third person. But you do. It’s Amelia Earhart

However, she is known as the first person or the first woman to fly to the Atlantic Ocean? Think about that.

Adobe Framemaker, now regarded as industry-standard software for technical communication, was previously a word processing product. They were only the 3rd in the market. But when they changed the product to technical communication, they became the first in the market and still lead the market.

Volvo after years has created a market that they can proudly call their own. Everyone knows what Volvo’s vehicles represent — Safety and Durability. From being the first to introduce the 3 point safety belt, which became the industry standard safety feature, to be the first to introduce Side Impact Protection System (SIPS) in their cars, they lead the market of “safe” vehicles.

Tandem was the first to introduced fault-tolerant computers (the ones used in ATM networks, banks, stock exchanges, and so on). They’ve managed to secure a valuation of $1.9billion. Stratus could have joined in. But it didn’t. Instead, they produced the first fault-tolerant minicomputer, a new market never delved into before. They are valued at $500 million today.

The steps to becoming a Brand B

The common theme in the above case studies is that Brand A was the first to market and the first to lead it. And Brand B decided to create a new category for itself, becoming a market leader. The strategical steps needed are explained below:

1. Avoid brand-oriented thinking: The common approach of marketers is “How do I get people to prefer our brand over others”. That leads to focusing on communicating the USPs of the brand and what makes it different and unique. Instead, think of categories. Potential consumers have an open mind to categories. Whereas only a few people are interested in what product is better

2. Specialize and niche down: When a brand knows what they do, why they do it, and why people want it — It’s a focused brand. Many brands try to become everyone’s brand, but end up becoming no man’s brand.

Become a pink cow. A brand that is unique from all other cows is a pink cow. Don’t do what Volvo did. Known for producing safer vehicles, they’ve dived into race cars. Time will tell if the concept of safety is compatible with race cars or Volvo might be heading towards a no man’s brand.

3. Promote the category, not the product: When the brand owns the new category, it essentially has no competition. It’s a fresh new brand of its kind. That’s an opportunity to promote the brand category, not just the product qualities.

There are three popular brands when it comes to sports shoes — Adidas, Nike, and Reebok. Do they look the same in their brand voice? The market is the same — Sports shoes. But the category each one owns is unique. Adidas makes shoes for soccer players. Nike invokes greatness through its campaigns. Reebok focuses on exercise and fitness. Each brand focuses on its niche category.


Competition leads to specialization. It’s better to become the first in a niche category than to become a third in the overall market. Remember these tips for your next product launch.

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